Best charities for Australians to give to these holidays

The festive period inspires generosity in all of us, both towards our closest friends and family and towards charity. This kindness is heartening, though it’s also important to make sure that it is well-placed, helping people as much as possible. Unfortunately, a lot of people are unsure of where to donate, not knowing where their money will go, or if it will even help.

Fortunately, charity evaluators like GiveWell have put in a decade of research into finding charities that are transparent, backed by evidence, cost-effective, and have room for more funding. Their advice allows you to be confident your donation will achieve a lot of good, and following it can be the difference between saving many lives and accomplishing nothing. Read more about their process here.

On the basis of this research, Effective Altruism Australia has partnered with top charities to help them to scale up their highly effective programs. You can donate tax-deductibly to support all of these programs, and we’ll make sure 100% of your donation goes directly to support them.

If you’d like to see exactly what a donation to any of these charities achieves, you can use our impact calculator.

Long-lasting insecticide treated bednet

Against Malaria Foundation

Around 440,000 lives were lost to malaria in 2015, most of whom were children. Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) works to provide a cheap but effective intervention across sub-Saharan Africa to reduce malaria incidence. For just $5-7, AMF can distribute an anti-malarial bed net which will be used to protect several people for several years from malaria on average. Read the full report on AMF by GiveWell, Giving What We Can, or The Life You Can Save.

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Doctor giving tablet to child

Schistosomiasis Control Initiative

Parasite infections are still prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa and cause a variety of symptoms such as anemia. However, these parasites are easy and inexpensive to treat. The Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) works to effectively provide increased access to deworming treatment in Africa. Read the report on SCI by GiveWell, Giving What We Can, or The Life You Can Save.

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Child holding tablet

Deworm the World Initiative (led by Evidence Action)

The Deworm the World Initiative (DTWI) also work on providing treatment for parasites, and focus on school-based mass deworming programs. They work with policymakers, providing technical assistance and advocacy, to launch school-based deworming programs, and work to strengthen and sustain them. By the end of 2016, an estimated 220 million children will have been dewormed thanks to the work of DTWI. Read the report on Deworm the World by GiveWell, Giving What We Can, or The Life You Can Save.

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Cash transfers using mobile devices


GiveDirectly transfers money directly to those that need it most. This intervention is supported by strong evidence which shows that cash transfers are spent on the basic needs of the recipients, with no evidence of increased spending on alcohol or tobacco. GiveDirectly are also launching a major trial for a universal basic income, and you can earmark your donations directly to this program. Read the report on GiveDirectly by GiveWell or The Life You Can Save.

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Effective altruism

The movement of effective altruism — people who are using evidence and careful analysis to do as much good as possible — is growing around the world, and Australia is no exception. Effective altruists focus on a range of issues including poverty, animal welfare and ensuring the future of the human race. If you're looking for where to give to best tackle other problems, the Open Philanthropy Project staff have released their suggestions for 2016. Lastly, join the growing number of people who are volunteering and getting involved, from fundraising, to events in a city near you.

Another option for anyone looking to learn more about effective altruism and how to maximise their social impact is picking up Doing Good Better by Oxford Professor William MacAskill. This would also make a great last minute gift!

With your generous support, so far we’ve raised over $500,000 for effective charities in Australia from over 400 individual donors. From all of us at Effective Altruism Australia, thank you for helping us move closer to realising our vision of a world free of poverty.

Michael Dello-Iacovo
Acting CEO

16 December 2016