In early 2011, Dustin Moskovitz and I met GiveWell, a nonprofit that researches giving opportunities and makes recommendations to help donors decide where to give. As I’ve written elsewhere, Dustin & I were immediately impressed by the rigor of GiveWell’s research, its commitment to transparency and self-reflection, and the volume of thoughtful commentary about the nonprofit sector it already had produced since its inception in 2007.
Though Good Ventures and GiveWell are distinct organizations serving distinct purposes, over time we have come to recognize substantial overlap in our philosophy and activities. Good Ventures and GiveWell share a common mission: to maximize the benefit of our giving to society. We at Good Ventures are compelled by GiveWell’s vision: a world in which donors reward charities based on their effectiveness at improving lives, rather than the efficiency of their fundraising staff or the emotional appeal of their marketing materials. Both Good Ventures and GiveWell seek to address the lack of information transparency in the philanthropic/nonprofit sector, which we at Good Ventures think prevents the sector from doing as much good as it could. (Stay tuned for more reflections on this topic in future posts.)
Recently, Good Ventures and GiveWell began working as a team in the substantial areas of overlap between our interests. We remain separate legal entities with separate boards of directors and decision-making processes; each organization retains full authority over the funds at its disposal and the ability to pursue projects outside our mutual areas of interest. But within these areas of overlap, we see teaming up as the best way to advance our shared goals most quickly.
This blog post by GiveWell describes the details of the partnership.