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High-impact giving

Additional resources

Use these tools to help identify other high-impact organizations that align with your giving goals.

More resources for identifying nonprofits to support

For general information on nonprofit organizations

For donors looking for additional information on nonprofits registered in the U.S. and eligible for tax deduction, the following sites offer information beyond overhead ratios (which remain a crude and poor proxy for understanding a nonprofit's effectiveness). Members of our team serve as advisors to many of these.

GuideStar, in partnership with the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and Independent Sector, has a charting impact feature that provides information on nonprofit goals, strategies, and achievements. In addition, you can find progress and results metrics that quantify the difference organizations are making toward their missions.

Charity Navigator has expanded its traditional focus on ratings based on financial ratios to include metrics related to nonprofit accountability and transparency.

To learn more about causes and organizations

Using the following resources, donors can learn more about causes and organizations they are considering supporting.

Great Nonprofits, the largest database of user-generated nonprofit reviews, seeks to promote transparency and help funders and volunteers find "trustworthy" nonprofits. In addition, its Giving Library helps philanthropists learn about and connect with charities by issue area, or browse a library of videos highlighting nonprofits.

Philanthropedia, a division of GuideStar, is a nonprofit rating system that uses expert-driven recommendations and ratings to help direct funding to high impact organizations in specific mission areas. The organization's proprietary research methodology has been used by a network of over 3,000 experts to provide reviews on over 750 nonprofits across 36 different cause areas.

Root Cause Social Impact Research (SIR) is modeled after private sector equity research firms. For each issue area (health and well-being; economic empowerment; education and youth development; environment and sustainability), SIR partners with various organizations to conduct research and produce a report based upon qualitative and quantitative indicators.

To identify nonprofits analyzed by evidence of impact and cost-effectiveness

GiveWell, a nonprofit evaluator, rates charities (both U.S.- and internationally-based) on evidence of impact, with a focus on empirical data, cost-effectiveness, and capacity for increased funding.

Recently launched, ImpactMatters provides "audits" of nonprofits that have proven evidence of impact. To date, the organization recommends four nonprofits, with plans to add more.

To identify additional nonprofits working on specific issues

Child Development

Child Trends catalogues programs that work and those that don't for supporting kids.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation publication KIDS COUNT provides a wealth of data on issues affecting children across the U.S.

Education, poverty, health, and at-risk youth issues in the U.S.

The Social Impact Exchange's S&I 100 provides a list of 100 high impact solutions, along with a database of over 15,000 implementing nonprofits, whose results have been examined by outside experts and who have a stated interest and capacity to scale. Our center’s team contributed to the development of this resource for donors looking for evidence of impact.

The University of Colorado's Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence identifies the most effective programs that promote behavioral, mental, physical, and academic health and success. One of their initiatives, Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, provides a registry of evidence-based youth development programs and best practices on what works to improve the lives of children.

Global development

Innovations for Poverty Action uses both evidence of results and cost-effectiveness to assess programs. They list over 275 "solutions" to poverty; donors can search by study or topic, and find key takeaways by issue area.

Inspired by moral philosopher Peter Singer's book, the Life You Can Save website lists charities that aid the global poor; each charity has been vetted by their team and other organizations (e.g., GiveWell) for its record of effectiveness.

The Jameel Poverty Action Lab's (J-PAL) provides a database of over 750 publicly available randomized evaluations of programs, and resources for donors interested in scaling programs that have been found to be effective.

Year-End Giving Guide partners and sponsors

The Center for High Impact Philanthropy is a nonprofit center, without a permanent endowment. In addition to Fidelity Charitable, the work in this guide has been made possible by the following individuals and organizations.

2016 Year-End Giving Guide sponsors

This article was excerpted from the Center for High Impact Philanthropy's "2016 Giving Guide," sponsored in part by Fidelity Charitable's Trustees' Philanthropy Fund. The guide features specific high-impact giving opportunities, handpicked by the center and analyzed for evidence of impact and cost-effectiveness, as well as more ways to improve the effectiveness of your giving.

The Center for High Impact Philanthropy is a multidisciplinary, nonprofit center housed at the University of Pennsylvania. The center provides actionable and evidence-based guidance for individuals who want to ensure that their philanthropy makes the greatest possible difference in the lives of others.

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