GiveWell, LessWrong's most cited organization for optimal philanthropy, is currently re-evaluating its charity rankings with the goal of naming a new #1 charity by December 2011. Essentially, VillageReach (the current top charity) has met all of its short-term funding needs, to the point where it no longer has the greatest marginal return.
VillageReach still has longer-term needs, and in the absence of other giving opportunities that we consider comparable, we’ve continued to feature it as #1 on our website. However, we’ve also been focusing most of our effort this year on identifying and investigating other potential top-rated charities, with the hope that we can refocus attention on an organization with shorter-term needs this December. (In general, the vast bulk of our impact on donations comes in December.) We believe that we will be able to do so. We don’t believe we’ll be able to recommend a giving opportunity as good as giving to VillageReach was last year, but given VillageReach’s lack of short-term (1-year) room for more funding, we do expect to have a different top recommendation by this December.
EDIT: The new charities are up! They are the Against Malaria Foundation and the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative.