Research and evaluation
How do the Kinder evaluations work?
Our evaluation framework was developed with professors, specialists in impact and development, and leading industry thinkers across the globe.
Together we looked at the key areas impactful charities tend to excel. Areas like transparency (do they explain how they’re spending their money?), accountability (do they follow through on their promises?) and organisational skills (do they have a thorough plan?).
Our specialist team of researchers go through each charity with a fine tooth comb during the evaluations, which have two phases. Passing the first — the Basic Analysis— is a prerequisite to receiving donations on the platform. In this phase we focus on the areas of transparency, organisational skills, and accountability.
The second phase is called the ‘In Depth Analysis’. As the name suggests, it’s more thorough. We deep dive into charities’ programmes, their plans, their research and data, and the ethical underpinnings of their work.
We turn both these evaluations into a report on the Charity Zone — our portal for charities — so they can see where they are performing well, and where they can improve. Charities can benchmark themselves against other organisations in the industry, to see how they’re doing. Passing these evaluations shows donors that charities are earnestly committed to transparency, accountability, and impact.
Why do you evaluate charities?
Evaluating charities addresses two problems at once. Firstly, it gives charities much needed support to improve over time. Secondly, it gives donors (that’s you!) confidence that their money is being used in the most effective way possible. Inspired by the school of effective altruism, we realise that to have maximum impact, charities need to measure their performance much more rigorously.
How can I be sure that the evaluations are independent and reliable?
We collaborated with the Impact Center Erasmus of Erasmus University Rotterdam and the Center for Advanced Hindsight of Duke University to create our evaluation framework. We safeguard the process by carefully selecting our evaluators, and assigning only those with a proven track record of success with important tasks. When evaluators have a personal connection to a particular charity, they are not allowed to do the assessment.
Why doesn't Kinder just check the financials, salaries, and overhead costs of charitable organisations to assess their performance?
We do check them! But we dig deeper. Salaries and overhead costs alone will not tell you how effective a charity is.
Picture this: you are deciding whether to donate to charity A or B. A has no overheads thanks to sponsorships and volunteering. B has an overhead of 40%. A looks better, right?
What if we told you that A hands out medicine that only suppresses the symptoms of a disease — while B distributes an actual cure. Would you still go for A? This is why we do our evaluations. Because when you dig a little deeper, you start to see the real impact. We want to make sure you have all the information, so you donate to the A’s of the world. The ones with the best solutions.
Haven’t these charity evaluations already been done by other platforms — or by the charities themselves?
In a nutshell, no. Other evaluation frameworks tend to focus too narrowly on efficiency, and don’t consider other important things like cost-effectiveness or involving local communities. Organisations like GiveWell, produce quite a small list from their evaluations. We want to be more inclusive, and shine a light on some of the smaller organisations doing impactful work, rather than large organisations with plenty of resources. Our goal is to get as many charities through our evaluations as possible.
Most charities do not pass our evaluations the first time — although we hope this will change, as the charity sector becomes more transparent. Many smaller organisations do not yet have the resources, support, or guidance to meet our evaluation criteria. That’s where we come in. We give them the helping hand they need to excel, because we’re invested in their success.