While charitable organizations are potentially quite valuable, I suspect that many of them are simply repeating whatever works at generating more contributions, without accomplishing any altruistic purposes, much in the way that governments, and corporations in industries with little competition tend to become harmful bureaucracies.

See the paper He Who Pays The Piper Must Know The Tune and my review of the book Power and Prosperity for more arguments that led me to this belief.

To try to avoid perpetuating this problem, I try to focus on organizations whose results I can evaluate, but I'm still concerned about the subjective nature of my evaluations, and am trying to look for better metrics, hopefully something approaching the objectivity of the accounting system used to measure corporate profits.

Also, I try to focus on organizations that are small enough that they don't develop much of a self-perpetuating bureaucracy.

Here are the charities in which I have some hope (listed roughly in order of decreasing average (not marginal!) value of donations):

Last updated 2015-12-06.