A new generation making the biggest possible difference.
Students for High-Impact Charity (SHIC) is an international organization that helps students discover how to do as much good in their lives as possible by empowering them to think critically about charity. Through our customized training and one-to-one support, students learn to think critically about how to make the largest positive difference in the world, choosing high-impact careers, and making ethical life choices. SHIC students emerge from the program not only with a deep knowledge of the world’s most pressing issues, but also with the vision and ability to effectively improve the world.
Examples of High-Impact Charities
These charities are considered to be high-impact charities because independent charity evaluators such as GiveWell and Animal Charity Evaluators have marked these charities as outstanding giving opportunities.
Every charity in this list is highly-cost effective and has a pressing need for more funding, so donations to any one of them will have a large impact. These charities are divided into four cause areas: Disease Prevention, Human Empowerment, Animal Welfare, and Environment and Catastrophic Risks.
This list of high-impact charities is by no means exhaustive. The SHIC program encourages students and teachers to research charities on their own, and equips students and teachers with the necessary tools to select charities that will have the greatest social impact.
Please note that not all of these charities are qualified donees in Canada, and Canadian donors will not receive tax benefits for giving to non-qualified donees.
Disease prevention is a high-impact cause area, as preventing is often more cost-effective than curing. The diseases easiest to battle are usually long gone in the developed world. This is because they’re extremely easy and cheap to treat and prevent. These are the ‘low-hanging fruit’ for reducing human suffering and saving lives.
The Against Malaria Foundation distributes long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed nets in sub-Saharan Africa to combat malaria, one of the most common and preventable diseases in the world. Rigorous studies suggest these nets are the most cost-effective way of preventing malaria.
The Schistosomiasis Control Initiative works with Health and Education Ministries in sub-Saharan Africa and Yemen to treat their citizens for parasitic worm infections, including schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis. These infections affect the poorest communities in the world.
The Malaria Consortium distributes preventative drugs against Malaria and other neglected tropical diseases in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to children under the age of five during malaria season. These drugs significantly reduce cases of disease in the communities.*
Micronutrient deficiencies are the leading cause of intellectual disability in children, preventable blindness among adults, and maternal death during childbirth. PHC supports governments to ensure the successful delivery of food fortification programmes for tens of millions of people.*
People often know what’s best for them. Human Empowerment is about providing people with the knowledge and opportunities to make their lives better. Charities like these standout as excellent ways to empower who currently struggle to meet basic needs.
GiveDirectly lets its donors to give money directly to extremely poor households with no strings attached. It aims to drive efficiency in international giving by making direct transfers the benchmark on which others are evaluated.*
Development Media International runs television, radio, and mobile campaigns in developing countries to change health-related behaviours and save lives. It is the first organisation to demonstrate that mass media campaigns done well can change health-related behaviours and save lives.*
Living Goods employs local workers in developing countries to go door-to-door and sell affordable health and household goods in addition to giving basic health advice to low-income families.*
Some of the best Animal Welfare charities focus on reducing the impact of factory farming. That’s because the atrocious conditions that these animals endure, and the large numbers of animals affected mean the scale of this problem exceeds that of any other human-caused animal suffering.
The Humane League works to reduce as much animal suffering as possible, as effectively as possible. Donations support hard-hitting corporate campaigns, which reform the way farm animals are treated, in addition to education programs that inspire consumers to make more compassionate food choices.*
Animal Equality is an international organization that works with societies, governments and companies to end cruelty to farmed animals. They educate the public on factory farming, inspire compassionate eating, work with companies to change policies and engage policymakers to take action for animals.*
The Good Food Institute is dedicated to creating a healthy, humane and sustainable food supply. By working with scientists, entrepreneurs and investors, GFI is developing ideas to tackle poverty, climate change and animal welfare through the promotion of plant-based and clean meat, dairy, and eggs.*
Environmental and Catastrophic Risk
One of the most effective ways of doing good is to take action now to reduce the chances of catastrophic harm occurring in the future. Charities like these are some of the best places to donate to ensure a brighter future. Admittedly the effects of these charities are harder to measure, because their aims are to prevent terrible things from happening in the future. Consequently, charities that focus on preventing future risks can be judged on the scale of the potential disaster they aim to avert, and their likelihood of success.
Cool Earth helps prevent deforestation by partnering with indigenous villages to build sustainable livelihoods so they earn more by keeping rainforests standing, rather than clearing them. Their activity reduces climate change and preserves the rich biodiversity of the rainforest.*
The Future of Humanity Institute is a research centre aiming to reduces global catastrophic risk by studying large-scale issues facing the future of humanity, from pandemics to advanced artificial intelligence.*
The Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI) is a nonprofit research organization. MIRI's mission is to develop tools for the design and analysis of general-purpose AI systems, with the aim of making such superintelligent systems more reliably aligned with human interests.*
*Please note that this charity is not a qualified donee in Canada. Canadian donors cannot get tax benefits from donating to this charity.