Effective Giving

The first question on a donor's mind is usually “Where does my money go?” Effective giving is an approach to philanthropy using the head as well as the heart to discover actions and organizations that meaningfully improve life for the most people possible via cost-effective interventions. The approach of giving effectively emphasizes donating where the need is greatest and where donation dollars do the most good; that is generally in developing countries, where poverty exists on a scale that we are fortunate enough to rarely see in industrialized nations. We believe it’s time to put a new spin on the notion that “charity begins at home”, with “home” being our entire planet, not just our immediate geographic or social circles.


what I gave in 2018
Contributor Rachel Maley explains why her favorite winter activity is recapping her charitable donations for the year, and how she's given generously and "in the best way possible" for the past 5 years.
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What Not to Say to Charity Solicitors
Australian writer Alex Zavros shares an entertaining short story about an uncomfortable encounter he had with a charity solicitor.
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Kicking Off One For the World in Melbourne with a Great Giving Game
Stefano Gunawan, One for the World UniMelb founder and co-president, recaps a lively and successful Giving Game they ran for their chapter's launch.
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A Painful Look in the Mirror
In another humorous and insightful piece, Alex Zavros "reflects" on our obsession with appearance, including what a luxury such concerns are.
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Adding Effective Giving to the Trick-or-Treat Bag
For Halloween this year (which was also his 77th birthday), Rabbi Martin Levin of San Francisco handed out an envelope containing a dollar bill and a message to each family that came to his door.

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How To Stay Positive In Sales – Charity For Laser Focus
When Audi salesman Andrei Smith read “The Life You Can Save,” he discovered a strategy for how to stay positive in sales: by setting aside 5% of sales for effective giving, he's found inspiration as well as a way to connect with customers.
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Standardizing Giving Research with The Giving Game
This is the fourth (and most technical) of a 5-part blog series by TLYCS's COO Jon Behar laying out a research framework aimed at answering the question, "What’s the best way to “sell” the idea of good giving?" This installment explores the benefits of studying giving preferences using a standard approach, and a specific approach with particularly promising attributes.
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Why the Rich Fail at Philanthropy
Author Eric Friedman argues that while Bill and Melinda may embody the ideal of ultra rich philanthropists dedicating themselves to those less fortunate, this is by no means the standard among the rich—even among rich philanthropists. Many treat philanthropy like a personal hobby, writing checks for things they like that may provide some societal benefit, rather than trying to do the most to help others.
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Estimating the Unknowable: An interview with GiveWell's James Snowden
Finding the best charity requires estimating the unknowable. Here’s how GiveWell tries to do that, according to researcher James Snowden.
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Walking the Walk of Effective Giving and Christianity
TLYCS follower Jay Dykstra, M.D. reflects on the impact that Peter Singer, effective altruism, and his Christian faith have had on his life, family, and deep personal fulfillment.
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