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RC Forward Global Health Fund Update

Key takeaways:

  • All gifts made to the Fund in September 2022 or earlier have supported projects.
  • All gifts made to the Fund in October 2022 or later will support a project as soon as possible. 
  • We are making changes to our grant process that have significantly reduced the number of charities to which we’re currently able to direct grant funding. 
  • We’re collaborating with GiveWell to identify a cost-effective project to support during this transition period.
  • It’s likely that funding may not occur this year, but if so it will be a top priority as soon as possible in 2024.
  • We’ll keep you posted on any developments.

More information is below.

The Global Health Fund’s impact so far

Your generous gifts have so far provided 156,794 bed nets to protect family members against malaria through programs run by Against Malaria Foundation, and 56,232 seasonal medicine treatments to protect children from malaria through programs run by Malaria Consortium. We estimate that these nets and treatments have saved the lives of 222 people.  

The above figures are based on the $1,600,404 CAD in gifts raised by the Fund from January 2021 to September 2022 that have been directed in support of these projects, and on GiveWell’s cost-effectiveness estimates.

We’re truly grateful for your generosity, and have created a report sharing more information about your impact in 2021-2022.

Current Fund balance and limitations

As of November 2023, the fund holds approximately $734,473 CAD, raised since October 2022. We’re 4-6 months behind our usual disbursement schedule, meaning we’ve not yet allocated these funds to projects as we typically would have by this time. (On our typical quarterly disbursement cadence, we would have expected to direct October-December 2022 donations in April-June 2023.) 

Why the delay?

We’re undergoing operational changes, which have temporarily limited the types of projects we can support. We published an update on these changes in late July on our website.

Likelihood and timelines

Given the constraints of our operational changes, based on conversations with GiveWell, we believe there’s a 30-40% chance of identifying a cost-effective project with the ability to absorb more funding this year. This is down from an earlier estimate of 80%. If we don’t allocate funds this year, we’ll do so as early as possible in 2024.

The potential impact of waiting

You might wonder why we’re waiting to support a project. The answer lies in maximizing the impact of your donation. Even among GiveWell’s Top Charities, the effectiveness of a grant can vary by a meaningful amount, due to factors like an organization’s current funding levels. GiveWell’s Top Charities are often able to plan a few years out, so we believe it’s more impactful to wait instead of allocating funds to an opportunity without immediate funding gaps. 

Your options

If you’re concerned about the delay, please contact us. You can redirect your donation to another project among those currently listed on our donate page, which we can support more immediately. 

In summary

We’re committed to ensuring your donation does the most good per dollar. By waiting for the right opportunity, we could increase the cost-effectiveness of donations to the fund. For example, if waiting resulted in a 10% increase in cost-effectiveness, we could potentially save the lives of 11 more people based on the current fund balance of $734,473 CAD.

We understand the gravity of the decision to wait and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We’ll update you again in December, but feel free to reach out in the meantime with any questions or concerns. 

How to reach us

Connecting with the people who use our platform is one of the most rewarding parts of working at RC Forward, and we’d be very happy to talk through your questions or feedback any time. Book a time at your convenience via our scheduling link. We are also very happy to answer your questions over email, just reach out to donations [at] rethinkprojects [dot] org.

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Megan Jamer

Megan Jamer

Megan lives in British Columbia and communicates for Rethink Charity's projects, including RC Forward. She likes trail running more than she dislikes it, and is interested in travel, copyediting, and effective altruism.

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