Philanthropic Thinking

High-Impact Funding Recommendations to Support Now

Published on
2022-10-20
Written by
Matt Lerner

Image adapted from the original and used under license.

The end of the year is the time we associate most with giving: giving gifts and, for many of us, giving to charity. Giving back, and what we can do for others, is top of mind.

Though we may be primed and keen to give, the decision about where to do so remains complex and hard to navigate, with millions of charities ramping up their calls for support.

And yet, navigating that decision successfully is key to doing the most good possible. $1 given strategically can be worth as much as if not more than $1000 given poorly. That’s because the most effective charities can do 1000 times as much good as the average.

And so, using our research methodology, we’ve identified four high-impact funding opportunities where your support will make the biggest difference right now.

Like all our giving recommendations, these opportunities represent:

  • Problems which are large in scope and in the number of people affected;
  • Solutions that are scalable and cost-effective;
  • Interventions that might otherwise be overlooked and where there is significant room for funding.

In addition to the above criteria, the following opportunities are particularly time sensitive in requiring your support to leverage specific circumstances right now.

1. The Global Catastrophic Risks (GCR) Fund

What it is

A Founders Pledge Fund which identifies and supports interventions to reduce the largest known risks to humanity, like a NATO-Russia war over Ukraine.

Why it needs your support now

Having launched in October, the GCR Fund needs your support to start making time-bound grants to high-impact organizations; those working to mitigate and prevent the many and large risks currently facing humanity, including war between great powers, natural and engineered pandemics, nuclear war, threats from advanced artificial intelligence (AI), and emerging risks from frontier military technologies.

By supporting the GCR Fund, you have the opportunity to help protect billions of humans alive today and in the future.

How to donate

Founders Pledge members with a Donor Advised Fund (DAF): Donate via our member app.

Founders Pledge members without a DAF: Get in touch with your Community Manager or Advisor, or reach out to us on community@founderspledge.com.

Not a member yet? Donate via every.org if you're in the United States (US), or via Giving What We Can if you're in Europe, the Middle East or Africa (EMEA).

2. Against Malaria Foundation (AMF)

What it is

An exciting opportunity to achieve universal bed net coverage (the most effective way of preventing malaria) in Haut Uele in 2023. Haut Uele is one of the worst-affected regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which is in turn one of the two countries hardest-hit by malaria globally.

Why it needs your support now

Malaria kills over 643,000 people each year, with 70% being children under five. By installing insecticide-treated bed nets, AMF can save the life of a child for just $4,000. Achieving universal bed net coverage for everyone in Haut Uele (total population of 2.5 million) will cost $3.42 million. We’re trying to raise as much of this as possible to ensure all those living in Haut Uele are protected in 2023.

How to donate

Founders Pledge members with a Donor Advised Fund (DAF): Donate via our member app.

Founders Pledge members without a DAF: Get in touch with your Community Manager or Advisor, or reach out to us on community@founderspledge.com.

Not a member yet? Donate via every.org if you're in the US, or get in touch if you're in EMEA.

3. Nuclear Threat Initiative's Biological Policy & Programs (NTI|Bio)

What it is

Committed to improving biotechnology governance and preventing the use of biological weapons, NTI | Bio recently launched the International Biosecurity and Biosafety Initiative for Science (IBBIS), which will work “to strengthen international biosecurity norms and develop innovative, practical tools and incentives to uphold them.”

Why it needs your support now

In November, states from around the world met in Geneva for the Ninth Review Conference (held every five years) of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The Convention “prohibits the development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling and use of biological and tin weapons,” but it lacks teeth — it has no verification mechanism, the budget of a single fast food restaurant, and only a small handful of staff. In short, the BWC itself can’t prevent global catastrophic biological risks. Yet, the Conference presents a moment when global cooperation on avoiding biological catastrophe is especially important: states may be open to new ideas and new risk reduction measures. This is a time when additional resources could have a particularly pivotal impact.

How to donate

Founders Pledge members with a Donor Advised Fund (DAF): Donate via our member app.

Founders Pledge members without a DAF: Get in touch with your Community Manager or Advisor, or reach out to us on community@founderspledge.com.

Not a member yet? Donate via every.org if you're in the US, or get in touch if you're in EMEA.

4. StrongMinds

What it is

Critical mental health support for women and young people in Uganda through a unique, community-based model of talk therapy.

Why it needs your support now

Hundreds of millions of people around the world suffer from depressive disorders, with 85% in low-income countries receiving no treatment at all. StrongMinds can avert one year of severe major depression among vulnerable women and young people in Uganda at a cost of $250 per person. We believe their Interpersonal Group Psychotherapy (IPT-G) improves rates of employment, nutrition, physical health, housing and children’s education. They plan to treat 80,000 women and adolescents in the coming year, and have laid the groundwork to scale up even more if they’re able to get additional funding. This is a high leverage opportunity to help take StrongMinds’ work to the next level.

How to donate

Founders Pledge members with a Donor Advised Fund (DAF): Donate via our member app.

Founders Pledge members without a DAF: Get in touch with your Community Manager or Advisor, or reach out to us on community@founderspledge.com.

Not a member yet? Donate via every.org if you're in the US, or get in touch if you're in EMEA.

Supporting Founders Pledge

We rely on the support of generous members and donors to conduct all our research and continue providing updates like these. We hope you will consider supporting our operations this year-end. To donate to Founders Pledge, please email us.

Matt Lerner

Matt joined Founders Pledge as Research Director in July 2021. He is a social scientist by training and inclination, but his career has been pretty varied so far. He has led surveys of entrepreneurs in Egypt, written software to evaluate returns to education in the US, and given an interview in (broken) Spanish on drive-time radio in Medellín. He received his BA from NYU and his MA in quantitative social science from Columbia.

Outside of work, Matt likes to play guitar, draw cartoons, and learn languages.