How do you choose projects to fund? What qualifies?
We’re so glad you asked, because we have a lot to share about this!
Our Philosophy on Effective Giving
We believe the philanthropic space is too focused on “overhead
ratios.” If an organization has managed to keep their overhead to only
5% but it’s not an effective solution, who cares? On the other hand,
if an organization has 50% overhead, but can create far more impact
per dollar than the organization with 5% overhead, would you choose
the one with 5% overhead at the expense of creating more impact?
As Dan Pallotta says--when giving food to a hungry person, focusing
too much on overhead is like saying that the bowl and spoon don’t
matter, only the food. This also conveys a subtle disrespect to the
people working hard to make an impact being casually labeled as
Instead of focusing heavily on overhead, we identify solutions that
have discovered how to be extremely effective at creating measurable
impact per dollar. In the same way an investment firm finds the
biggest Return on Investment (ROI), we are looking for the biggest
Return on Donation (RoD) for our members.
Let’s focus a little less on “overhead ratios” and more on the total,
holistic positive result per dollar.
We believe that the best solutions...
- Solve root-causes rather than symptoms wherever possible.
- Consider their impact 100 years into the future.
- Produce massive, measurable benefits with minimal resources.
- Care for people and planet holistically.
- Leverage nature’s and humanity's best technologies.
- Are radically transparent----financially and operationally.
- Are resilient against threats of reversal.
- Result in self-reliance, rather than dependence.
- Clearly understand total costs to achieve outcomes.
We couldn’t find anyone reliably measuring these criteria, so we
developed our own score--the
Integrated Impact Score. We co-created
it with some epic humans, including a co-founder of Google-X. This
vetting process helps us identify the very best solutions humanity has
Now we’ve unleashed an army of benevolent squirrels who are scouring
the planet for the best solutions using this criteria. You can also
become one of these magical squirrels yourself by suggesting a