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.


The Boys In the Cave
The worldwide outpouring of concern during the recent ordeal of 12 boys trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand was heartwarming. How can we harness such compassion for
the 7,500 children under five who die every day of easily preventable or treatable poverty-related illnesses?
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To grow a healthy movement, Go For low-hanging fruit
Much of the debate about how to build the EA movement is focused on how to frame issues to convince people. Yet many potentially highly-engaged effective altruists (EAs) haven’t even heard of EA yet: if we knew who they were, we could grow the movement far more quickly and sustainably.
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Chile: One step towards effectiveness
Fundación MAD is bringing Effective Altruism to Chile, importing charitable programs evaluated by J-PAL, that have demonstrated great impact and strong return, to be implemented by local charities.
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Philanthropist Footballers: The Bigger Picture
Manchester United footballer Juan Mata made headlines by pledging to donate 1% of his income to charity, to much praise. But is giving 1% really that good, or is it something that most of us should be doing anyway? As praiseworthy as Mata’s decision to pledge 1% may be, we’d do well to view it in a broader context.
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Why I Donate to and Volunteer for The Life You Can Save
In 2013, my wife Diana and I provided the seed money for Peter Singer's organization The Life You Can Save (TLYCS) and I became the volunteer Executive Director. Why do we support the growth of an intermediary, or “meta-charity”, as TLYCS is often referred to, rather than donate directly to great nonprofits? The short answer is: simple math.
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Feeling Down? The Unexpected Pick-Me-Up...
If you’re feeling a little down, there’s always the tried and true methods of self-care: sleep, diet, exercise. But there’s another proven tactic that people often don’t think of, yet it’s far easier than getting yourself to the gym or saying no to a slice of cake: acts of kindness.
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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.
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Are Giving Games a Better Way to Teach Philanthropy?
‘Experiential philanthropy’ – in which students are given real money to donate to charities – is the standard approach to teaching philanthropy to undergraduates. Millions of dollars yearly are spent on this model, but it hasn’t grown in nearly a decade and has yet to extend beyond North America. Is it time to re-think student philanthropy programmes? Less intensive and expensive formats like ‘Giving Games’ – low cost simulations of real giving choices – have greater potential for scale, and use scarce resources in a more efficient manner.
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Changing What's on Our Plate
TLYCS Volunteer José Oliveira, an art teacher in Portugal, reflects on items he gave up, like a few coffees and beers each week, allowing him to donate more towards addressing extreme poverty. Bonuses included feeling happier and healthier himself. Try his "Personal Luxuries" calculator with items from your own "plate".
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African Famine Relief: How to Respond?
Famine is currently threatening 20 million lives over four East African countries. Extreme poverty causes preventable disease and death for millions around the world each year. Where and how should you give?
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