Today, we are launching the option to factor wealth into your pledge with Giving What We Can.
Until now, Giving What We Can has focused on income as the main way of contributing through a pledge. However, we recognise that some people's personal financial resources don't exist as income — they exist as wealth. Adding an optional wealth component to the Giving What We Can Pledge allows those who have significant wealth to give in a way that better reflects their resources, aligning with our overall mission of helping people from all walks of life meaningfully commit to using a portion of their financial resources to help others.
This optional wealth component of the Giving What We Can Pledge involves choosing to give the greater of 10% of income or a custom percentage of wealth each year. As such, those choosing to add the optional wealth component to their Giving What We Can Pledge will still be donating an amount that is at least equivalent to 10% of income, if not more. Read an example of how this works.
We think this option will be most suitable for those who are in the top few percent of wealth holders globally, and we continue to recommend the Giving What We Can Pledge for most people earning a median salary in high-income countries. To get personalised guidance on the type of pledge you might consider based on how your income and wealth compares to the rest of the world, check out our pledge recommendation tool.
We've also taken this opportunity to redesign our pledge sign up, and we're very excited about the brand new look and feel as well as some improved functionality (such as letting people share their motivation publicly)!
More about our giving pledges
While we are best known for The Giving What We Can Pledge, which is a public commitment to donate at least 10% of your income (or a custom percentage of wealth!) to the most effective charities in the world, we also have three other giving pledges:
- The Trial Pledge: Donate at least 1% of income for any period you choose (with the option to also factor in your wealth when calculating your pledge amount)
- The Further Pledge: Donate all income above a specified living allowance
- The Company Pledge: Donate at least 10% of profits
Want to include wealth as part of your pledge?
If you have an existing Giving What We Can Pledge or Trial Pledge, you can fill out our Pledge Variation Form to request us to update your pledge in our systems.
Why pledge at all if you are already giving regularly?
We’ve written at length about this on our website, but today, I’ll just cover one important point:
Taking a public giving pledge helps inspire others.
On a personal note, before I took a pledge, I scrolled through the list of others that had already done so, looking for reassurance in the thousands of names that appeared. Seeing the many people who had committed gave me a clear message: I could in fact donate 10% and live a good and fulfilling life.
Adding your name to the list, whether it’s a trial pledge or a lifetime commitment, helps generate a sense of momentum, achievability, and a sense of “wow, there’s other people out here doing this too!” We think this is really important in creating a culture where giving significantly and effectively is a social norm.
We're hoping to hit 10,000 lifetime pledgers before the end of 2024. If you're already giving consistently, please consider taking a pledge!
A deep thank you from our whole team for giving what you can to create a better future.
Grace and the Giving What We Can team
P.S. The idea for a wealth component was first considered in 2017, and we're grateful for all those who have contributed to it in the years since.