Against Malaria Foundation
If your altruistic side compels you to donate to charity but you don't know where to turn, GiveWell can help.
In the wake of Giving Tuesday (November 29), the nonprofit charity evaluator has released its 2016 ranking of the top charities in the world.
GiveWell bases the list on a few criteria: how effective the given solution is for the problem it addresses, how well the charity implements that solution, and whether the organization needs the money in the first place.
Low-income areas deal with the greatest threats to residents' health and well-being, so many of the charities GiveWell ranks the highest do work in those regions, namely Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
This year, GiveWell selected seven charities that rose above the rest. If you have a sum of $5,000 to donate, here's how much GiveWell says you should give to each of the top charities (with a small portion leftover for other charities GiveWell considers noteworthy).
1. Against Malaria Foundation — $1,510
Almost every charity on GiveWell's list targets either malaria or worm-related infections. Treatments for both can offer huge increases in quality of life at little cost.
Malaria is the most threatening disease to kids in low-income countries. Approximately 600,000 people die every year as a result of malaria infection, and the only vaccine that's been approved won't reach patients until 2017.
AMF works to prevent the disease's spread by deploying insecticide-treated bed nets — mesh tarps that drape over kids' beds and kill mosquitoes as they attempt to enter.
GiveWell finds through its research that, based on malaria's prevalence and the low cost of distributing bed nets, AMF is far and away the charity most deserving of people's dollars.
Donating just $1.50 to AMF can protect one person from malaria for one year. If you're feeling especially generous, however, GiveWell recommends a donation of $3,340. It might seem like a lot, but you'd be saving an entire life.
2. Schistosomiasis Control Initiative — $1,350
Like malaria, parasitic diseases such as worms affect a disproportionate amount of people in poorer areas. Roughly 240 million people live with parasitic worm infections, and 90% of those cases occur in just 20 countries.
Thankfully, GiveWell finds that approximately $1.23 can rid a child of these worms.
"This cost is based on several difficult-to-estimate inputs including (a) how to account for donated drugs and (b) the portion of costs paid for by the governments with which SCI works," GiveWell states.
SCI works primarily in regions where the deadliest worms are prevalent, typically in sub-Saharan Africa. The organization is a smart one to support because its ceiling for donations is so high, and few countries are wealthy enough to create de-worming infrastructure on their own.
3. Deworm the World Initiative — $450
The Deworm the World Initiative assists government-run programs in schools to strengthen deworming efforts. Most often that relies on distributing pills that kill intestinal parasites that enter kids' bodies through unsanitary soil or water.
DtWI's main goal is advocating and supporting the programs that deliver kids those pills. GiveWell estimates children can be dewormed for about $0.30 per child with DtWI's help, or $0.09 per child if the cost excludes "the value of teachers' and principals' time spent on the program."
"Even for small amounts of money you're still giving pills to children," Sean Conley, a research analyst at GiveWell, tells Business Insider. "Which seem to be making a very big difference in their lives later on."