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Why I give directly: Self-improvement and transparency

In our next “why I give directly” blog series, Katherine Savoie writes about her organization’s rigorous charity vetting process, and how GiveDirectly measures up.


Picking a charity is tricky. With millions of charities out there, it can be hard to know where to donate to make the biggest possible difference.

At Charity Science we raise awareness and funds for charities backed by scientific studies showing that they help the most people per dollar given. We were excited to discover GiveDirectly when the most evidence-based charity evaluator in the world, GiveWell, recommended them.

Though GiveWell does their research incredibly well, our team also did research to double check, and we were pleased to find strong studies on both cash transfers more broadly, and one on GiveDirectly’s work specifically. This study was particularly impressive because the team behind it publicly pre-committed to their analysis plan, and included the rarely-measured metric that matters most of all – happiness.

As we researched, we learned more about GiveDirectly as an organization. Their dedication to quick and clear communication, self-improvement, and transparency goes above and beyond what most charities provide. Public data on their website, randomly selected stories from recipients, and continued positive external reviews give us confidence to say that we know what money donated to GiveDirectly ultimately achieves. It’s used to help lift people out of poverty in one of the most effective ways known.