The Impact of COVID-19 on Effective Giving

The Impact of COVID-19 on Effective Giving

(reposted from BBN Times)

We have all experienced change with covid-19. 

Whether it be the loss of a loved one, loss of a business, the loss of our ability to live life as we did previously- things have changed. Many people have had positive change this year too. They have become more grateful for what they do have, more content with less, or had other life changing opportunities (like the ability to work from home- cutting down travel time immensely).

Being at home through some of Covid 19 gave me some time to read about things that matter. I read a book called ‘The Life You Can Save’ and came to some startling realisations. While I am in a country that has had a much lesser experience of Covid than many others, large numbers of humans were experiencing devastating living conditions. Surrounded by death, poverty, starvation and disease. 

But not just during covid. 

All. The. Time.

Even now, sitting in my modest residence I am struck by the wild difference between how my life looks when compared to someone of the same age born in a third world country. I do not regularly fear for my life or for those of my children because of lack of food and water. If we get sick, we can go and get medicine to help us get better. My life expectancy (as a female in Australia) is 82. If I was born in Nigeria, it would be 52. Because I was born in a different place, I will get an extra 30 years of life. I don’t feel this is fair. 

Covid has helped us realise that the world is shrinking. We are all so interdependent on each other now. What started in one areas of the world quickly became a problem we all needed to deal with. It has been heartwarming to see people reaching out across the world to help and show support to others, and how quickly we as people and organisations can change when we recognise a need.

Covid has had an impact on effective giving, as myself and so many others are now aware of it. However, I hope Covid has a more substantial impact by encouraging people to recognise what they have, how lucky they are and wanting to share that luck with the less fortunate. Reading ‘The Life You Can Save’ showed me that not all charities are created equal- and that some distribute and manage their funds far more effectively than others. This could mean instead of helping one person, your donation could help a hundred!

My sister has encouraged our family to have a ‘Conscious Christmas’ this year. In this spirit we will be giving gifts which are repurposed, reused (from thrift shops) or donations. As my gift I have requested a donation to Evidence Action (an incredible and effective charity which provides clean drinking water to people who did not have access). Although it is nice to see beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree, I will feel merry this Christmas knowing a bunch more people will now be able to enjoy something I take for granted every day.

If you want to see what a difference even a small donation can make, check out: ‘The Life You Can Save’ website and download the ebook or audiobook for free!

Together we can change the future.

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About the author:

Charles Bresler

Co-Founder & Executive Director

After earning a PhD in Social and Clinical Psychology from Clark University, Charlie became Director of Behavioral Medicine for The California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno (CSPP-F), where he was a full-time professor and founder of a teaching clinic for treating anxiety & stress disorders. He was recruited to The Men’s Wearhouse where he became head of human resources, stores, and marketing and ultimately President. He stepped down in order to fulfil his long-standing desire to work directly on social and economic issues, especially wealth inequality. In 2013, Charlie became volunteer Executive Director of The Life You Can Save, a non-profit dedicated to reducing extreme poverty and its devastating effects on over 700 million people globally. Through his financial support and leadership, Charlie has helped TLYCS’s Founder, Peter Singer, develop the organization from the ground up. Charlie lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington with his wife Diana, a family physician, who partners in supporting The Life You Can Save. He welcomes discussion and questions at

The views expressed in blog posts are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Peter Singer or The Life You Can Save.