Author Topic: Charity Efficiency Best Choice  (Read 188 times)

Meesh

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Charity Efficiency Best Choice
« on: September 12, 2017, 08:59:16 AM »
My DH's new job has a great charity match system. I am not sure how much we will give yet but I feel like we should take advantage of it. Employees can donate up to 5000 to a charity of their choice and employer will match 1 to 1 for social and environmental charities, and 2 to 1 for education. That's potentially a 15k donation to a charity of our choosing.

I've looked into a few and have come up with these 3 but am having difficulty deciding.

Give Directly - They give about $1000 within 1 year to a poor family and they use it to uplift their lives. With up to 10k a year that's 10 people per year until DH retires (then 5 people per year for the rest of our lives) with new people helped each year. This is clearly the most efficient choice in terms of people helped. Since it is given only once in a persons life it is also the least "helpful" per actual person.

Give Directly Basic Income - Same organization. They give about $360 per year to the same family, indefinitely. This allows families to plan for the future in a way that a large lump sum in 1 year can't do. At 10k max that's the same 27 people every year (then 13 in retirement).

The wild card to me is Shanti Bhavan - This is a boarding school that takes 10 boys and 10 girls at 4yo from poverty and pays for their entire life and education until they start their first job after college. Their premise is to uplift the community through children and teach the kids to give back to their impoverished community once they have the ability to do so. Costs for 1 year per child are around $1600 and since it is a 2 to 1 match for education, that's 9 kids a year (3 in FI). This is the least per person in terms of money spent but arguably the best per person as they are given an incredible education and live on the school, shielding them from many problems that come from a poverty stricken home and community.

Thoughts? Which would you choose and why?
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 09:07:27 AM by Meesh »

historienne

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Re: Charity Efficiency Best Choice
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 06:21:36 PM »


The wild card to me is Shanti Bhavan - This is a boarding school that takes 10 boys and 10 girls at 4yo from poverty and pays for their entire life and education until they start their first job after college. Their premise is to uplift the community through children and teach the kids to give back to their impoverished community once they have the ability to do so. Costs for 1 year per child are around $1600 and since it is a 2 to 1 match for education, that's 9 kids a year (3 in FI). This is the least per person in terms of money spent but arguably the best per person as they are given an incredible education and live on the school, shielding them from many problems that come from a poverty stricken home and community.

Thoughts? Which would you choose and why?

They are sending 4 year olds to boarding school?  I have real trouble believing that is an optimal model.  Even if all of their other promises are true - they are taking 4 year-olds away from their families.  I understand that, for these particular 4 year-olds, leaving is probably better than staying.  But there has got to be a way to achieve these goals that allows children to continue to live with their families. 

We support Give Directly, and have for years.  I am agnostic on the merits of the lump sum or basic income model at this point, I'm not sure that there is clear enough evidence.

Meesh

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Re: Charity Efficiency Best Choice
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 07:03:25 PM »
I agree when I found out they start at 4 years, I was a bit shocked. Its very very young, I'm not sure why they would start so young. They do go back and forth and see their parents a few times a year. Like I said it's definitely the wild card to me. I like the idea of truly changing a few children's lives but I'm not sure it's significantly that much better than Give Directly for the considerable smaller person count.

I think with Give Directly we could have a greater impact by pure amount of people. With lump sum for 15 years of work that's potentially 150 families, and another 5 per year for 30+ years, brings it up to 300+ families. They also scream super efficient to me and I love that they seem to be doing studies to help understand what works and doesn't.

Are there others out there that use efficiency as a major factor with their help? How do you decide where to give?

historienne

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Re: Charity Efficiency Best Choice
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 07:40:28 PM »
Are you familiar with Givewell?  They rate international charities for efficiency.  Their model tends to prefer medical interventions over economic interventions (malarial bednets, deworming, etc) which I am not entirely sold on, but they are admirably transparent in their methodologies, so it's pretty easy to decide for yourself whether you agree with their evaluations.

If you want to investigate more broadly, "effective altruism" is the search term you're looking for.

Meesh

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Re: Charity Efficiency Best Choice
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 08:04:42 PM »
Thank you I'll look into it. I think something like this was what I was looking for.

cbee6390

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Re: Charity Efficiency Best Choice
« Reply #5 on: Today at 06:24:58 AM »
Just another upvote for GiveDirectly and GiveWell.