Charity ratings, rankings, messages

Considering 'what information and ratings are out there about charity effectiveness and how is it/should it/could it be presented

What are the existing sources of information and ratings about charity effectiveness? How credible are these? How are these presented, and how could/should they be presented?



Charity Navigator 'impact rating' (Impact Matters)

Some weaknesses in their metrics -- See earlier post HERE

Updates: Went through recent impact ratings (briefly picking charities, found some limitations:

  • American Red Cross: 100 out of 100 impact rating

    • "$670 provides an additional year of healthy life to a blood transfusion patient." (Note this is based on US data)

    • This seems implausible as an actual 'impact' of a $670 donation; it is not clearly considering the counterfactual

Updates 4 Oct 2022: There may be some promising developments within Charity Navigator; watch this space

(The Life You Can Save)

(Animal charity evaluators)


Non-effectiveness ratings (for comparison)

Charity Navigator (mainly non-impact, see above)

Guidestar (AKA 'Candid')

ratings have little or nothing to do with impact. - Guide Dogs for the Blind and Make-a-Wish are both top ('Platinum' rated) ... we know these are ineffective (classic examples)- Against Malaria Foundation is unrated and "New Incentives" gets the lower 'Gold' rating -- both are top-rated on GiveWell. Also, note the Guidestar criteria:

The Platinum Seal of Transparency indicates that the Foundation shares clear and important information with the public about our goals, strategies, capabilities, achievements and progress indicators that highlight the difference the Foundation makes in the world.\

It's about transparency, not impact.

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