Giving Games

Giving Games, created by The Life You Can Save’s COO, Jon Behar, is a form of effective, affordable philanthropy education designed to teach people about effective charitable giving. The program has been used in 20 countries, primarily in classes or clubs on university campuses but also in other education settings as well as by businesses, churches, etc. It employs “experiential philanthropy”: participants learn by giving away real money (usually provided by the presenting organization) to real charities after hearing short presentations and joining in group discussions about the merits of different non-profit organizations.


How I celebrated the holidays with a Giving Game
A Giving Game is a great approach to sharing this side of your life in a non-confrontational way with people to whom you are close. It lets you be a co-participant with everyone in exploring effective giving, rather than the know-it-all with the answers.
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How to run a Giving Game and start a local chapter
By Michael Dello-Iacovo

I was recently involved with running a Giving Game in Adelaide to help kick start a new local chapter in Australia. We introduced the concepts of effective altruism and discussed why it is important to consider the effectiveness of charities. We then summarized the work of two highly effective Australian charities, The Fred Hollows Foundation and Oxfam Australia. After dividing the audience into small groups to discuss which charity they thought was most effective, we held a vote to determine the winner. The Life You Can Save had agreed to donate $10 per attendee to the winning charity to give people incentive to think critically.
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This year’s recap of Giving Game metrics
I expect that growth will accelerate modestly this academic year. My rough estimate is that the annual growth rate for Standard Giving Games will be in the 100 to 150 percent range. Mini Giving Games should grow a bit faster, probably in the 150 to 200 percent range. While these estimates are necessarily imprecise, I suspect that we're more likely to exceed the estimated ranges than to undershoot them.
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Want to run an outreach event?  Here’s what we learned from researching the best models
More and more groups and individuals around the world are looking for ways to spread awareness about effective giving. We wanted to find out which forms of outreach have the most impact for the lowest costs? So we did some research.

Over the last year, The Life You Can Save and Giving What We Can (GWWC) have collaborated on a study to help shed light on this question. We collected data from 25 outreach events conducted by GWWC chapters during the 2014-15 academic year. Of these events, 16 were lecture events and 9 involved Giving Games. Here’s what the results tell us.
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Four Philanthropy Educators Weigh in on Giving Games
For today’s blog post, I’ve asked four researchers and educators to discuss the pros and cons of our Giving Games philanthropy outreach model. Each of these academics has facilitated Giving Games for their students in their role as teachers and mentors.

We place a great deal of weight on the feedback we receive from our Giving Games facilitators. After all, they have a firsthand view of how participants respond to Giving Games. Are participants engaged in the conversation? Are they thinking critically about the questions at hand? Which issues did they find most important?
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Can Giving Games change donor behavior? We did an experiment to find out
Giving Game participants have the opportunity to donate a predetermined sum of money to charity. This means that participants get to engage in charitable behavior, but don’t have to dish out their own money in order to do so. We structured our study to examine whether this dynamic promotes pro-social behavior, looking specifically at actions that could influence long-term giving behavior.
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How Giving Games help grow our philanthropy outreach
The first Giving Game took place at Princeton University about three years ago. By the time the academic year wraps up this spring, more than 5,000 students will have participated in Giving Games at over 40 colleges and universities around the world....
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