The mission of The Life You Can Save (TLYCS) is to help change the culture of giving in affluent countries while dramatically raising annual donations to highly impactful nonprofits that reduce suffering and premature death, and improve life and livelihoods, for people living in extreme poverty.

Our organization was founded by Peter Singer, widely recognized as one of the world's most influential contemporary philosophers. We advance the ideas in his 2009 book, The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty, which Bill and Melinda Gates described as "A persuasive and inspiring work that will change the way you think about philanthropy." In it, Peter argues that if we can provide immense benefit to someone at minimal cost to ourselves, we should do so (illustrated by his famous Girl in the Pond thought experiment). And since there are charities that dramatically improve, or even save, the lives of people living in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 USD per day for relatively little cost to ourselves, living an ethical life includes supporting such highly effective organizations.

In 2013, Charlie Bresler, formerly president of a large apparel company, approached Peter about expanding The Life You Can Save. Charlie and his wife, Diana, provided funding for TLYCS to become a registered 501c3 charity, and Charlie began serving as the organization’s non-salaried Executive Director. Since then, we've worked to introduce the ideas from Peter’s book to new audiences via our website, speaking engagements, media appearances, Giving Games philanthropy education workshops, our newsletter and blog, and social media. We also provide tools that make it easy for people to donate effectively, such as our list of recommended evidence-backed charities, and an Impact Calculator that shows how far your donation can go. In short, we aim to inspire people to help the world's poor, and we empower them to make the greatest impact possible.

Philosophy may be in our DNA, but as an advocacy organization, our feet are firmly anchored in the real world. We speak to both heads and hearts, and try to make it easy and meaningful to make a difference. Even Peter Singer admits falling short of his ideals: while he donates a third of his income to effective charities and says "the next step is half,” he's also the first to admit that he could—and ethically should—do more.

If a large gift feels overwhelming, try a small one first. As the statesman Edmund Burke put it, “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”


In our efforts to help those who happen to live in the poorest parts of the world:

  • We work to expand awareness of “effective giving.”

  • We promote a list of charities whose interventions are proven to effectively improve life and health for those living in global extreme poverty.

Our small, dedicated Team manages our website, develops partnerships to help scale our impact, engages in philanthropy education like our Giving Games program, and publishes content like our monthly newsletter and our blog.

Our results and our plans for future growth are captured in our Annual Report.

We hope you’ll stay connected with our work by following us on social media and by subscribing to our newsletter. Please direct any questions or inquiries to [email protected], or directly to our Executive Director, Charlie Bresler, at [email protected].

What will your impact be?

Find out using our Impact Calculator.


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