The Life You Can Save October 2013
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We are seeking volunteers!

The appearance of "The Promise of Effective Altruism" on the award-winning Stanford Social Innovation Review website was a lovely way to round off the month for us here at The Life You Can Save. In the article, Paul Brest (former President of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation), encourages "proponents of effective altruism…to stay the course. While not many donors may embrace even a limited version of Peter Singer's prescription, the movement has the potential to create an aspirational anchor, which may change giving practices over time."

But perhaps you are not just looking to "stay the course"…perhaps you want to get more stuck in! If so, there are several opportunities that have arisen here at The Life You Can Save in the past month.

New team member: Anu Rana

In our last newsletter, we mentioned team expansion and this month we've been eager to keep it up. We have recently been joined by the wonderful Anu Rana, who will be developing our creative/media strategy over the next couple of months. Anu has an impressive background in advertising that has taken her to South Africa, Australia and India. Welcome, Anu!

We are also looking for several volunteers to help us spread the word about The Life You Can Save. We need a team of content curators to find us relevant material for sharing on social media; this should take no more than a few hours per week and would be very flexible in terms of time commitment. If you would like to write blog articles on behalf of The Life You Can Save, and think that you could regularly produce good content (around 1-5 posts a month) with our guidance, do let us know. Please also get in touch with us if you have experience with graphic design (for creating cartoons and other art for our blog, newsletter etc.) or public relations, and can offer us some of your time. If any of you happen to have experience with developing cell phone applications, one of our supporters would love to hear from you! He plans to produce an app that allows users to show others, via social media, that by forgoing a material good (e.g. a Rolex) and donating the money instead they are saving X number of lives. If any of these opportunities interest you, please get in touch with me at [email protected]. Finally, I am excited to say that support for The Life You Can Save in Southeast Asia is growing. Kok Chin Tay, a social entrepreneur from Singapore, is looking for support to help champion the cause and fight against extreme poverty. If you would like to know more, please email him.

We are getting excited about the potential for Jon's "Giving Games." The idea is simple: Offer a pot of money to a selection of charities and ask a group of people to discuss, and ultimately decide, which charity should get the donation. I thoroughly enjoyed the game I ran in Oxford recently and Peter has been running Giving Games on a large scale at Princeton University as part of his Practical Ethics classes. (Incidentally, in case any of you are interested, Peter will also be teaching a Massive Open Online Course in Practical Ethics next year.) If you would like to run a Giving Game yourself, we are encouraging people to try them out over dinner with friends, and for our American supporters, Thanksgiving could be an excellent opportunity (read more about the idea on our blog). Let us know how it goes!

In November, we are getting our heads down to prepare for giving season. Website developments are being focused on the homepage and "Where to Donate" page (which is getting a lot of traffic after’s third post linking to it!), and we are putting together a short video of us taking Giving Games to the streets. Watch this space…

Best wishes,

Action of the Month
Make a donation in someone's name as a gift this holiday season!
Charity Updates
Latest Blog Posts
Making a Difference 101: Making a Good Difference
by Holly Morgan
Everything we do has both good and bad consequences. I give money to a homeless woman – she is grateful but her friend down the road feels jealous. [Read more]
Making a Difference 101: Making an Actual Difference
by Holly Morgan
The case of the ethical vegetarian is quite a tricky one. At first it seems that it makes no difference whether he eats the meat or not, since the animal has already been raised and slaughtered, the meat has already been purchased, and no one else is going to eat it. [Read more]
Making a Difference 101: Making an Absolute Difference
by Holly Morgan
"It’s just a drop in the ocean." This kind of thinking can be discouraging for people who want to help the world, but who feel that their efforts would be futile because the world’s problems are so intimidatingly large. [Read more]
Giving Games for Thanksgiving
by Charlie Bresler
In the United States we will soon be gathering for our Thanksgiving dinners. We all have so much to be grateful for, but we also recognize that there is suffering and premature death that could be prevented throughout the world. [Read more]
Flipping the Philanthropy Switch
by Charlie Bresler
In order to help us achieve our goals we are engaging in research relationships to learn more about what messaging, in general, best facilitates donations and 'pledging' to fight global poverty effectively. We will also be looking at individual differences, psychological and demographic, that may affect responses to messaging. For example, do some people respond more from the head and others respond more from the heart? [Read more]
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