Giving What We Can - New Year drive

by Smaug1231 min read17th Dec 20144 comments

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Personal Blog

If you’ve been planning to get around to maybe thinking about Effective Altruism, we’re making your job easier. A group of UK students has set up a drive for people to sign up to the Giving What We Can pledge to donate 10% of their future income to charity. It does not specify the charities - that decision remains under your control. The pledge is not legally binding, but honour is a powerful force when it comes to promising to help. If 10% is a daunting number, or you don't want to sign away your future earnings in perpetuity, there is a Try Giving scheme in which you may donate less money for less time. I suggest five years (that is, from 2015 to 2020) of 5% as a suitable "silver" option to the 10%-until-retirement "gold medal".

 

We’re hoping to take advantage of the existing Schelling point of “new year” as a time for resolutions, as well as building the kind of community spirit that gets people signing up in groups. If you feel it’s a word worth spreading, please feel free to spread it. As of this writing, GWWC reported 41 new members this month, which is a record for monthly acquisitions (and we’re only halfway through the month, three days into the event).

 

If anyone has suggestions about how to better publicise this event (or Effective Altruism generally), please do let me know. We’re currently talking to various news outlets and high-profile philanthropists to see if they can give us a mention, but suggestions are always welcome. Likewise, comments on the effectiveness of this post itself will be gratefully noted.

 

About Giving What We Can: GWWC is under the umbrella of the Centre for Effective Altruism, was co-founded by a LessWronger, and in 2013 had verbal praise from lukeprog.

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It does not specify the charities - that decision remains under your control.

That's not completely true. The pledge does limit the charities that are elligble. The pledge is "I commit to donating % of my income to the most cost-effective charities."

Donating to charities that aren't cost-effective to get fuzzies or social status in your local community does not count.

True, though the decision of who is most cost-effective does remain for you to decide.

GWWC... was co-founded by a LessWronger, and in 2013 had verbal praise from lukeprog.

Boo ingroup bias.

It's more of a tactic to make sure people don't think "hey, another crackpot organisation" if they haven't already heard about them. I'm hoping to raise GWWC to the level of "worth investigating for myself" in this post.