Give the donor some control over the use of her funds (and let her see the results). E.g., allow her to earmark funds for particular areas, to donate to specific families/villages/institutions, for particular tangible objects (a well, a bednet, a set of schoolbooks).

Alternative tool name:

Tool variation:

Category: Control


Relevant theories:

Type of evidence: Lab-charity

Evidence strength (ad hoc assessment):

Main findings

(Choosing where to target funds, feedback on this)


Practical relevance

Is it special to EA? May help reduce the distance concern by making it more tangible? This practice generally comes at the cost of effectiveness. However, if it motivates substantially more giving, it may be worth it. For international poverty relief this is sometimes very hard to do credibly because of the distance and mediating channels, but easier because objects (e.g., a toilet) can be built at relatively low cost.

Use cases



Key papers

Secondary papers

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  • tools/give_donor_control.txt
  • Last modified: 2019/02/28 02:29
  • by david