Mass school-based programs to protect children from parasitic worms with a simple pill are widely recognized as safe, simple, and cost-effective. The Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) helps scale and run these programs, which can improve long-term education, work and wage outcomes for less than $0.50 per child annually.
Evidence Action oversees continued scaling of two programs rigorously shown to improve health, education, and work outcomes: Dispensers for Safe Water’s chlorine dispenser system and Deworm the World Initiative’s school-based pill distribution program, both costing less than $0.50 per person per year.
GiveDirectly focuses exclusively on getting money into the hands of the poorest possible households at the lowest possible cost. At least 90% of donations go directly to recipients.
The Against Malaria Foundation provides long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (for protection against malaria) in bulk to other organizations, which then distribute them in developing countries.
Oxfam is one of the leading organizations combating poverty in developing countries. They carry out a wide range of activities including campaigning, disaster relief, education, health, sanitation and women's rights, and they have a good track record for evaluating their work.
The Proven Impact Fund supports growth of programs with proven cost-effectiveness. The interventions are based on studies by Innovations for Poverty Action, a groundbreaking research team dedicated to discovering what works to help the world’s poor in a variety of crucial areas, e.g health, education and financial security.
Obstetric fistulas cause uncontrollable leaking of bodily wastes and subsequent ostracism, ruining the lives of hundreds of thousands of the world's poorest young women. The Fistula Foundation funds the best organizations they can find that repair fistulas and give the women their lives back. Each surgical repair costs approximately $450.
Eye care, which we take for granted, is often unattainable for the world's poor. To help bridge this gap, Seva has pioneered cost-effective cataract surgery and sustainable eye care programs which restore sight and transform lives in many of the world's most impoverished communities.
90% of the world's blind and visually impaired live in developing countries; 80% could regain their vision with access to eye care services. Fred Hollows Foundation has pioneered making such service available for millions, featuring extremely cost-effective cataract surgeries.
Project Healthy Children works closely with governments, private industries, and partner agencies to support the design and implementation of food fortification programs to improve the health of children, women, and men around the world… every time they eat a meal.
Possible is working with the Nepalese government to provide rural health care and rebuild the public health system in Nepal. They rigorously evaluate their impact and, in their own words, "believe in being transparent until it hurts".
Population Services International works with local governments and other local organizations to assist family planning and improve the health of mothers and young children. They focus on interventions with proven impact and have good monitoring and evaluation systems in place.
1 (Shared): SCHISTOSOMIASIS CONTROL INITIATIVE
US donors can make tax-deductible donations to SCI through GiveWell, a nonprofit organization which collects no fees from these donations.
1 (Shared): EVIDENCE ACTION
Give Directly focuses exclusively on getting money into the hands of the poorest possible households at the lowest possible cost. At least 90% of donations go directly to recipients.
3. AGAINST MALARIA FOUNDATION
5. PROVEN IMPACT FUND
6. THE FISTULA FOUNDATION
7 (Shared): SEVA FOUNDATION
7 (Shared): FRED HOLLOWS FOUNDATION
8. PROJECT HEALTHY CHILDREN
10. POPULATION SERVICES INTERNATIONAL
Learn more about the tax-deductible status of our recommended charities
The Life You Can Save has a focus on eradicating poverty, but we're also aware of significant interest in Peter Singer's opinions on charities working in other areas. If your priority is fighting climate change, we suggest you consider donating to Cool Earth , based on Giving What We Can's analysis on the topic . For donors seeking to improve animal welfare, we suggest reviewing research from Animal Charity Evaluators , whose top charity recommendations are The Humane League and Vegan Outreach (each of which run programs designed to yield significant environmental benefits in addition to reducing animal suffering).
The Life You Can Save is a movement of people fighting extreme poverty. We hold that an ethical life involves using some of our wealth and resources to save and improve the lives of those less fortunate than us.