We choose charities so you don't have to (you can focus on the cause). We pore over impact reports. Find out who the team & trustees are and what they've done before.
Here are our rules of thumb for selecting charities for Tythe:
Go smallish or go home
Choose charities big enough that they're taking on significant projects. Small enough to tell where the money is going.
If they have huge gov contracts or are making their own money through trading, our contributions won't go as far.
Best to put our money where it's needed the most.
Not too small - they must have demonstrated track record & successfully won grants from respected grantmakers.
Impact reports or it didn't happen
Quantifying impact is hard. Many elements are subjective, high variance, and won't be realised for years to come. But where possible charities need to measure their outputs. If planting trees is the thing you do, then count the trees. Sure, not all trees are equally impactful, but explain that and publish it transparently. With reliable outputs data in place, we have a baseline to work from.
Pick a strong team, and trust them
Who is leading the charity in their mission and what have they done before?
Diverse teams achieve more
How diverse is the board of Trustees? Do they have a good range of skills and experiences?
Stop worrying about overheads
It's understandable to be worried about efficiency but analysing overheads is often a misleading way of evaluating this. Charities can save money by cutting corners but in the longer run that will reduce impact.
If you trust a team then set them free. Dictating exactly what your donation should go towards creates more work for the charity, and as a result often reduces the overall impact.
Go for stability
A charity with well-managed finances is likely to stick around longer and be able to plan their work better.
Early interventions FTW
It's more effective to build a fence at the top of a cliff than it is to provide emergency services when people fall off. Thinking longterm is better, even if it's harder to measure & demonstrate your tangible output. Note: this is the opposite of how most politicians see the world.