SHIC’s Recommended Charities 2017

Bet­ter late than never!

As is the goal with ev­ery­thing SHIC pub­lishes, this post is meant to be ac­cessible to those un­fa­mil­iar with Effec­tive Altru­ism. Read the full post here: http://​​www.shic­​​sin­gle-post/​​2017/​​05/​​15/​​SHIC-Recom­mended-Char­i­ties-2017


Why SHIC is up­dat­ing its list

When Stu­dents for High-Im­pact Char­ity (SHIC) was founded in early 2016, we knew that the or­ga­ni­za­tion would need to go be­yond teach­ing about which fac­tors make a char­ity high-im­pact. We would offer a list of recom­mended char­i­ties so that those who are new to the con­cepts we es­pouse would be pro­vided tan­gible ex­am­ples of causes and char­i­ties that are among the best in the world (by met­rics re­lated to re­duc­ing suffer­ing). The list was not meant to be com­pre­hen­sive of all high-im­pact char­i­ties, but we felt it was ad­e­quately rep­re­sen­ta­tive (with­out feel­ing over­whelming) of causes to be cov­ered by SHIC’s ma­te­rial.

At the end of 2016, both An­i­mal Char­ity Eval­u­a­tors (ACE) and GiveWell, two rep­utable char­ity eval­u­a­tors, up­dated their top recom­men­da­tions for the giv­ing sea­son. You can find GiveWell’s lat­est recom­men­da­tions here and ACE’s here.

Since then, we’ve de­cided reeval­u­ate SHIC’s list of recom­mended char­i­ties. Though SHIC will con­tinue to main­tain a rel­a­tively broad stance with re­gards to cause se­lec­tion, we would still like to recom­mend char­i­ties front and cen­ter that ad­e­quately rep­re­sent the val­ues we see as crit­i­cal to be­ing high-im­pact, as we feel it’s im­por­tant to give stu­dents con­crete ex­am­ples as mod­els for highly effec­tive char­i­ties.

In ad­di­tion, SHIC has always main­tained the policy of recom­mend­ing char­i­ties mak­ing di­rect im­pact rather than “meta-char­i­ties” (char­i­ties whose pri­mary pur­pose in­cludes sup­port­ing other spe­cific char­i­ties). This is be­cause SHIC aims to in­tro­duce effec­tive giv­ing to an au­di­ence who may be new to the con­cept of char­ity eval­u­a­tors. Recom­mend­ing meta-char­i­ties takes stu­dents a step away from di­rect im­pact.

The SHIC pro­gram will nonethe­less con­tinue pro­mot­ing se­lected char­ity eval­u­a­tors and meta-char­i­ties through our cur­ricu­lum. We will main­tain fo­cus on the im­por­tance of form­ing one’s own opinion based on crit­i­cal think­ing, while pro­vid­ing the tools and roadmaps that can aid in form­ing those con­clu­sions.

More­over, sup­port­ing care­fully cho­sen char­i­ties sig­nals the im­plicit value of spe­cific eth­i­cal ap­proaches we en­dorse and would like to in­still within stu­dents as a log­i­cal foun­da­tion for do­ing the most good in the world. Some of these con­cepts in­clude:

  • In­ter­ven­tions with strong ev­i­dence for high cost-effec­tive­ness are prefer­able when such data are is available.

  • When cost-effec­tive­ness in­for­ma­tion is un­available, as­sess a cause based on its coun­ter­fac­tual im­pact, solv­abil­ity, and ne­glect­ed­ness.

  • If we value all hu­man lives equally, we’re gen­er­ally bet­ter off sup­port­ing in­ter­ven­tions in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries than de­vel­oped ones.

  • Non-hu­man an­i­mal lives and lives in the fu­ture are im­por­tant to con­sider when pri­ori­tiz­ing causes.

  • When pos­si­ble, we should re­spect the prefer­ences of those we’re aiming to help. Of­ten­times the global poor can best iden­tify their own self-in­ter­ests.

  • Fac­tory farm­ing is by far the great­est source of non-hu­man an­i­mal suffer­ing cur­rently caused by hu­mans.

  • It’s im­por­tant to rec­og­nize we don’t have all the an­swers and to con­tinu­ally up­date our view­points based on new ev­i­dence.

Char­i­ties re­main­ing on the list

From our origi­nal list, the fol­low­ing char­i­ties will re­main among SHIC’s Recom­mended Char­i­ties:

  • The Against Malaria Foun­da­tion—pro­vides long-last­ing in­sec­ti­cide-treated bed­nets.

  • Mercy for An­i­mals—spreads aware­ness about the hor­rors of fac­tory farm­ing.

  • Cool Earth—forms part­ner­ships with villages bor­der­ing rain­forests to de­ter­mine the best ways to pro­tect them.

  • Schis­to­so­mi­a­sis Con­trol Ini­ti­a­tive—im­ple­ments de­worm­ing pro­grams to rid chil­dren of ne­glected trop­i­cal dis­eases.

  • GiveDirectly—pro­vides un­con­di­tional cash trans­fers to help peo­ple es­cape poverty.

  • Devel­op­ment Me­dia In­ter­na­tional - pro­motes healthy liv­ing in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries through ra­dio pro­gram­ming.

  • Fu­ture of Hu­man­ity In­sti­tute—re­searches po­ten­tial causes of and solu­tions to global catas­trophic risks.

  • Liv­ing Goods—em­ploy­ees lo­cals in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries to sell af­ford­able health-re­lated items door-to-door.

Char­i­ties added to the list

The fol­low­ing char­i­ties will be added to SHIC’s list of Recom­mended Char­i­ties:

  • Malaria Con­sor­tium—for their sea­sonal malaria chemo­pre­ven­tion pro­gram.

  • Pro­ject Healthy Chil­dren—food nu­tri­ent for­tifi­ca­tion.

  • The Hu­mane League—in­ter­ven­tions in­clud­ing cor­po­rate out­reach for ve­g­anism.

  • The Good Food In­sti­tute—pro­mo­tion and de­vel­op­ment of meat/​dairy al­ter­na­tives.

  • Ma­chine In­tel­li­gence Re­search In­sti­tute—study­ing re­spon­si­ble im­ple­men­ta­tion of ar­tifi­cial in­tel­li­gence.

To make our grow­ing list of char­i­ties more di­gestible, we have di­vided char­i­ties into their re­spec­tive cause ar­eas. We rec­og­nize that some char­i­ties could fall into mul­ti­ple sub­groups, but don’t see this as sig­nifi­cant con­cern. This di­vi­sion al­lows vis­i­tors/​par­ti­ci­pants to pick up on the gen­eral themes we en­dorse much more eas­ily than if we sim­ply listed the char­i­ties.

Disease Prevention

  • Against Malaria Foundation

  • Schis­to­so­mi­a­sis Con­trol Initiative

  • Malaria Consortium

  • Pro­ject Healthy Children

Hu­man Empowerment

  • GiveDirectly

  • Devel­op­ment Me­dia International

  • Liv­ing Goods

An­i­mal Welfare

  • Mercy for Animals

  • The Hu­mane League

  • The Good Food Institute

En­vi­ron­men­tal and Catas­trophic Risk

  • Cool Earth

  • Fu­ture of Hu­man­ity Institute

  • Ma­chine In­tel­li­gence Re­search Institute


For more, in­clud­ing our rea­son­ing for choos­ing to in­clude or ex­clude spe­cific char­i­ties in/​from our list, read the full post here.

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