A Concrete Way to do Good

Theories abound around doing good. There remains much meta-level thinking to be done in effective altruism and cause prioritization. However, not everyone can or should focus on this research. So for someone looking to have a greater impact without undergoing too drastic of a life change, what solutions do we have for them?

One solution, I believe, is taking the Giving What We Can Pledge:

β€œI recognise that I can use part of my income to do a significant amount of good. Since I can live well enough on a smaller income, I pledge that for the rest of my life or until the day I retire, I shall give at least ten percent of what I earn to whichever organisations can most effectively use it to improve the lives of others, now and in the years to come. I make this pledge freely, openly, and sincerely.”

If one donates 10% of their income to GiveWell’s recommended charities or the Effective Altruism Funds, they can reliably do a ton more good with their life. Over a lifetime, one can reliably avert thousands of years worth of human suffering if one donates to the most effective (known) charities. Unless one has a particularly high impact job, this 10% donation will likely surpass the direct impact one has with their job and are responsible for.

If the lifetime 10% pledge is too daunting, one may pledge to donate a different chosen percentage of one’s income over a specific duration.

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