You can create a happier world by giving

Our top recommendation

StrongMinds is a non-profit founded in 2013 that provides group interpersonal psychotherapy to impoverished women in Uganda and Zambia.

As of October 2021, they have a funding gap of $6.6 million for 2022. They are planning for rapid growth (treating 50,000 in 2022, 100,000 in 2023, and 150,000 in 2024) equalling 300,000 women treated over the next three years. In order to do this,  they will need to raise $30 million in total.

If you are considering making a large donation based on our research we’d be happy to discuss this in more detail with you. Please get in touch at hello@happierlivesinstitute.org.

Our approach

Our process for identifying high-impact funding opportunities is inspired by the effective altruism movement and the work of GiveWell in particular. As a result, our charity evaluation process starts with the expectation that donations will go furthest when helping those in extreme poverty, but we are confident of finding other funding opportunities that are even more impactful.

So far, we’ve evaluated two well-evidenced interventions: ​cash transfers and psychotherapy. A large number of academic studies show that cash transfers are a very effective way to reduce poverty and the strength of this evidence led GiveWell to recommend GiveDirectly as one of their top charities. However, we believed that providing group psychotherapy for people with depression in low-income countries could be even more cost-effective than cash transfers. After a rigorous search, we identified StrongMinds as one of the best charities delivering this intervention.

Drawing on evidence from over 80 studies and over 140,000 participants, we made a direct comparison of StrongMinds and Give Directly based on their effects on subjective wellbeing. We estimate that StrongMinds is 9 times more cost-effective than GiveDirectly making them our current recommendation for donors at this time. 

Support further research

Our research pipeline includes a range of promising interventions:

  • Lead regulation
  • Access to pain relief
  • Immigration policy
  • Cataract surgery
  • Cement flooring
  • Friendship Bench
  • Digital mental health

 However, we cannot do this without the financial support of our donors.

The Happier Lives Institute is an approved subordinate organization/fund held within the Players Philanthropy Fund, a Maryland charitable trust that has received recognition of federal tax-exempt status as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (Tax ID: 27-6601178).

Donations in the UK are tax-deductible and eligible for Gift Aid. ​You will need to sign up or log in to Effective Altruism Funds.

Donations in the Netherlands are tax-deductible and eligible for Gift Aid. ​You will need to sign up or log in to Effective Altruism Funds.

You can donate to HLI from other countries using any of the links above, but the donation will not be tax-deductible.

To discuss other options, email hello@happierlivesinstitute.org

Promising organisations

We have not completed in-depth cost-effectiveness analyses of the following organisations yet. However, we believe they are doing valuable work and may be of interest to our readers. ​In some cases, we have included links to recommendation reports produced by our friends and collaborators at Founders Pledge.

Action for Happiness

Action for Happiness is a global movement of people committed to building a happier and more caring society. They bring together like-minded people from all walks of life and help them take practical action, drawing on the latest scientific research.

🔗 Recommendation Report

The Friendship Bench

The Friendship Bench is an evidence-based intervention developed in Zimbabwe. Their mission is to enhance mental well-being and improve quality of life through the use of problem-solving therapy delivered by trained lay health workers. ​We plan to conduct an in-depth cost-effectiveness analysis of Friendship Bench in 2022.

🔗 www.friendshipbenchzimbabwe.org

International Positive Education Network

The International Positive Education Network (IPEN) brings together teachers, academics, students, schools, universities, charities, companies, and governments to promote positive education. Their goals are to support collaboration, change education practice and reform government policy.

🔗 www.ipen-network.com

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and Usona Institute are non-profit research and educational organizations that develop medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelic-assisted mental health treatments.

🔗 Recommendation Report

Sangath

Sangath is an Indian NGO which trains lay people, known as health counsellors, to deliver psychosocial treatments for depression in adults attending primary healthcare centres or for schizophrenia in community settings.

🔗 www.sangath.in

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