Present some analytical information about the efficiency or effectiveness of a charity; get potential donors to consider this carefully

Alternative tool name:

Tool variation:

Category: Info/communications

Sub-category: Info

Relevant theories: Public goods, Optimization, Impact, Warm glow - sophisticated, Dual systems (system 2)

Type of evidence: Field-exp-charity

Evidence strength (ad hoc assessment): 5

Main findings

Getting people to consider donation effectiveness has little/weak impact on giving. Karlan and Wood (2017): adding scientific impact info (including some quantitative information; and removing emotional stimulus in part) had a small/insignificant net effect: increased gifts from large prior donors, reduced gifts from small prior donors. Other work (Small et al, '07, study 3) finds that information decreases giving (to an identified victim)… by decreasing emotional response: (study 4): priming analytic thinking (vs feeling-based) reduced giving to identifiable victims.


Practical relevance

Effective charities could present their (e.g., lifesaving) statistics *relative* to average/popular charities (but be careful about demonizing particular ones)

Use cases


Key papers

Secondary papers

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  • tools/effectiveness_info_deliberation.txt
  • Last modified: 2019/02/28 02:30
  • by david