Entries for 2014

A case for data
I’m breaking all the marketing rules I learned, and sharing links to data rather than to stories. It’s what you, our partners and donors, have asked for. Nicholas Kristof calls us “economist geeks” for a reason: we know that’s who we are. And you’re reading this on The Life You Can Save blog, you are already on board with making the most effective investments you can. This might involve helping the poor with effective solutions today, or helping to ensure that new effective solutions will help the poor tomorrow. And I know that investments like these are really something to feel good about.
The Joys of Giving Large
When you make a significant donation, there's a sense of contributing to a mission, of making a tangible impact, of feeling like you count. You don’t have to give a lot to make a difference, but if you can afford to give more you can help improve the lives of hundreds or even thousands of people. That feels like a privilege, not a sacrifice.
7 Ways to Rock Your Charity Gifts this Holiday Season
We all know the feeling: It's ten days until Christmas and there's that one aunt, that one friend you haven't yet found a present for. Maybe you kept looking for the perfect gift. Maybe the person is one of those people who are notoriously hard to buy for. Or maybe you're a last-minute person and you're still urgently looking for presents for just about everybody! Whatever your situation is, you need something good, and you need it fast. Could a charity gift be the right option for you?
How effective philanthropy gives me purpose
I donate to charity on a monthly basis, rather than a standard yearly schedule, for several reasons. First, I think it’s easier to give more money if you give a little bit at a time. I also think I can get better sense of what percent of my income can readily go to charities in smaller increments. And finally, it keeps me actively involved with the causes I’m contributing to. I don’t just give my money to an organization and hope it does well—I read their literature, look at the research, consider the important features of the case on my own. In so doing, I find I’m not plagued with self-concern about my place in the world and what I should be doing. I have a fairly good sense of what I should be doing—I’m just trying to figure out how to do it better.
Best Charities for 2015
We are happy to announce The Life You Can Save's 2015 recommended charities. As you know, there are many great charities effectively reducing suffering and premature death among the poorest people in the world. We are confident that the ones we recommend are among the most effective and they are ones we personally feel great about donating to ourselves.
Worm vs. Worms: a social media stunt that saves lives
This is a guest blog post by David Neal, medical student and Director on the Policy Team of the Cambridge-based Polygeia.

A new campaign asks you to help defeat life-threatening diseases caused by parasitic worms. All you need to do is use social media to share your attempt at the dance move “the worm” to raise awareness for one charity’s efforts to fight some of the most insidious diseases of the developing world.
Complement Your Giving with Impact Investing
Over our lifetimes, many of us will invest more money for our retirement and other goals than we give to charities. Impact investing offers a way to put those investments to work in doing good, achieving social and environmental results that can complement your giving.
Success Story: GiveDirectly
Guest post by Joy Sun, COO (Domestic) of GiveDirectly.

GiveDirectly’s distinctiveness has been an emphasis on rigorous data rather than on stories about individual recipients to demonstrate success. We focus on providing donors with evidence about average effects rather than on stories about individual recipients, which can often be cherry picked to serve marketing objectives. A growing number of donors, particularly in the effective altruism movement, are demanding evidence like this.
The Power of Partnerships: What I Learned at the Science of Philanthropy Initiative Conference
If you ask someone to choose from a list of charities, how does the size of that list and the similarity of the charities on that list impact how donors give to the charity they select? These questions have obvious implications for The Life You Can Save's recommended charity list and our Giving Games program. Our preliminary findings, which we presented last week, show a preference for larger choice sets, but we plan to extend our research to try to identify when "choice overload" may kick in. We’re excited to report that our poster presentation was voted winner of the "Fan Favorite" award by conference attendees!
Just Give! It's Not about Changing the World
This is the second of a two part series addressing some of the more common concerns about giving any significant portion of what is yours to help others. I explore why the scale of the problem you seek to remedy isn't what counts, and how you can find the right perspective to give.
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