Entries for 'effective altruism'

The Faces We Don't See
Humans are more emotionally affected by single victims we can identify as individuals than by large numbers of faceless victims. Ironically then, many of the world's most effective charities, which focus on helping large numbers of people, have a harder time appealing to donors. But if we agree that all lives have equal value, it follows that we should use our giving to save or improve as many lives as possible—regardless of whether we can see their faces.

Climbing Toward Hope: How Graduation Programs Help People Rise from Extreme Poverty
Graduation programs such as those run by Village Enterprise help people lift themselves out of extreme poverty by providing a small up-front infusion of cash to address immediate needs followed by training to build long-term skills and business capabilities. The evidence of their effectiveness is strong.
Three Ways to Reach Your Giving Goals
Have you ever found it difficult to meet your giving goals? Here are three approaches you can use to help you stay on track in the future.
The Canonization of Inefficiency: Why we need to do better than Mother Teresa and the Vatican
The well-founded and well-documented criticism that has been lobbed at Mother Teresa since the mid-1990s has largely failed to shake her public perception as a saint. Her upcoming canonization begs the question how this is possible and what, if anything, we can we learn from this for our own giving habits.
Why  your inner control freak needs taming when it comes to charitable giving
Some time ago, I had a conversation with a friend about charitable giving. She said that one of the reasons she was giving locally rather than globally was that she felt more in control about where the money goes. But do you really have more control? And what does that mean for those in need?
You could be the Warren Buffett of social investing
Suppose I told you about an investment that would easily generate a 60-fold return in a few years with very little risk. And then I tell you that some of the world’s top economists have looked at the opportunity and agreed with me.
Part III: How to change your behavior and achieve your personal best
For those of us whose awareness and behavior are not so inherently or concertedly altruistic, I believe we can follow a program wherein we intentionally build up our consciousness and actions to alter our “normal” giving behavior so it more closely aligns with our goals and values around protecting lives; we can escape, or redefine, normal. By following these steps, we can become more educated about effective giving and build elements into our lives that help us remain aware of and committed to devoting more of our resources to improving and even saving the lives of our fellow human beings who desperately need our assistance.
Part II: Understanding “normal” giving behavior
One reason for the poverty/giving disconnect is that our brains are not equipped to focus on multiple variables simultaneously, so we prioritize those needing immediate attention. This can explain at least part of why we have trouble keeping in mind what the global poor are going through when our teenage child is having a social crisis, or our spouse wants a kitchen remodel.
Part 1: Escaping Normal
There is a disconnect for many of us between the supreme moral value we place on human life and the way we are able to tune out awareness of the millions of people globally who are caught in a downward spiral because they had the misfortune to be born into extreme poverty. In principle, we feel all people deserve a chance to have a happy, healthy life, yet we turn a blind eye to the 702 million people who live (or try to live) on less than $1.90 per day.
I gave away $2,239.93 last year. Here's where it went.
Since committing to effective altruism in 2013, I have given away thousands of dollars to many different charities. Looking back on 2015, how did I do?
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