Rethink Charity

Powering High-Impact Charitable Projects

Prioritized projects

Students for High-Impact Charity (SHIC) is an international organization that helps students discover how to do as much good in their lives as possible by empowering them to think critically about charity.

Through our customized training and one-to-one support, students learn to think critically about how to make the largest positive difference in the world, choosing high-impact careers, and making ethical life choices. SHIC students emerge from the program not only with a deep knowledge of the world’s most pressing issues, but also with the vision and ability to effectively improve the world.

  • Students for High-Impact Charity (SHIC) is conducting the most ambitious experiment on our program to date. Beginning in 2018, trained instructors will bring SHIC workshops to schools across Vancouver.
  • We’re teaming up with the Charitable Impact Foundation (Chimp) to collect longitudinal data on the medium- to long-term effects of our program on student giving behavior, and will take a data-driven approach to identifying high-potential students.
  • Approximately 750 students have participated in 1500 program hours.
  • More than 200 students have completed the entire SHIC pilot in person.
  • 50 operations volunteers have put in ~3,300 volunteer hours of work into bringing SHIC to students worldwide.

Rethink Priorities is dedicated to doing foundational research on neglected causes in a highly empirical and transparent manner.

The Local Effective Altruism Network (LEAN) supports over 350 local groups working to bring effective altruism to a wider audience, giving people the opportunity to engage via Meetups, lectures, discussion groups, fundraisers, workathons, and more. 

  • Local groups appear to be a primary source of converting EAs - A majority (>53%) of members found local groups to be a ‘’large’ to ‘very large’ factor for their involvement in EA.
  • LEAN is among the most useful organizations to the operation of local groups - group organizers found CEA most useful (39), followed by LEAN (22) and the Effective Altruism Foundation (22).
  • Local groups estimated counterfactual fundraising - $51,495.36 moved to effective charities in 2017, and $806,832.93 in influenced personal donations.
  • Strong demand for support from local groups >90% rated practical support and ideas for group activities useful or very useful and almost 80% rated personal feedback and support via social media, email and video call as useful or very useful
  • Counterfactually discounted value of a medium group is estimated by .impact as $250,000 – $1,500,000.
  • Counterfactually discounted value of a large group is estimated by .impact as $1,000,000 – $3,000,000.
  • LEAN seeded ~158 groups.

We’re revamping LEAN in response to community feedback. Matching community demand will require meaningful investment in local groups, and a strategic revision of important services provided by LEAN.

Informed by the 2017 LEAN Impact Assessment, the most in-depth data collection and analysis of local EA groups to date, our 2018 plans address crucial gaps in grassroots support for local groups.


  • Creating purpose-built websites and fronting web hosting costs.
  • Fronting paid Mailchimp, Meetup and volunteer recruitment website accounts.
  • Giving tailored advice and training on outreach, recruitment, member management, events, and fundraising.
  • Cultivating resources and expertise on best practices.
  • Collaborating with the Centre for Effective Altruism to coordinate local group initiatives, produce the Effective Altruism and local group newsletters, and launch an EA mentorship program.