Who are the best charities?
Effective Altruism Australia’s objective is to help others as much as possible for every dollar donated.
To do this we support charities that are consistently ranked as highly cost effective by independent charity evaluators such as GiveWell, Giving What We Can, and The Life You Can Save. Because of their focus on transparency, commitment to evaluation and follow-up, and scaling of proven interventions, we have high confidence that these charities can reliably and significantly improve and save lives.
Our partner charities are all focused on global health and poverty, which is one of the worlds most pressing problems. If you are interested in other causes we recommend this list of the best charities to donate to across many causes.
To learn more about our criteria for recommendations, you can visit our inclusion criteria page.
Our recommended charities
Against Malaria Foundation (AMF)
Preventing deaths from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa
Malaria is a major problem in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2015, around 440,000 people – mostly children – died from malaria. Insecticide-treated bed nets prevent deaths and many other non-fatal cases of malaria and are relatively inexpensive – A$3.50 per net or A$5-7 including the costs of its distribution partners. (For more details, see GiveWell’s full report on bed nets.) We believe that AMF effectively expands access to bed nets. Read reports on AMF by GiveWell, Giving What We Can, and The Life You Can Save.
Preventing malaria in children in sub-Saharan Africa
Malaria Consortium fights malaria by working with national governments to distribute preventive drugs for children under five years via seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) programmes. Based on strong evidence, SMC is particularly effective at preventing malaria in those areas where it is seasonal. It is cost effective and saves lives. We believe that Malaria Consortium cost-effectively expands access to SMC programmes. Read more about Malaria Consortium here and their work on SMC here, including the latest 2021 philanthropy report, summarising how philanthropic funding was used to support the implementation of seasonal malaria chemoprevention. Read reports on Malaria Consortium by GiveWell and Giving What We Can.
Helen Keller International (Vitamin A Supplementation Program)
Vitamin supplementation to prevent child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa.
Helen Keller International supports government-run vitamin A supplementation programs. There is strong evidence that VAS programs reduce child mortality. GiveWell estimates it costs $1.23 to deliver a vitamin A supplement in HKI-supported programs. .
Read the reports on Helen Keller International’s Vitamin A Supplementation Program by GiveWell and Giving What We Can.
Cash incentives for routine childhood vaccines.
New Incentives was founded in 2011 to promote the use of Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs), an evidence-based approach for improving health outcomes in Lower and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). In a quest to identify the most impactful and cost-effective application of CCTs to save lives, the organization explored several models and interventions. By 2016, they had developed the Conditional Cash Transfers for Routine Immunization program, which GiveWell has now recognized as one of an elite group of charities that saves the most lives per dollar. In Nigeria, the organization operates as All Babies Are Equal Initiative. Read reports on New Incentives by GiveWell and Giving What We Can.
Other charities we support
As well as providing recommendations, we have listed a number of other very promising charities, nonprofits, and funds below. We think that, according to some worldviews, some of these may turn out to be even more effective than our recommendations. As such, we think it’s worthwhile to list them publicly so that donors can more easily consider them. To learn more about our criteria for listing these charities you can visit our inclusion criteria page.
Working to end parasitic disease
Unlimit Health supports programs that treat people for parasitic worm infections. Those infections cause organ damage, impaired childhood development, increased risk of HIV, reduced productivity, and reduced school attendance. These worms are extremely inexpensive to treat. For more, see GiveWell’s full report on deworming. We believe that Unlimit Health cost-effectively expands access to deworming treatment. Read reports on Unlimit by GiveWell, Giving What We Can and The Life You Can Save.
Deworm the World Initiative (led by Evidence Action)
Treating children for parasite infections in developing countries
The Deworm the World Initiative, led by Evidence Action, supports governments around the world to eliminate the public health threat of parasitic worms through school-based mass deworming programs. More specifically, Evidence Action’s Deworm the World Initiative advocates for school-based deworming to policymakers and provides technical assistance to launch, strengthen and sustain school-based deworming programs. 220 million children will be dewormed in 2016 thanks to Evidence Action’s work. Read reports on Deworm the World by GiveWell, Giving What We Can and The Life You Can Save.
Send money directly to the extreme poor
Directly transferring money to poor individuals allows them to purchase that which they believe will help them most. Strong evidence indicates that cash transfers lead recipients to spend more on their basic needs (such as food) and may allow recipients to make investments with high returns, with evidence showing no impact, or a negative impact, of transfers on alcohol or tobacco expenditure. (For more, see GiveWell’s full report on cash transfers.) We believe that GiveDirectly effectively distributes cash to extremely low-income individuals. Read reports on GiveDirectly by GiveWell, Giving What We Can and The Life You Can Save.
GiveDirectly Basic Income Research
Support rigorous research to assess the impact of basic income
You can earmark your funds to provide a basic income to individuals living in some of the poorest parts of Kenya and Liberia. Every eligible adult in a target region receives a monthly cash transfer specifically sized to lift them above the local extreme poverty line. You can read more at GiveDirectly.
Unconditional cash transfers to refugees in Uganda
You can also earmark your funds to provide direct cash transfers to long-term refugees, empowering them to rebuild their lives in their new, adopted homes. Since 2019, GiveDirectly has delivered cash aid directly to refugees living in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. These recipients have fled intractable instability in nearby countries and are likely to remain in their new host country for the foreseeable future, given safety concerns back home. However, most fled with no assets or savings, so they struggle to build a new life where they’ve landed. By giving these families large cash transfers, they are able to invest in their futures and become more self-reliant, aiding their integration into their new communities.
Treating depression at scale in Africa
Globally, 280 million people are living with depressive disorders. In low-income countries, approximately 85% receive no treatment. StrongMinds provides free group talk therapy to low-income women and adolescents with depression in sub-Saharan Africa. We scale our reach through peer-to-peer therapy, teletherapy, public education, and partnerships. Women who complete our therapy achieve clinically significant reductions in depression symptoms, restoring hope for themselves and their families. Approximately 80% of clients are depression-free at the conclusion of treatment. Since 2013 we have treated more than 230,000 individuals for depression.