Setting and Achieving Giving Goals

A central tenet of effective altruism is that donating our resources to helping those who live in extreme poverty is one of the most worthwhile ways to improve both ourselves and our world. One approach to doing the most good we can do with our donation habits is “personal best,” a concept with which most athletes are familiar. With personal best, we set mindful giving goals, then work to regularly improve upon them. Take a look at these blogs to learn more about how effective giving can improve your life, and in turn, how you can improve your giving.


We the Students
Nadav Steinmetz, co-President of Columbia University's One for the World chapter, argues that today's college students must be leaders in the movement to address global extreme poverty.
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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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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.
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This New Tool is Designed to Help You Make the Biggest Difference Possible
Clearerthinking.org's Leaving Your Mark on the World: The Essential Starter's Guide is a brand-new way for you to learn more about making sure your efforts really help the world's needy.
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5 Must-Read Books for this Fall
With the seasons changing, now is as good a time as any to curl up with a book that could impact your life—and the lives of those living in global poverty— in a new and extremely valuable way.
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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?
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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.
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Taking Distributions When You Don’t Need the Money to Live on
A 68 year old divorced man with two grown children wants to know how he can avoid paying unnecessary taxes on required distributions from his retirement accounts, which is money that he does not currently need. Can charitable giving provide a solution to this man's predicament?
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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.
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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.
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