Updated Charity Evaluation Framework & Cause Funds

Updated Charity Evaluation Framework & Cause Funds

In service of our mission to offer you active, well-researched charity recommendations, we’ve updated our charity evaluation framework and cause funds. 

Why? We are committed to adjust our methodology to reflect our continued learning, address tensions we find, and improve our ability to operationalize our evaluation process. 

First, what hasn’t changed? We’ve retained a focus on robust evidence to drive decision-making about impactful interventions and implementing nonprofits.

What has changed?

  1. We’ve adopted the global multidimensional poverty index (MPI) to guide our definition and measurement of poverty. Reducing suffering is our guiding principle. Using the MPI strengthens our use of reliable data to drive our understanding of poverty through the dimensions of health, education and living standards and 10 leading indicators of deprivation.

    This recognizes that poverty is multifaceted. Children cannot learn if they are hungry and malnourished. Parents cannot support their families through gainful employment if they are sick from not having access to clean drinking water. We understand that singular solutions in isolation cannot solve the complex problems created and sustained by extreme poverty. 

  2. We’ve clarified our commitment to beneficiaries and their dignity, a theme championed by our board member Neela Saldanha and implemented in collaboration with IDinsight’s Dignity initiative.

  3. We’ve added considerations of strengthening systems, local and proximate leadership, and the sustainability of interventions. These considerations are in alignment with best practices in the poverty alleviation and development sector to get more resources into the hands of people in need and to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of humanitarian action.

Portrait of Fatima and her child, Suleman, at Walama Primary Health Center Ringim in Jigawa, Nigeria, on Wednesday, 7 December 2022. Photo by KC Nwakalor for New Incentives.

Recommendation changes

In alignment with our updated evaluation framework we’ve updated our recommendations, including:

  1. Climate-focused recommendations: We are temporarily suspending our US climate-focused recommendations to concentrate on the critical intersection between climate change and poverty alleviation and will relaunch a climate fund later in 2024. We aim to address the specific challenges faced by low-income countries, emphasizing mitigation strategies as well as adaptive measures for individuals in extreme poverty who are most susceptible to climate extremes. Find more information and ways to continue supporting our previous recommendations here.

  2. Health-focused recommendation: We have concluded our recommendation of the Global Alliance Improved Nutrition (GAIN). This recommendation was originally based on GiveWell’s research related to universal salt iodization and designation of GAIN as a standout charity. With GiveWell discontinuing this designation, GAIN’s multifaceted programming, and our commitment to articulate impact to supporters, we currently do not have enough information to make a strong public recommendation of GAIN. We continue to value GAIN’s mission and work in advancing nutrition outcomes for all and are happy to support donors who wish to continue donating to GAIN.

Fund changes: 

We have also updated our funds to reflect the categories established by the multidimensional poverty index. While recurring donors who started donations prior to March 2024 can continue to contribute to the previously featured funds, here is an update on how our funds have changed:

  1. The Save Lives Fund and the Transform Lives Fund were both focused on health. Based on categories defined by the multidimensional poverty index, we now have a holistic Health Fund which combines immediate life-saving strategies as well as health interventions that support adequate healthcare services, treatment-seeking behavior, physical safety and nutrition. We now feature some nonprofits we’d previously included in the Transform Lives Fund in our Quality of Life fund based on how significantly these interventions impact an individual’s employment opportunities. View our Health Fund.

  2. The Create Economic Opportunity Fund nonprofits are now featured in a broader category through the new Quality of Life Fund.

  3. 90/10 Fund and All Charities Fund. Although these are no longer designated as funds, we still provide opportunities for donors to choose these giving options. View this offering.

  4. Our new, top recommendation: Maximize Your Impact Fund. This fund composition considers all of our recommended nonprofits’ recent accomplishments, upcoming plans, and funding needs as well as where our community of donors can make the most significant marginal impact across the complex dimensions of multidimensional poverty – health, education and quality of life. View our Maximize Your Impact Fund.

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About the author:

Katie Stanford

Katie Stanford has dedicated her career to contributing to a more just and compassionate world. For over two decades before joining The Life You Can Save, she worked in public health in the United States and with child-serving nonprofits. With a degree in data analytics, Katie’s specialty is using data to understand the diverse factors impacting community health and implementing programs to strengthen public health and wellbeing. 

The views expressed in blog posts are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Peter Singer or The Life You Can Save.