Research

How we choose the
charities in our funds

The goal of our research is to maximize the impact of your donations.

We do this by rigourously evaluating thousands of charities, and selecting the highest impact ones for our funds.

Our research methodology looks at four areas:

  • 1 — Transparency
  • 2 — Need
  • 3 — Efficiency
  • 4 — Effectiveness

1 — Transparency

Does this charity meet transparency standards?

Donors should be able to easily find public information on a charity's governance, programs, and financials. Charities in our funds must 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

Will this charity benefit greatly from our donation?

Donations should be prioritized to charities that are in need for funding, who can put your donation to work in the short to medium term.

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

Will this charity put most of your donation towards programming?

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 programming.


4 — Effectiveness

Does this charity consistently deliver results?

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

Measuring effectiveness differs from fund to fund, but for most, we look at success rates, how many people they're able to serve, and the quality of their services.


If you have any questions about our research, please get in touch with us at research@withgive.com.