Methodology

How we choose the charities
in your portfolio

Introduction

We believe that donations should have impact.

To help you do this, we’ve created a methodology that determines which charities are included in your Give portfolio. We hope that our methodology gives you a deeper understanding of how we think about giving, and lets you see how your values align with ours.


Overview

When evaluating charities, we look at four areas:

Transparency
Need
Efficiency
Effectiveness

1 — Transparency

Charities that are transparent

We believe that donors should be able to easily find public information on a charity's governance, programs, and financials. We choose charities that meet the following criteria:

Board of Directors listed
Key staff listed
Mission statement and theory of change available
Annual reporting on program outcomes available
Full audited financial statements are available While we believe every charity should publish their full audited financial statements on their website, unfortunately this is not as widespread of a practice as we’d like it to be. Most charities in our portfolios meet this criteria, but there are some that publish only partial audited financial statements.

2 — Need

Charities that need our help

We believe donations should go to charities that are in need of funding, who will use your money in the short to medium term.

Need for funding

We calculate need for funding by comparing how much they spend in a year to how much they have in liquid asset reserves. While a healthy reserve is important to ensure operating sustainability or to invest in new large scale initiatives, we don't want it to be so high that your money sits in a bank account for many years, when it could have gone to another charity that is in immediate need of additional funding.

We also choose charities that are smaller in size, determined by looking at their annual expenditures. We believe we can make a bigger impact by supporting charities that don't have the same world-class fundraising capabilities that megacharities do.


3 — Efficiency

Charities that spend mostly on programming

We believe that charities should spend most of their donations on programming that advance their mission.

We don't believe in solely looking at this metric, nor do we believe that overhead and fundraising should be as low as possible. Charities should attract and retain talented team members by compensating them well. However, their primary spending area should be on the programs.


4 — Effectiveness

Charities that deliver results

We believe that the ultimate goal of a charity is to create real change in the problems they're trying to address.

Measuring effectiveness differs from cause to cause, but in general, we look at their success rates, how many clients they're able to serve, and the quality of their services.


Get in touch

We're always improving our methodology and our funds. If you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you - please get in touch at hello@withgive.com.