Over the last several months, we asked charitable organizations to apply for the funds by sending a written application and a short video to firstname.lastname@example.org. News of our application process appeared on MarketWatch, in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, in the tweets of Dr. Peter Singer, and in many other places. We were overwhelmed by the response.
We can confidently say this: the world is filled with people who want to make a difference. People working abroad for nonprofits (like our own Jenny Kafer did); people founding nonprofits; people turning their organizations into machines for efficient, effective altruism. We would like to offer all of the applicants for BT’s 2018 grant a heartfelt THANK YOU. All of them have put others’ needs above their own. Our world is better off because of them.
Choosing a charity was hard. In the end, we decided to split the money three ways. We relied heavily on the evidence-based analysis of GiveWell, which conducts the most rigorous analysis of charities that we know of. (It was founded by people who left high-paying Wall Street jobs to start a charity evaluator.)
We absolutely LOVE the three charities that we chose. All are dedicated to helping people who really need it. All are dedicated to squeezing every bit of good from the donations that they receive. All rank among GiveWell’s “Top Charities,” the list of the nine most effective charities in the world.
Each of the following will receive $33,334 from our firm:
- Against Malaria Foundation. AMF distributes long-lasting insecticidal nets (“LLINs”) in the parts of the developing world where mosquito-borne malaria kills thousands and cripples many more. Each LLIN costs less than five U.S. dollars, and has the ability to save a life. AMF even allows each donor to see where the nets that he or she bought have been delivered. (Analysis.)
- Evidence Action’s “Deworm the World” Initiative. Parasitic worms in the developing world afflict children and adults primarily through unclean water. Certain parasitic worms cause schistosomiasis, a disease that can cause learning disabilities and delayed development. But fixing the problem is affordable: a child can be treated for less than fifty cents per treatment. (Analysis.)
- GiveDirectly. GiveDirectly is beautifully simple: it gives money to families who need it most. Many well-meaning charities accidentally misdirect money by funding things that don’t help communities in need, like building schoolhouses where there are no teachers. GiveDirectly fixes that by letting the recipients decide what they need—and the evidence says that it works. (Analysis.)
About These Charities
Against Malaria Foundation
Evidence Action’s “Deworm the World” Initiative
- Application to Butler Law
- Financial Statements (2017)
- Financial Statements (archived)
- Randomized Controlled Trial
Why are yall doing this?
We want to help people. It’s why we got into this business in the first place.
Today, the opportunities to help others are unparalleled. That is because although the problems that people face in the developing world are very serious, many of them have simple and inexpensive solutions. Polluted water causes fatal diseases that minimal filtration could prevent. Parasitic flies cause blindness that simple, inexpensive surgery could cure. Malaria causes deaths that $5 mosquito nets could stop.
We have the opportunity to do something about it. Organizations like the Gates Foundation and Georgia’s own Carter Center have provided insight into what the biggest problems are and how they might be solved. Charity evaluators like GiveWell allow us to give money wisely, where the money will be most effective, and have alleviated concerns over fraudulent charities. We live in a time, more than any other, in which everyone has the opportunity to make a meaningful difference. You don’t have to give like Bill Gates—an extra $5 buys another net that even the Gates Foundation, with all its millions, didn’t buy.
This is too good an opportunity to miss.
We help our clients every day, and that is a deeply rewarding experience. By also giving philanthropically—and doing so wisely, with a focus on results—we see an opportunity to double down.
Frequently Asked Questions
Peter Singer explained this really well starting at this point in his TED talk (this clip begins at 8 minutes, 38 seconds):