I donate to charities rated most effective by GiveWell.org. Unlike charity evaluators that focus solely on financials, assessing administrative or fundraising costs, GiveWell conducts in-depth research to determine how much good a given program does (in terms of lives saved, lives improved, etc.) per dollar spent. See GiveWell’s criteria and list of top charities for more information.
I also support the following organizations periodically:
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is the first institution established for the sole purpose of treating catastrophic childhood diseases, mainly cancer. Research findings at St. Jude are shared freely with doctors and scientists all over the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied care because of his or her family’s inability to pay. The hospital has developed protocols that have helped push the survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20 percent when it opened in 1962 to 80 percent today.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971. Today, MSF provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters. MSF provides independent, impartial assistance to those most in need. In 1999, MSF received the Nobel Peace Prize.