Organisations associated with effective altruism
(last updated in 2018)
The following organisations use rational, evidence-based approaches to reducing human and animal suffering and are some of the most worthwhile to support:
The Effective Altruism Foundation is a think tank applying critical, rational thinking to the intersection of science and ethics. Founded by a young, ambitious group of students, it has initiated major new projects in the areas of charity, politics and research, and collaborates with other international organisations that aim to reduce human and non-human suffering in the world. It is a major player in the growing effective altruism movement. It includes the Foundational Research Institute, which seeks to identify and prioritize effective and cooperative strategies for reducing involuntary suffering, and Raising for Effective Giving, which has successfully recruited some of the world’s best poker players to channel part of their earnings to highly effective charities. The EA Foundation also created Sentience Politics, an antispeciesist political think tank spun off as a separate organisation, that advocates for a society in which the interests of all sentient beings are considered.
The Centre for Effective Altruism is a growing coalition of projects that put the ideas of effective altruism into practice in different ways. Based at the University of Oxford, two of its main projects include Giving What We Can, an international society dedicated to eliminating extreme poverty, and 80,000 Hours, which helps young people to choose a career where they can do the most good in solving the world’s most pressing problems.
GiveWell is a non-profit dedicated to finding outstanding giving opportunities. It conducts in-depth research to determine how much good a given program accomplishes according to criteria such as lives saved or improved per dollar spent, and publishes the full details of its analyses to help donors decide where to give. Its top charities in 2018, all evidence-backed, thoroughly vetted, underfunded organisations, included:
- Against Malaria Foundation: Preventing deaths from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa
- Malaria Consortium: Preventing deaths from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa
- Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI): Treating people for parasite infections in sub-Saharan Africa
- Evidence Action's Deworm the World Initiative: Treating children for parasite infections in developing countries
- GiveDirectly: Distributing cash to very poor individuals in Kenya and Uganda
The full list and a link to other standout charities can be found here.
Animal Charity Evaluators is a non-profit that finds and promotes the most effective opportunities for improving the lives of animals. It evaluates animal charity organisations based on effectiveness: creating comparatively large positive impact in terms of reduced suffering or improved well-being at low cost. It uses research from other organisations and conducts its own research to gather the largest possible pool of data to inform its decisions. Its top 3 charities in 2018 were:
It also has a list of other standout charities it recommends.
A few other organisations focused on preventing suffering
The Algosphere Alliance is a budding network of individuals and organisations dedicated to alleviating suffering in the world through collaboration and political mobilisation. The Algosphere was created in 2011 by a small group of individuals who recognised the necessity for a new structure focused on this most universal of needs. It was designed according to a simple set of principles, allowing it to function as a strictly non-hierarchical, directly democratic organisation and to grow in size and influence through human connections, dialogue and consent. Although still in its early stages and intentionally pursuing a strategy of slow but methodical growth, the Algosphere has the ambition to become a major force for compassion in the years to come.
Animal Ethics was formed to provide information and promote discussion and debate about issues in animal ethics, and to provide resources for animal advocates. Their work deals with the way nonhuman animals are considered in everyday life, as well as how they are considered in fields that affect human attitudes and activities that are relevant to animals. They look at the way nonhuman animals are impacted by current human activities, and how they might be impacted by future planned or unplanned human activities. This involves not only the ways we might harm them, but also how we might help them even when the cause of their plight is not human action.