The holidays are here, which means it’s time for you to make your annual charitable donations in a desperate attempt to cleanse the stains your dark soul has accumulated this year. Below is a thoroughly vetted list of the most effective life-saving charities in the world.
Here is the list of 18 charities dubbed “2017's Best” by The Life You Can Save, a respected site that encourages effective philanthropy—meaning that these charities accomplish the most for the people with the greatest need per dollar donated.
And here is the new list of the year’s seven top charities from GiveWell, another respected charity evaluation site that focuses on effective giving.
Together, these two organizations identify charities that will actually do the most good for the world’s neediest people with each dollar you give. All charities are nice in their own ways, but these charities will actually save human lives and prevent suffering for shockingly reasonable amounts of money. There are no bad choices among them. But here are the charities that appear on both the TLYCS and GiveWell lists:
- Against Malaria Foundation, which provides malaria nets that save lives.
- Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, which fights disease in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Evidence Action, which provides clean water and deworming programs.
- GiveDirectly, which sends money to the extreme poor.
You are likely not a superhero who saves lives very often, but you can legitimately save lives by donating to these charities.
A small addendum: The election of Donald Trump freaked the hell out of many of the same people who like to give money to the sorts of charities that help the poor. It is tempting, in our current political climate, to instead channel all your giving this year to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood and various political causes in the U.S. Here is a short note from Charlie Bresler, the Executive Director of The Life You Can Save, addressing this common sentiment:
The election of Donald Trump has had a chilling effect on many of our subscribers, our recommended charities, our Team at The Life You Can Save, and people throughout the United States and the World. There is an understandable desire to do something to mitigate the damage that a Trump presidency can do to the environment, the social safety net, and to civil liberties. At a time when many people wanted to advance in these areas beyond what the Obama administration has done, there is concern that we are about to take a dramatic step backwards. How does this impact effective giving?
I have heard many people say things like, “I want to give to the American Civil Liberties Union, or another domestic activist organization.” This is completely understandable, but if it means money will be diverted from the most effective organizations this movement of charitable donations could be very bad for the global poor...
I would suggest that we continue to support the recommended charities on our new list at the same level we have in the past, or even at an increased level. The value of $1 given to a recommended charity still trumps (forgive the pun) the value of a dollar given domestically — even under the current political environment. However, as citizens I urge everyone to get involved in social movements to which they resonate whether the movement targets the environment, civil rights, or protecting our social safety net. If one feels the understandable urge to give to political movements or organizations fighting the Trump agenda then please consider giving more money over the next four years so that you don’t diminish your gifts to fight global poverty.
So don’t let Donald Trump make you forget the world’s poorest people. Santa Claus is watching.