We’re now launching a new initiative within GiveWell that will not be subject to either of these constraints. We plan to invest about 25% of our research time in what we’re calling GiveWell Labs: an arm of our research process that will be open to any giving opportunity, no matter what form and what sector.
Through GiveWell Labs, we will try to identify outstanding giving opportunities (whether they’re organizations or specific projects), publish rankings of these giving opportunities (separate from the top charities list we maintain using our existing research process) and try to raise money for these opportunities. Donors have pre-committed a minimum of $1 million to the GiveWell Labs initiative, meaning that we will have at least $1 million to commit to our choice of projects even if we are able to raise nothing else. (We expect to raise more if and when we find great giving opportunities; the $1 million has been committed based on donors’ trust in our ability to find such opportunities.)