The Life You Can Save July 2013
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We are tremendously excited about the future of The Life You Can Save. Our goal, our definition of success, is to engage in projects that dramatically increase the number of people taking the pledge and actually donating to effective charities. A lot of what we are doing now is creating a roadmap for the next two years and developing our infrastructure. This takes time as we only have a core staff of three, but we are hoping that you will all be patient with us. Look out for highlights of our roadmap in the next newsletter and keep an eye on our website for the launch of an interactive "community" area (and, later, fun and informative personalized pledge pages). Peter Singer continues to review our work and to travel the world talking about people’s ethical responsibility to fight extreme poverty. And in the fall he goes back to Princeton for a semester before returning to Australia.

We have several exciting projects on the go. One of our pledgers is a talented documentarian and we are trying to help her design and create a documentary featuring Peter that will look at how different people make choices about how to spend their money. The hope is that the documentary would be widely seen in theaters and on television and attract a lot of money for effective charities.

We are also working with Jon Behar on his “Giving Games” - events at which people gather to discuss and eventually decide where to give away a certain amount of money that has been donated specifically for a giving game event. Ultimately, we hope to have many people trained online and certified to competently run a Giving Game and have a mechanism for tracking the success of the leader through pledges and actual donations. Leaders that are more successful would get more money for more Giving Game events. We believe that a significant percentage of people at an event will actually take the pledge and go on to provide significant incremental dollars for our recommended charities, as they become life-long thoughtful donors like you! And some of the people will likely want to become certified trainers and sponsor events themselves. We think this is a very promising idea.

We are also in touch with three social psychology research groups to collaborate on research into how to encourage people to adopt effective giving into their lifestyles.

We promised that, in this issue, Holly would tell you about the Effective Altruism Summit in San Francisco and the Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA) Weekend Away in Wales. Well, she ended up blogging all about it (see the posts on the right) and has little else to say, except that: in between the two she had a wonderful time visiting the Vancouver The Life You Can Save group (who have exciting plans for expansion into universities this year); at the Summit she met someone who has just launched Sustainnovation Challenge to crowdsource work on effective altruism projects; and she has now been invited to the Swiss Freethinkers Summer Camp (which has a heavy effective altruism spin) in September...so look out on the blog for a post about the third effective altruism conference this year.

The Centre for Effective Altruism's Weekend Away in Wales, 2013.
But speaking of CEA...CEA is hiring! For those who don't know, CEA is the umbrella organization that launched: Giving What We Can (researches the most cost-effective global poverty charities and has a community of members pledging 10% of their incomes to cost-effective charities), 80,000 Hours (provides coaching and research to help you have the biggest possible impact with your career), Effective Animal Activism (researches the most cost-effective animal charities) and, yours truly, The Life You Can Save. CEA is recruiting in a range of areas including communications, community, careers advice, research, fundraising and finance...please see the 80,000 Hours blog and the Giving What We Can blog for more details. They are also welcoming speculative applications: if you think that you would shine with them, tell them why. The role requirements vary by position, but you'll typically have a good degree from a top university and be able to demonstrate a commitment to changing the world in an evidence-based way. The deadline for applications is Friday 16th August. Good luck! Holly has just visited their new office at the Future of Humanity Institute (part of the University of Oxford) and came away feeling very excited to start working there herself in October (on The Life You Can Save) - it is a truly inspiring and friendly place to be.

Finally, a few updates on our recommended charities. The Against Malaria Foundation has passed its US$19 million milestone, the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative received over £100,000 from Comic Relief and the fabulous journalist Nicholas Kristof discussed some of the Fistula Foundation's work in the New York Times.

Best,
Holly & Charlie

Latest Blog Posts
 
How to Keep Your Pledge (3)
by Claire Knowlton
It’s easy to set up recurring donations to the effective charity of your choice (thanks technology!). Calculate the monthly or quarterly gift you’ll need to make to reach your annual goal, then set-up automatic credit card payments or bank account withdrawals. You’ll avoid the sticker shock of writing one big check at the end of the year, and there’s no way you’ll forget to give. [Read more]
 
The Centre for Effective Altruism’s Weekend Away in Wales
by Holly Morgan
“I got thumped in the face a few times but it was worth it.” – Weekend Away Participant. Okay, that quote was not in fact in reference to the Centre for Effective Altruism’s (CEA’s) Weeke... [Read more]
 
How to Keep Your Pledge (2)
by Claire Knowlton
If you’re a natural saver, you’ll enjoy looking for ways to cut costs from your lifestyle. Bring your lunch to work, skip those pricey coffee drinks, and look for bargains. As you save $5 here and $10 there, set it aside. It’s going toward your charitable donation at the end of the year. [Read more]
 
How to Keep Your Pledge (1)
by Claire Knowlton
This was the most effective strategy for me when I first started giving. For some reason, $20 given away felt like a lot more than $20 spent on myself. I found it surprisingly hard to give away my first 1% donation (which was $450). I sat on my donation for months, trying... [Read more]
 
Effective Altruism Summit: Day 1
by Holly Morgan
I am living in a house in the San Francisco Bay Area with 75 other effective altruists. If our hosts had simply shut us in and left us to our own devices for a week, I would still have paid good money to be here (well, maybe not in one house... [Read more]
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