I have a simple list of powerful actions you can take right now. Because I'm in the same boat, even though I study psychology in uni, I have been thinking of how to do more good every day. I think the EA Forum can get a bit theoretical and I hope to change that because, indeed, we need practical activities to do in order to effectively be altruistic.
- What does a charity/person need? Can you give it to them?
It seems like another lame piece of advice, but if you ask what the biggest challenges a charity/person faces, you can attempt to do some legwork for them. I learned how charities wanted help with getting their fundraising known and so every day I sent a single email to a different editor to let them know about the fundraiser campaign the charity was holding. 1:10 got back to me, but within the month that meant the charity had three new media articles written about them which they wouldn't have without my simple outreach.
- They all want money. How can you give it to them?
This one makes charities really thankful! First, make sure the charity IS effective and that you DO like them. You can raise money for a charity via your own job, a small fundraising campaign (look up 'fundraising ideas') or something outside the box (I participated in a low-risk, paid clinical research trial to get money for a charity).
- Small acts
There's heaps. Recently, with covid, I have been thanking any essential workers I pass, "Thank you for being an essential worker." I have also tried complimenting all of my friends, family and strangers with something positive about them.
- Dominant action
This is a type of action in business which secures a market, as if you hold a monopoly over it, think of it like cornering a chess piece. In person, it simply looks like sharing time with a powerful connection. If you have any career dreams or even passing interests in a hobby, reach out to pioneers of that field and let them know that they inspire you. If they reply, you can get to know them, as if you can have a short call/interview and then as they begin to like you, let them know about a charity you love. If they seem happy about it, ask if they might donate to complete a specific project (make sure you've done your research) of the charity's or, if the person doesn't seem interested, you can organise a few weeks later to do a fundraising idea and then ask for them to donate anything they can afford! It works!