The list at GiveWell looks like a very good starting point. Any charity that promotes health or education in low-income countries/groups will also help to fight poverty.
I’d like to mention
Baybyloan.org (a micro-financing institute, MFI)
Zidisha.org (another MFI)
- Buying in an “activist” manner, e. g. where suppliers earn a fair share for their work and production conditions are better than the industry norm (FairTrade or the Fairphone come to mind)
- Offer private loans to people in your surrounding (family, community)
- Offer time in your community to help with their (financial) education?
How to end poverty is a big discussion, and I’m no expert in this. I have different motives when supporting people or institutions. In general, if money seems to be an efficient means, I donate.
It seems that besides the traditional development aid (giving money tied to certain actions), education, improved health and business seems to be the levers to sustainable improvement.
Effectiveness of MFI’s seems to be mixed (s. e. g. good introdcution at The Balance and reviews by EY, Duvendack and Banerjee). But on a personal level, it’s also a way to learn about the world “out there”, not only safe and affluent Europe.
I can confirm @nabalzbhf’s tip on the Effective Altruism foundation. If you are tax-aware in your donations, donating to the Swiss branch is simple way to contribute. The EA movement is very interesting as it breaks with many traditions of traditional charities (e. g. faith-based). There’s quite a discussion about what “effective” is, because like investing, it’s hard to separate it from your moral and values. Donating is very personal in the sense that even if I knew that a charity I support may not be very efficient with the money or there are (rationally speaking) more important causes to support – I wouldn’t necessarily change my mind.
One remark on administrative costs: It seems logical to choose a charity with less administrative overhead over one with more, but the story seems to be more complicated, s. a summary ar charities.org and the website “The Overhead Myth”. GiveWell, for example, recommends certain charities according to cost-effectiveness and the impact that an additional donation can make.