GiveWell Maximum Impact Fund donations made to Malaria Consortium

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.

Full donor page for donor GiveWell Maximum Impact Fund

Basic donee information

ItemValue
Country
Facebook page MalariaConsortium
Websitehttp://www.malariaconsortium.org/
Donate pagehttp://www.malariaconsortium.org/support/donate.htm
Transparency and financials pagehttp://www.malariaconsortium.org/pages/international-aid-transparency-initiative.htm
Twitter usernameFightingMalaria
Wikipedia pagehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaria_Consortium
GiveWell reviewhttps://www.givewell.org/charities/malaria-consortium
Instagram usernamemalaria_consortium

Full donee page for donee Malaria Consortium

Donor–donee relationship

Item Value

Donor–donee donation statistics

Cause areaCountMedianMeanMinimum10th percentile 20th percentile 30th percentile 40th percentile 50th percentile 60th percentile 70th percentile 80th percentile 90th percentile Maximum
Overall 4 3,800,000 6,300,000 1,100,000 1,100,000 1,100,000 3,800,000 3,800,000 3,800,000 8,400,000 8,400,000 11,900,000 11,900,000 11,900,000
Global health 4 3,800,000 6,300,000 1,100,000 1,100,000 1,100,000 3,800,000 3,800,000 3,800,000 8,400,000 8,400,000 11,900,000 11,900,000 11,900,000

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 Total 2020 2019 2018
Global health (filter this donor) 4 25,200,000.00 15,700,000.00 8,400,000.00 1,100,000.00
Total 4 25,200,000.00 15,700,000.00 8,400,000.00 1,100,000.00

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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Full list of documents in reverse chronological order (3 documents)

Title (URL linked) Publication date Author Publisher Affected donors Affected donees Document scope Cause area Notes
Announcing our 2019 top charities 2019-11-26 Catherine Hollander GiveWell GiveWell Maximum Impact Fund Good Ventures/GiveWell top and standout charities Malaria Consortium Against Malaria Foundation Helen Keller International Deworm the World Initiative Sightsavers END Fund GiveDirectly Schistosomiasis Control Initiative Evaluator consolidated recommendation list Global health and development GiveWell annual top charrities list. As in previous years, GiveWell recomemnds that donors donate to GiveWell to regrant to top charities at its discretion, but also provides its current ranked list of top charities to help donors make an informed decision. Its ranked list (from best to worst) is: Malaria Consortium (seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) program), Against Malaria Foundation, Helen Keller International (vitamin A suppplementation), charities that treat parasitic worm infections (Evidence Action's Deworm the World Initiative, Sightsavers, END Fund), and GiveDirectly. From the perspective of cause areas, the rank is: malaria > vitamin A supplementation > deworming > cash transfers. This is consistent with, and highly influenced by, the cost-effectiveness estimates that GiveWell uses. The post highlights Malaria Consortium as the charity to select for donors who want to give directly to a charity. The post links to a number of more in-depth write-ups explaining the charity ranking, as well as to https://www.givewell.org/charities/top-charities/2019/open-philanthropy-recommendation which describes the recommendation to Open Philanthropy Project (and indirectly, to Good Ventures) on how to allocate funding to the top charities in 2019
Our updated top charities for giving season 2018 2018-11-26 Catherine Hollander GiveWell GiveWell Maximum Impact Fund Good Ventures/GiveWell top and standout charities GiveWell top charities Malaria Consortium Helen Keller International Against Malaria Foundation Deworm the World Initiative Schistosomiasis Control Initiative Sightsavers END Fund GiveDirectly Evaluator consolidated recommendation list Global health and development GiveWell annual top charities list. GiveWell recommends that donors donate to GiveWell to regrant to top charities at its discretion, but also provides details on the individual top charities so that people can make an informed decision. In addition, the amounts determined for GiveWell Maximum Impact Fund and for donation by Good Ventures are also included, though details of the amount recommended to Good Ventures are in a separate blog post https://blog.givewell.org/2018/11/26/our-recommendation-to-good-ventures/
Our top charities for giving season 2017 2017-11-27 Natalie Crispin GiveWell GiveWell Maximum Impact Fund Good Ventures/GiveWell top and standout charities GiveWell top charities Against Malaria Foundation Schistosomiasis Control Initiative Malaria Consortium Deworm the World Initiative Helen Keller International Sightsavers END Fund No Lean Season GiveDirectly Development Media International Dispensers for Safe Water Food Fortification Initiative Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition Iodine Global Network Living Goods Project Healthy Children Evaluator consolidated recommendation list Global health and development GiveWell annual top charity refresh, also announced amounts recommended for Good Ventures to donate to top charities. Added two new top charities

Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (4 donations)

Graph of all donations, showing the timeframe of donations

Graph of donations and their timeframes
Amount (current USD)Amount rank (out of 4)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
3,800,000.0032020-12Global health/malariahttps://www.givewell.org/maximum-impact-fundGiveWell Donation process: GiveWell looked at the funding gap and value of marginal funds for each of its top charities. The decision to allocate these funds happened shortly after the annual top charity refresh and the updated recommendations https://www.givewell.org/charities/top-charities/2019/open-philanthropy-recommendation#Our_recommended_allocation_to_Open_Philanthropy to Good Ventures (via Open Philanthropy) on how much annual support to give to each top charity. It therefore took into account the amounts already recommended to Open Philanthropy, and calculated the best use of funds at the margin after that.

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant to support the Malaria Consortium's Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) program.

Donor reason for selecting the donee: https://www.givewell.org/sources/blog-post/our-recommendations-for-giving-in-2020#2 says: "We decided where to allocate the Maximum Impact Fund donations at the same time as we made our recommendation to Open Philanthropy. We decided to allocate Maximum Impact Fund donations to Malaria Consortium's SMC program because it was the highest priority gap after we accounted for our recommendation to Open Philanthropy. However, we could have instead chosen to allocate them to the highest priority gap before our recommendation to Open Philanthropy was accounted for, Helen Keller International's vitamin A supplementation program, since our Maximum Impact Fund decision and Open Philanthropy recommendation were made at the same time. In each case, the overall effect would be the same [...]."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The entirety of funds available in the Maximum Impact Fund from Q3 2020 was granted to Malaria Consortium, as it was the highest-priority funding need identified.
Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 100.00%

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 Q3 2020 (July to September) and would therefore be expected to be in Q4 2020, which it is. The decision process for this quarter is combined with the grant recommendations to Open Philanthropy to recommend to Good Ventures.

Other notes: Announced: 2020-11-19.
11,900,000.0012020-03Global health/malariahttps://www.givewell.org/maximum-impact-fundGiveWell Donation process: According to https://blog.givewell.org/2020/03/17/allocation-of-discretionary-funds-from-q4-2019/#allocationprocess "We decide how to allocate discretionary funds by reviewing which of our top charities’ unmet funding needs, or “funding gaps,” are the most cost-effective and time-sensitive. In January 2020, we asked HKI, Malaria Consortium, and SCI Foundation (SCI) for updates on their funding needs. [...] We did not request updated funding information from our other five top charities. [...] We were not informed of any opportunities this quarter outside of the information we received from HKI, Malaria Consortium, and SCI."

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant for the seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) program. https://blog.givewell.org/2020/03/17/allocation-of-discretionary-funds-from-q4-2019/#malariaconsortium says: "We estimate that Malaria Consortium can now effectively absorb approximately $36 million for SMC programs in 2022 in Burkina Faso, Chad, Nigeria, and Togo. [...] We allocated the remaining $11.9 million in fourth-quarter discretionary funds to Malaria Consortium’s SMC program as our second priority."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: According to https://blog.givewell.org/2020/03/17/allocation-of-discretionary-funds-from-q4-2019/ the Malaria Consortium SMC program was identified as the second highest priority of three programs considered for this round of funding, behind Helen Keller International's Vitamin A supplementation but ahead of SCI. Since the funding gap for HKI's priority program of $1.5 million was well under the $13.4 million in allocatable funds, all the remainder of the funding was granted to Malaria Consortium.

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): A total of $13.4 million from Q4 2019 was available for granting in this round, of which $1.5 million was allocated to the higher-priority Helen Keller International Vitamin A supplementation program. Since the remainder of $11.9 million was much less than the $36 million in funds that GiveWell believed Malaria Consortium could absorb, the entirely of that remainder was allocated to Malaria Consortium. The amount of $13.4 million was higher than in most quarters, partly because Q4 in general sees more giving, and partly because of increased emphasis by GiveWell on donating to the Maximum Impact Fund rather than directly to top charities.
Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 88.00%

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 Q4 2019 (October to December) and would therefore be expected to be in Q1 2020, which it is.

Donor thoughts on making further donations to the donee: While further grants are not explicitly discussed, the fact that a significant funding gap remains for Malaria Consortium's SMC program ($36 million - $11.9 million = $24.1 million), future rounds are likely to include grants to the program barring new information.

Donor retrospective of the donation: The next grant from the Maximum Impact Fund would end up selecting Against Malaria Foundation due to some new information, but Malaria Consortium would receive funding in https://www.givewell.org/sources/blog-post/our-recommendations-for-giving-in-2020#2 for Q3 2020.

Other notes: https://blog.givewell.org/2020/03/17/allocation-of-discretionary-funds-from-q4-2019/#uncertainties discusses uncertainties. For this grant: "It is possible that other funders will also step in to fill some of this gap. In particular, we believe that one funder that supported SMC coverage in part of Burkina Faso in 2020 may choose to extend its support through 2022; this would decrease Malaria Consortium’s room for more funding by around $8 million. Even if this occurs, Malaria Consortium would still have a significant unfilled gap ($16.1 million) for its work in 2022.". Announced: 2020-03-17.
8,400,000.0022019-03Global health/malariahttps://www.givewell.org/maximum-impact-fundGiveWell Donation process: GiveWell looked at the funding gap and value of marginal funds for each of its top charities. Two charities that competed closely for the discretionary regrant were Malaria Consortium and Against Malaria Foundation. The blog post https://blog.givewell.org/2019/03/29/allocation-of-discretionary-funds-from-q4-2018/ has a lengthy section "Comparing Malaria Consortium and AMF" that applies the six principles in https://blog.givewell.org/2018/11/26/our-recommendation-to-good-ventures/#Principles to compare the two options, ultimately deciding on allocating 100% to Malaria Consortium

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Malaria Consortium expects to use the funding (earmarked for seasonal malaria chemoprevention) on these projects, in decreasing order of priority: (1) Contribute to filling a potential funding gap in Burkina Faso, (2) Scale up further in Nigeria and Chad in 2020, (3) Fund the continuation of programs into 2021.

Donor reason for selecting the donee: Malaria Consortium is operating in a domain, seasonal malaria chemprevention, that GiveWell considers highly cost-effective, and is estimated at delivering 8.3x as much value per unit money as cash transfers. Reasons for selecting Malaria Consortium over the Against Malaria Foundation include: stronger organizational management at Malaria Consortium, and more cooperation from Malaria Consortium in helping with GiveWell's evaluation process

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The amount of $8.4 million includes $7.6 million in discretionary funds directly available to GiveWell for regranting, and an additiona $0.8 million held by the Centre for Effective Altruism on its behalf. $1.7 million from the Effective Altruism Funds (Global Health and Development Fund) is also allocated to Malaria Consortium along with this $8.4 million
Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 100.00%

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 Q4 2018 (September to December) and would therefore be expected to be in Q1 2019. The discretionary regranting is relatively delayed compared to normal (it is usually completed within two months after the end of the quarter). The reason for the delay is likely that GiveWell waited for the end-of-year giving season to finish in order to better assess the remaining room for more funding. The amount is also larger than the amounts regranted in other quarters, reflecting more giving in Q4 in general.

Donor retrospective of the donation: Although not an explicit retrospective, the blog post discussing the next GiveWell discretionary regrant https://blog.givewell.org/2019/06/12/allocation-of-discretionary-funds-from-q1-2019/ describes some of GiveWell's updated thinking about the same problem.

Other notes: Affected countries: Burkina Faso|Nigeria|Chad; announced: 2019-03-29.
1,100,000.0042018-11Global health/malariahttps://www.givewell.org/maximum-impact-fundGiveWell See https://blog.givewell.org/2018/11/26/our-updated-top-charities-for-giving-season-2018/ for more detail. Grant uses money donated between July and September 2018 (i.e., Q3 2018) of $1.1 million. The entire amount was donated to Malaria Consortium because that was identified by GiveWell at the time as the charity with the most pressing funding gap to fill. Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 100.00%.