Many people know about GiveWell and their top-ranked charities. But how easy would it be to make a better one? In “Why It Should Be Easy to Dominate GiveWell’s Recommendations”, Rob Wiblin notes the simple solution – fundraise for whatever organizations GiveWell recommends, and raise more than a dollar with each dollar you receive.
Organizations themselves are wary of fundraising, mainly because spending a lot of resources on fundraising messes with their “overhead ratio” or percentage of funds spent directly on the mission. Even if an organization could achieve gains through fundraising, it’s outweighed by “looking bad”. So ideally, we’d need other people to come together and create an organization that does full-time fundraising for other organizations.
Luckily, an organization has been founded to do just that. Joey Savoie, Xiomara Kikauka, and Lucas Zamprogno have come together to create Effective Fundraising an organization that provides free fundraising to charities with a proven track record of effectiveness, as ranked by GiveWell, Giving What We Can, or Effective Animal Activism. Currently, they’re fundraising for both the Against Malaria Foundation and The Humane League, both of which don’t do any grant fundraising themselves.
Not only that, but they fundraise using the most effective methods that has been proven by studies – grant writing and high net worth fundraising. The UK Institute of Fundraising estimates that grant writing returns, on average, $7 for every $1 invested and focusing on high net worth giving can get average returns of $4 for every $1 invested. Fund Raising: Evaluating and Managing the Fund Development Process states that these two are the highest return fundraising campaigns, with a return of $10 and $5 per $1 invested respectively.
They’re still in the “proof of concept” phase and are not currently actively seeking funding, but they seem like a promising opportunity to keep an eye on for the future.
_Disclaimer: As of 22 July, I am now a volunteer for this organization.
Author’s Note: This was also cross-posted on LessWrong. It was edited on 22 July to correct a mistaken citation._