GiveWell Maximum Impact Fund donations made (filtered to cause areas matching Cash transfers)

This is an online portal with information on donations that were announced publicly (or have been shared with permission) that were of interest to Vipul Naik. The git repository with the code for this portal, as well as all the underlying data, is available on GitHub. All payment amounts are in current United States dollars (USD). The repository of donations is being seeded with an initial collation by Issa Rice as well as continued contributions from him (see his commits and the contract work page listing all financially compensated contributions to the site) but all responsibility for errors and inaccuracies belongs to Vipul Naik. Current data is preliminary and has not been completely vetted and normalized; if sharing a link to this site or any page on this site, please include the caveat that the data is preliminary (if you want to share without including caveats, please check with Vipul Naik). We expect to have completed the first round of development by the end of March 2023. See the about page for more details. Also of interest: pageview data on analytics.vipulnaik.com, tutorial in README, request for feedback to EA Forum.

Table of contents

Basic donor information

ItemValue
Country United States
Affiliated organizations (current or former; restricted to potential donees or others relevant to donation decisions)GiveWell
Best overview URLhttps://blog.givewell.org/2016/12/19/discretionary-grant-making-and-implications-for-donor-agency/
Websitehttps://www.givewell.org/maximum-impact-fund
Donations URLhttps://www.givewell.org/maximum-impact-fund
Page on philosophy informing donationshttps://blog.givewell.org/2016/12/19/discretionary-grant-making-and-implications-for-donor-agency/
Regularity with which donor updates donations datacontinuous updates
Regularity with which Donations List Website updates donations data (after donor update)continuous updates
Lag with which donor updates donations datamonths
Lag with which Donations List Website updates donations data (after donor update)months
Data entry method on Donations List WebsiteManual (no scripts used)

Brief history: GiveWell's Maximum Impact Fund began as a "discretionary regranting" option where donors could give money to GiveWell to allocate to its top charities. This differed from simply giving to GiveWell top charities using the recommended allocation, because GiveWell would determine the best use of marginal funds at the time of each regrant decision. GiveWell began highlighting discretionary regranting with https://blog.givewell.org/2016/12/19/discretionary-grant-making-and-implications-for-donor-agency/ in late 2016, and announced some major discretionary regrants in 2017. Starting with the 2017 giving season, GiveWell's recommendation to donors has been to give it the money for discretionary regranting. Per https://www.givewell.org/sources/blog-post/q1-q2-2020-discretionary-funding-allocation discretionary regranting was renamed to "Maximum Impact Fund" in the first half of 2020.

Brief notes on broad donor philosophy and major focus areas: The fund makes grants to GiveWell top charities, that are within the broad domain of global health and development. Top areas in recent years have included malaria, deworming, vitamin A supplementation, cash transfers, and seasonal intracountry migration.

Notes on grant decision logistics: For each discretionary regrant, which may be done about once a quarter, GiveWell looks at the most pressing of the needs of its top charities, and regrants funds based on those. Grant decisions have to be approved by the board. The grants using funds obtained by the end of a quarter are usually made within the next quarter.

Notes on grant publication logistics: Shortly after making the grant for a quarter, GiveWell publishes a blog post announcing and explaining the grant(s), and also updates https://www.givewell.org/maximum-impact-fund to include the grant and link to the blog post. In addition to public announcement, individual donors are also notified where "their" money ended up getting allocated.

Notes on grant financing: Money for the grants mostly comes from funds that are either donated directly to the Maximum Impact Fund (by earmarking the donation to GiveWell as being for top charities) or, in some cases, from unrestricted donations to GiveWell that are in excess of what GiveWell needs for operations. In some cases, grants made via donors explicitly for specific charities but done through the fund may also be included. As a general rule, all available money in the Maximum Impact Fund at the end of a quarter is granted out by the end of the next quarter, so no reserve or buffer is built up in the Maximum Impact Fund. In the case of regrant to the Against Malaria Foundation, the original donors show up in the Against Malaria Foundation donor list.

This entity is also a donee.

Donor donation statistics

Cause areaCountMedianMeanMinimum10th percentile 20th percentile 30th percentile 40th percentile 50th percentile 60th percentile 70th percentile 80th percentile 90th percentile Maximum
Overall 6 110,000 1,668,150 13,300 13,300 60,000 60,000 110,000 110,000 133,000 292,600 292,600 9,400,000 9,400,000
Cash transfers 6 110,000 1,668,150 13,300 13,300 60,000 60,000 110,000 110,000 133,000 292,600 292,600 9,400,000 9,400,000

Donation amounts by cause area and year

If you hover over a cell for a given cause area and year, you will get a tooltip with the number of donees and the number of donations.

Note: Cause area classification used here may not match that used by donor for all cases.

Cause area Number of donations Number of donees Total 2021 2015 2014
Cash transfers (filter this donor) 6 2 10,008,900.00 9,400,000.00 438,900.00 170,000.00
Total 6 2 10,008,900.00 9,400,000.00 438,900.00 170,000.00

Graph of spending by cause area and year (incremental, not cumulative)

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Graph of spending by cause area and year (cumulative)

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Donation amounts by subcause area and year

If you hover over a cell for a given subcause area and year, you will get a tooltip with the number of donees and the number of donations.

For the meaning of “classified” and “unclassified”, see the page clarifying this.

Subcause area Number of donations Number of donees Total 2021 2015 2014
Cash transfers/conditional cash transfers 1 1 9,400,000.00 9,400,000.00 0.00 0.00
Cash transfers/unconoditional cash transfers 5 1 608,900.00 0.00 438,900.00 170,000.00
Classified total 6 2 10,008,900.00 9,400,000.00 438,900.00 170,000.00
Unclassified total 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total 6 2 10,008,900.00 9,400,000.00 438,900.00 170,000.00

Graph of spending by subcause area and year (incremental, not cumulative)

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Graph of spending by subcause area and year (cumulative)

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Donation amounts by donee and year

Donee Cause area Metadata Total 2021 2015 2014
New Incentives (filter this donor) 9,400,000.00 9,400,000.00 0.00 0.00
GiveDirectly (filter this donor) Cash transfers FB Tw WP Site GW 608,900.00 0.00 438,900.00 170,000.00
Total -- -- 10,008,900.00 9,400,000.00 438,900.00 170,000.00

Graph of spending by donee and year (incremental, not cumulative)

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Graph of spending by donee and year (cumulative)

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Donation amounts by influencer and year

If you hover over a cell for a given influencer and year, you will get a tooltip with the number of donees and the number of donations.

For the meaning of “classified” and “unclassified”, see the page clarifying this.

Influencer Number of donations Number of donees Total 2021 2015 2014
GiveWell 6 2 10,008,900.00 9,400,000.00 438,900.00 170,000.00
Classified total 6 2 10,008,900.00 9,400,000.00 438,900.00 170,000.00
Unclassified total 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total 6 2 10,008,900.00 9,400,000.00 438,900.00 170,000.00

Graph of spending by influencer and year (incremental, not cumulative)

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Graph of spending by influencer and year (cumulative)

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Donation amounts by disclosures and year

Sorry, we couldn't find any disclosures information.

Donation amounts by country and year

If you hover over a cell for a given country and year, you will get a tooltip with the number of donees and the number of donations.

For the meaning of “classified” and “unclassified”, see the page clarifying this.

Country Number of donations Number of donees Total 2021
Nigeria 1 1 9,400,000.00 9,400,000.00
Classified total 1 1 9,400,000.00 9,400,000.00
Unclassified total 5 1 608,900.00 0.00
Total 6 2 10,008,900.00 9,400,000.00

Skipping spending graph as there is fewer than one year’s worth of donations.

Full list of documents in reverse chronological order (1 documents)

Title (URL linked)Publication dateAuthorPublisherAffected donorsAffected doneesAffected influencersDocument scopeCause areaNotes
Response to concerns about GiveWell’s spillovers analysis2018-12-06Josh Rosenberg GiveWellGiveWell Maximum Impact Fund Open Philanthropy GiveDirectly GiveWell Reasoning supplementCash transfersThe blog post explains in more detail how GiveWell came to its conclusions in its recent analysis of spillover effects from GiveDirectly's cash transfer program. In particular, it responds to a series of tweets from economist Berk Özler expressing concern over GiveWell for (1) using an unpublished paper as a key study, (2) placing little weight on some papers in its analysis of spillover effects, (3) focusing solely on consumption. While replying to the concerns, the GiveWell blog post also explains some of the broader principles used by GiveWell to determine when to use private information, and what evidence to review and what outcomes to consider

Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (6 donations)

Graph of top 10 donees by amount, showing the timeframe of donations

Graph of donations and their timeframes
DoneeAmount (current USD)Amount rank (out of 6)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
New Incentives9,400,000.0012021-08Cash transfers/conditional cash transfershttps://www.givewell.org/maximum-impact-fundGiveWell Donation process: The grant page lists seven principles followed in the grant allocation: "Principle 1: Put significant weight on our cost-effectiveness estimates. Principle 2: Consider additional information that we have not explicitly modeled about an organization. Principle 3: Consider additional information that we have not explicitly modeled about a funding gap. Principle 4: Assess charities' funding gaps at the margin, i.e., how they would spend additional funding, where possible. Principle 5: Default to not imposing restrictions on charities' spending. Principle 6: Default to funding on a three-year horizon, modifying to preserve our options for the future where doing so is low-cost. Principle 7: Ensure charities are incentivized to engage with our process."

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to fund the scale-up of its conditional cash transfers for infant immunization program in North West Nigeria in 2021 and to maintain the program at that scale through 2023." https://www.givewell.org/maximum-impact-fund/allocation-q2-2021#How_we_expect_this_grant_will_be_used says: "This $9.4 million grant is intended to cover New Incentives' operating costs for the additional 18 LGAs from the time of expansion in 2021 through 2023. This expansion will allow New Incentives to increase the total number of infants enrolled in the program in 2021-2023 from an estimated 600,000 to an estimated 1.1 million, covering roughly 45% of the total infants in the three Nigerian states in which the program operates: Jigawa, Katsina, and Zamfara."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: This is a followup to a grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-health-and-development/miscellaneous/new-incentives-general-support-2021 made by Open Philanthropy. https://www.givewell.org/maximum-impact-fund/allocation-q2-2021#How_we_expect_this_grant_will_be_used says: "Since receiving that grant, New Incentives has been able to expand its program more quickly than anticipated. [...] New Incentives told us that without this additional funding, it would not be able to expand its program beyond the initial 17 LGAs in 2021, and program expansion would pause in July 2021." The potential scale-up possible with the grant was the main reason for donating.

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The amount is based on the total available amount for granting ($14 million) and the size of the need for New Incentives' program, per the seven principles of grant allocation used.
Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 67.14%

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): This discretionary regrant is done for each quarter, usually within 2 to 3 months of the end of the quarter. This particular grant is for Q2 2021 (April to June) and would therefore be expected to be in Q3 2021, which it is.
Intended funding timeframe in months: 29

Other notes: While the write-ups for previous grant rounds were done as blog posts, the write-up for this grant round is published as a separate page. It is also delayed to over three months after the grant. Affected countries: Nigeria; announced: 2012-12-02.
GiveDirectly133,000.0032015-07Cash transfers/unconoditional cash transfershttps://www.givewell.org/maximum-impact-fundGiveWell Grant uses money donated between January and May 2015. Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 13.30%.
GiveDirectly292,600.0022015-03Cash transfers/unconoditional cash transfershttps://www.givewell.org/maximum-impact-fundGiveWell Grant uses money donated between November and December 2014. Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 13.30%.
GiveDirectly13,300.0062015-01Cash transfers/unconoditional cash transfershttps://www.givewell.org/maximum-impact-fundGiveWell Grant uses money donated between July and October 2014. Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 13.30%.
GiveDirectly60,000.0052014-08Cash transfers/unconoditional cash transfershttps://www.givewell.org/maximum-impact-fundGiveWell Grant uses money donated between April and June 2014. Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 60.00%.
GiveDirectly110,000.0042014-05Cash transfers/unconoditional cash transfershttps://www.givewell.org/maximum-impact-fundGiveWell Grant uses money donated between January and March 2014. Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 55.00%.

Similarity to other donors

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