GiveList
Leveraging the due diligence and experience of expert philanthropists to identify high-performing nonprofits in order to help inform giving decisions.
Donor Journey
Validation
Determining where and how much to give
Donor Outcome
Informed Giving
Improving descisions on where to give
Leveraging the due diligence and experience of expert philanthropists to identify high-performing nonprofits in order to help inform giving decisions.
Donor Journey
Validation
Determining where and how much to give
Donor Outcome
Informed Giving
Improving descisions on where to give
Challenge

With over a million public charities in operation in the US, donors report being overwhelmed by information and solicitations from the nonprofit sector. The presence of too many, seemingly similar options can result in users making suboptimal decisions, or even failing to make a choice at all. This behavior is known as choice overload.

Furthermore, the sector lacks consistent impact measurement across organizations and cause areas to help donors feel confident that their contributions will be used effectively.

Research
Findings from a meta-analysis of 99 different studies on choice overload.
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Solution

One potential solution to the combination of choice overload and limited information is to leverage the expertise and experience of well-respected philanthropists to create curated lists of effective charities.

These offerings, which we’ve dubbed ‘Givelists,’ would help surface the most effective organizations for donors to consider and give donors more confidence that gifts to those charities would be well-utilized.

Product Example
Mutual fund expert picks
Expert curated lists are already ubiquitous in traditional investment products.
Design
Givelists highlight expert selected charities that are effective within a specific cause area. This addresses an observed cognitive dissonance: donors care about effectiveness but often do not take actions to evaluate it. Surfacing a curated list reduces the user’s need to scroll through and compare results on their own.
Research
While 85% of donors say they care about the effectiveness of a charity, only 9% actually compare the relative performance of potential donations.
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This idea leverages two complementary effects. The signal of approval from a credible expert imparts credibility to the organizations on the list and offers validation for a decision to make a donation to one or more of them. Additionally, the reduced choice of narrowing down all possible organizations to a manageable subset would help relieve the cognitive burden on the potential donor.
Research
A signaling effect can increase donation rates and volume.
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Research
The average donation amount for users who were shown an expert list was more than double that of those who saw a list with an unnamed curator.
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Creative Commons License
GiveList by Better Giving Studio is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.BetterGivingStudio.com/product-idea/givelist/.
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