Welcome to our March newsletter!
This edition contains information about:
- Our new study
- Member motivations
- Upcoming events
- Updates from our community
- News about our top priority cause areas
- Ways you can help advocate for causes you care about
Study: What makes our members unique?
In an effort to better understand our members, we are collaborating with researchers from Yale University's Mind and Development Lab. If you have taken one of our giving pledges, we would really appreciate you answering a ~15-minute survey about your beliefs and attitudes. Your responses may help us to recruit new members and raise more for effective charities.
Begin Study (for GWWC members)
Have questions about the study? Contact the study lead, Matti Wilks, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why do people pledge to give effectively?
"I didn't know that giving can actually work. Once I learned about that, the realisation fell into place that there was nothing more useful I could possibly be doing with that money." - Rachel B, Germany
"I'm usually motivated by the idea that there is someone out there who has been spared from having something terrible happen to them because an action that I took. Or an animal has been spared from having to come into existence and live a life full of suffering. Or I have taken some kind of action to help build an amazing future for sentient life." - Rupert M, The Netherlands
"I live a pretty great life with plenty of food and medicine and friends and I'd like more people to have that too. Pretty crazy that we live in a world where people are dying of hunger and diseases that we collectively have the wealth to fix. Hope my money helps get us a little closer to a world where everyone is having a great time. Happy to be helping!" - Ted Sanders, USA
Thanks to those who replied to our last newsletter to tell us why you're motivated to use a portion of your income to help others.
Attend an Online Event
Come along and meet other people who are committed to effectively using their resources to improve the world:
- Mar 31: Law + Effective Altruism: How can we do good better
- Apr 1: What does it take to be a charity founder?
- Apr 3: Online Meetup (Europe/Americas)
- April 15: Open Forum (Europe/Asia)
- April 26: World Malaria Day: How can we eradicate malaria?
If you have any questions or want to discuss your donation decisions with other members or our team, we recommend registering for an Open Forum event. See all our events.
News and updates
Giving What We Can
- Want to work with us? Applications close on March 31 for our Developer/Technical Product Manager role.
- In our new article "Measuring Global Inequality," Julian Hazell and David Holmes compare a few of the most commonly used measures of wealth and point out some of the subtleties that can arise in the study of wealth distribution.
- In "Why should we donate money to charity?" Julian Hazell explains how donating helps others, ourselves, and makes the world a fairer place.
- Read our latest member profile, in which Carlos Tkacz explains how his giving philosophy was shaped by his education, rock climbing experience, and religious upbringing.
- Do you work in the personal finance industry (e.g., as a wealth manager, financial advisor, accountant, etc.)? We'd love to speak with you about how we can best help our members to donate effectively, and about spreading effective giving ideas within your industry. Please reply to let us know.
- Please follow us on Youtube so we can reach 1000 subscribers and unlock more features.
- Missed our February newsletter? Our top three links were: our new video about Giving What We Can, our t-shirts and other gear you can use to spread the word, and our volunteer application form.
- Find other Giving What We Can members and create your own profile on the new and improved EA Hub community directory.
- Get 20% off tickets to Peter Singer's tour (Australia, New Zealand, and online) using the code EFFECTIVE20.
- Tennis pro Marcus Daniell was interviewed on Hear This Idea about High Impact Athletes and his advocacy for effective giving.
- CEA's Ben West published three new posts on retention in the effective altruism community. He covers the reasons people choose to leave or stay, project ideas for increasing retention, and retention rates compared to those of other social groups.
- Need to focus while working from home? Join the effective altruism group on Focusmate for accountability and community.
- Tessa wrote a guide on how to run a high-energy reading group. Want to run or participate in a reading group with the GWWC community? Simply reply to let us know.
- On the limits of giving: Jeff Kauffman was asked by a friend whether there was some amount of donations that would be "enough." His response is enlightening.
- In "EA Funds Is More Flexible Than You Think," Jonas Vollmer helps clarify common misconceptions about Effective Altruism Funds.
- Are you on Clubhouse? We invite you to join the Effective Altruism and High Impact Philanthropy clubs to discuss effective giving and effective altruism.
- Don't Be Bycatch is a good guide to staying motivated and doing good sustainably.
- Thanks to those of you who participated in Project4Awesome and helped raise ~$189k for effective charities!
Cause Area Updates
- Good news: the plant-based meat industry grew exponentially in Australia during 2020
- Aquatic Animal Alliance has been launched, a coalition of advocacy organisations and a project of the Aquatic Life Institute.
- Animal welfare grantmaker Lewis Bollard did an Ask Me Anything on the EA Forum.
- The next frontier for animal welfare is fish advocacy – Vox's Kenny Torrella explains why.
- One of the biggest animal welfare successes of the past six years is the transition to cage-free eggs, demonstrated in one astonishing chart.
Climate change & environment
- What is the one idea Bill Gates hopes people will take away from his new book on how to combat climate change?
- Our World in Data's Hannah Ritchie looks at the history of deforestation and whether it can be reversed.
- A new paper from the team at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk assesses the risks posed by climate change.
Global health & economic development
- Malaria is notoriously hard to vaccinate against. A new vaccine technology might change that.
- Our World in Data's Max Roser writes about why economic growth should be a key focus if we want global poverty to decline.
- Open Philanthropy provided $70 million in grants to GiveWell's top charities in 2020. Find out which charities and why.
- How has Covid-19 impacted the fight against malaria? Sadly, malaria cases will likely increase, but there's hope if we keep striving.
- Basic income: when a California city gave people a guaranteed income, they worked more — not less.
- The speed of science: what slows down scientific progress and how can we speed it up without compromising on quality?
- Psychologist Stuart Ritchie argues that COVID-19 has revealed flaws in our scientific system.
- Caroline Fiennes of Giving Evidence suggests that many charities are too small to measure their own impact.
- The UK is set to launch a high risk, high reward scientific research agency, with £800,000,000 in funding over four years.
- Niger is set for its first peaceful transition of power.
- Ezra Klein on the 80,000 Hours podcast: aligning journalism, politics, and what matters most
Long term future
- Philosopher Stefan Riedener looks at existential risks from a Christian perspective.
- David Manheim has written a list of project ideas in biosecurity for the EA Forum.
- What are the objectives of longtermist policy making?
- Daniel Kokotajlo of the Center on Long-Term Risk argues against using GDP as a metric for AI timelines.
- Brian Christian, author of The Alignment Problem was interviewed on the 80,000 Hours Podcast.
- A syllabus of readings related to longtermist philosophy has been published by Joshua Teperowski Monrad on the EA Forum.
- Jack Malde addresses possible misconceptions about (strong) longtermism.
- EA Coach Lynette Bye has collated resources on personal mental health and finding a therapist.
- John Halstead of Founders' Pledge wrote about the extent to which people should defer to expert opinion.
- In "What Makes Outreach to Progressives Hard," Cullen O'Keefe outlines how the effective altruism community can better collaborate with political progressives.
- Sanjay Joshi, co-founder of SoGive, explains why socially responsible investing isn't high-impact, but could be.
Help Spread Effective Giving
A great way to multiply your impact is to tell people about effective giving.
Here are just a few ways you can help advocate for effective giving:
- Update your profile picture on Facebook to include our photo frame.
- Frame your physical pledge certificate and put it on your wall, desk, or shelf.
- Share some of our recommended videos, books, podcasts, and essays.
Spreading effective ideas and growing our community helps us make progress on some of the world's most pressing problems. Importantly, it also enriches the lives of the givers. It can take courage, but it's worth it!
"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped."
– Robert F. Kennedy
- Review our giving recommendations.
- Report your donations with your pledge dashboard.
- Join other members in the Giving What We Can Community Facebook group.
- Find more ways to get involved with Giving What We Can and effective altruism.
- Discuss effective giving and effective altruism on the EA Forum.