Good Ventures/GiveWell top and standout charities donations made to Helen Keller International

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 2022. See the about page for more details. Also of interest: pageview data on, tutorial in README, request for feedback to EA Forum.

Table of contents

Basic donor information

Country United States
Affiliated organizations (current or former; restricted to potential donees or others relevant to donation decisions)GiveWell Good Ventures Open Philanthropy
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)days
Data entry method on Donations List WebsiteManual (no scripts used)

Brief history: Starting in 2011, when GiveWell first started working with Good Ventures, Good Ventures has been making grants to GiveWell top and standout charities. Over time, they have worked more closely together on deciding the amounts to be granted, and incorporating these into the room for more funding that is communicated to other donors. The grants are almost always announced along with the year-end recommendation refresh in late November. Starting 2016, the decision of "how much in total to allocate" was moved over to the Open Philanthropy Project, and the grants began being listed in the Open Philanthropy Project database. The decision on how to split the allocation between specific top and standout charities remains with GiveWell

Brief notes on broad donor philosophy and major focus areas: The focus areas are the areas that GiveWell top and standout charities operate in, which are usually 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: GiveWell receives a total budget from the Open Philanthropy Project of money that can be granted to top charities. The budget was $50 million in end 2016 and $75 million in end 2017. It grants some minimum amount to all top charities ($2.5 million per charity in 2017) and a smaller minimum amoun to all standout charities ($100,000 in 2017). For the rest of its total allocated amount, it allocates the money to the highest-priority funding gaps, using a greedy algorithm. Some top charities may end up getting no money other than the $2.5 million minimum. According to the willingness of other donors to fund specific charities is not a factor in the decision

Notes on grant publication logistics: The grants are not published separately on the GiveWell website; rather, the amounts and rationale are described in a long blog post along with the description of the refreshed top charity recommendations (see for the 2017 version). The grants later show up in the databases of the Open Philanthropy Project (that signs off on them, despite not being involved in the individual grant decisions) and Good Ventures (that provides the actual financing)

Notes on grant financing: The financing for the grants comes from Good Ventures, which may give the money directly or via the Open Philanthropy Project Fund held by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The total budget is set by the Open Philanthropy Project. The actual grants are usually made between December and February, after the announcement of the grant amounts in November.

Miscellaneous notes: For grants already published in the Good Ventures database, we use the date there as the authoritative grant date. For grants not yet published, we use the date of the donation announcement

Full donor page for donor Good Ventures/GiveWell top and standout charities

Basic donee information

Facebook page HelenKellerInternational
Twitter usernameHelenKellerIntl
Wikipedia page
Instagram usernamehelenkellerintl

Full donee page for donee Helen Keller International

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 2 6,500,000 6,850,000 6,500,000 6,500,000 6,500,000 6,500,000 6,500,000 6,500,000 7,200,000 7,200,000 7,200,000 7,200,000 7,200,000
Global health 2 6,500,000 6,850,000 6,500,000 6,500,000 6,500,000 6,500,000 6,500,000 6,500,000 7,200,000 7,200,000 7,200,000 7,200,000 7,200,000

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 2018
Global health (filter this donor) 2 13,700,000.00 13,700,000.00
Total 2 13,700,000.00 13,700,000.00

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

Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (2 donations)

Graph of all donations, showing the timeframe of donations

Graph of donations and their timeframes
Amount (current USD)Amount rank (out of 2)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
6,500,000.0022018-12Global health/nutrition/Vitamin A supplementation Donation process: The grant is based on GiveWell's recommendation. GiveWell made the recommendations as part of its end-of-year recommendations to Good Ventures, along with allocations to other GiveWell top and standout charities. The total budget is based on guidelines set by the Open Philanthropy Project. GiveWell explains the process in detail at Charity status updates in 2018 are at

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant to support the Vitamin A supplementation (VAS) program, which has GiveWell top charity status; see HKI provides technical assistance, engages in advocacy, and contributes funding to government-run vitamin A supplementation programs.

Donor reason for selecting the donee: GiveWell recommends HKI's VAS program for the following reasons: (1) Strong evidence base and strong cost-effectiveness. (2) Track record. (3) Standout transparency. (4) Room for more funding. The full GiveWell review is at and the top charity selection is at

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): GiveWell explains the principles affecting its decision of how much money to allocate to each charity in (1) Put significant weight on our cost-effectiveness estimates. (2) Consider additional information about an organization that we have not explicitly modeled. (3) Assess charities’ funding gaps at the margin, i.e., where they would spend additional funding, where possible. (4) Default towards not imposing restrictions on charity spending. (5) Fund on a three-year horizon, unless we are particularly uncertain whether we will want to continue recommending a program in the future. (6) Ensure charities are incentivized to engage with our process. Ultimately, GiveWell decides to allocate $6-10 million two of its deworming charities as well as to HKI; HKI ends up getting $6.5 million

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Part of GiveWell's end-of-year recommendations for Good Ventures, so the timing is determined by the timing of end-of-year recommendations (which is usually the week after Thanksgiving in the United States). The grant is made by Good Ventures shortly after the recommendations

Other notes: Even accounting for this grant, GiveWell identifies a remaining funding gap of $20.6 million for HKI's VAS program. The grant page on the Open Philanthropy Project website is at
7,200,000.0012018-01Global health/nutrition/Vitamin A supplementation Grant includes a $2.5 million minimum for being a top charity, and $4.7 million to meet funding gaps over three years in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Guinea—countries that have missed recent vitamin A campaigns due to lack of funding. Grant announced on 2017-11-27 at along with GiveWell top and standout charities list. Affected countries: Burkina Faso|Mali.