A dominant trend in the literature maintains that donor assistance should be targeted at poor countries with sound institutions and policies. In this context, donor selectivity refers to what extent aid is allocated according to the principles of this ‘canonical’ model. This paper shows that it is legitimate for donors to simultaneously use other selectivity criteria corresponding either to expected factors of aid effectiveness or to handicaps to development. It is notably argued that vulnerability to exogenous shocks and low level of human capital should be considered as selectivity criteria. Taking these other criteria into account dramatically changes the assessment of donor selectivity.