This is precisely the intention of “Giving Tuesday,” started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation: a national day of giving to kick off the giving season and respond to the consumerism that generally follows Thanksgiving.
Maybe that sounds good to you, but if you’d like to make Giving Tuesday part of your end-of-year celebration, what’s the best way to get involved? GiveWell, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that does in-depth research on the most outstanding and neglected giving opportunities, has a few ideas. As luck would have it, they just published their latest recommendations for the year yesterday.
Here are GiveWell’s top recommendations as to where your dollars can do the most good this Tuesday (and, in fact, any other day of the year!):
1. The Against Malaria Foundation (AMF)
Malaria kills over a million people each year. Besides being a health issue, malaria is the single greatest drag on Africa’s economy. The solution is surprisingly easy: a simple net will do the trick.
The Against Malaria Foundation does what you’d expect: it funds distributions of bed nets in areas where people are at high risk of malaria, saving lives for extremely small amounts of money.
For just $10, you can buy 3 nets that protect two people for ten years. You can also buy nets as gifts – how’s that for an original Christmas present? You can donate to AMF here.
2. Deworm the World Initiative (DtWI)
What’s the most effective way to improve education in the developing world? The answer might surprise you: deworming. Hundreds of millions of school-age children are at risk of parasitic worms, which can cause anemia, malnourishment, and impaired mental and physical development. As a result, most children with parasitic worms are unable to attend school.
Every $5 you donate is enough to deworm 10 children for a year. You can donate to DtWI here.
GiveDirectly‘s model is incredibly straightforward: they give unconditional cash transfers to the extremely poor. Their simple, clear and efficient model has been backed by those at Google.
GiveDirectly have themselves conducted studies of their impact and found large, positive, and sustainable impacts across a wide range of outcomes. These include earnings, food security, mental health, and domestic violence.
Do you really need that extra $10, $20, $50? Giving it directly to someone in extreme poverty could make a huge difference to them – and I’ll bet you won’t even notice the loss. You can donate to GiveDirectly here.
4. Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI)
Schistosomiasis (don’t worry, I can’t pronounce it either) is a parasitic-worm disease that affects over 200 million people worldwide. Like parasitic worms more generally (see DtWI above), it’s a horrible disease that can impair development and kills up to 200,000 people a year.
For less than $0.50 (fifty cents!), the London-based Schistosomiasis Control Initiative can protect a child against schistosomiasis for an entire year. So even if you’re short of spare cash this Giving Tuesday, for a single dollar you can still ensure two children a year of healthy, worm-free life!
You can donate to SCI here.
You can also donate quickly and easily to any of the above charities through this link.