Welcome to our May newsletter!
We're thrilled to announce that we've just passed 6,000 members of The Pledge! We're growing faster than ever, with 1,000 new members in only eight months.
Thanks in no small part to those of you who have helped spread the word!
We hope to continue our growth by exploring new avenues, including appearing on more podcasts, collaborating with YouTube channels, giving talks in workplaces and universities, and developing original rich content. Please let us know if you can help us with any of these (or in any other ways).
We also ask that you take a few minutes to send a message to your favourite content creators suggesting that they cover these topics, have us as a guest, or collaborate with us.
We hope you enjoy the rest of this newsletter which will cover our upcoming events, the latest from our blog, and news and updates about effective giving.
Attend an Online Event
Come along and meet other people who are committed to effectively using their resources to improve the world:
- Personal Finance for Generous People:
Do the most good with your money for yourself and others
May 26: 20:00 UTC
- World Environment Day:
Find the most effective charities working on climate change
June 5: 20:00 UTC
- GWWC Online Meetup (Americas/Oceania)
June 5: 23:00 UTC
- GWWC Online Meetup (Europe/Asia)
June 6: 09:30 UTC
- Effective Giving Open Forum:
Ask anything, discuss donations, meet effective givers
June 17: 00:00 UTC
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
Our volunteers have released more in our myths about charity series:
- Charity begins at home; shouldn't we solve our own problems before helping others?
- Shouldn't we address human suffering before working to reduce animal suffering?
- Shouldn't we focus on economic growth, which can lift people out of poverty?
- Do effective altruists only value short-term, measurable outcomes?
Our members' "other comments" written when signing up to a pledge give us so much inspiration that we decided to share some – we hope reading them inspires you too.
Rutger Bregman, Dutch historian and author, recently took the Giving What We Can Pledge (adding to the number of prominent GWWC members) and discussed effective altruism on his podcast and in a column ‘If you believe everyone is equal, why are you so rich?’ in De Correspondent (both in Dutch).
Member Floris Wolswikj wrote why he dedicated his birthday to the Against Malaria Foundation and helped us launch a guide to running birthday fundraisers.
So much of our progress this month is due to our fantastic team of volunteers (of which you're welcome to join!).
- In "What gives me hope", member Michelle Hutchinson shares some touching stories of people she's come across in the effective altruism community who are devoted to doing good.
- The 80,000 Hours podcast interviewed Member Howie Lempel about having an impactful career while managing depression, anxiety, and imposter syndrome.
- 80,000 Hours have added running a local effective altruism group onto their list of high priority career paths and released a template for planning a high impact career.
- The EA Forum released the Effective Altruism Introductory Program (a set of structured readings meant to teach the core ideas of effective altruism).
- The Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA) published an update on their activity in the first quarter of 2021.
- Ben West shared his thoughts on people being "overqualified" for EA positions.
- Pairagraph published a four-part series between member Stefan Schubert and Judith Lichtenberg debating the benefits of effective altruism.
- In "Small and Vulnerable", deluks917 shared how their own difficult experiences have motivated them to use their resources to help others.
- "When we unlock the altruism in others, we give the gift of giving," wrote member Aaron Mayer in "Being vocal about what works".
Evaluators and Grantmakers
- Open Philanthropy has shared their Progress in 2020 and Plans for 2021 and are hiring a Program Assistant to support their work on AI policy and governance and forecasting.
- Happier Lives Institute released their research agenda for 2021, review of 2020, and a problem area report on Mental Health as a cause area.
- Donations to GiveWell have more than doubled in 2020.
- The EA Animal Welfare Fund has released a Request For Proposals.
- Member Bruce Freidrich and Liz Specht from Good Food Institute (GFI) were interviewed on the Making Sense podcast about creating a world where alternative protein "tastes as good or better, and costs the same or less" as today's animal products.
- The reduction of animal products is getting politicised in the US, with partisan conflict over eating animals on the rise.
- Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) shared a list of free courses for animal advocates.
- ACE now accepts cryptocurrency donations.
- Animal Ethics released Wild Animal Suffering Advocacy Workshops.
- The Humane League helped negotiate a Better Chicken Commitment from Burger King in the UK, which will reduce the suffering of chickens raised for meat sold at more than 500 UK locations.
- More than 95 million hens now live in cage-free housing in the US, which Vox called "easily one of the biggest successes of the animal welfare movement."
- "Some animals are more equal than others" by Garrett Broad explores the complex disparities in how we afford moral value to animals.
- Member Dylan Matthews wrote an in-depth article about wild animal welfare as a cause area on Vox.
- Vox's Kenny Torrella summarises a recent GFI report about the current state of the plant-based food industry.
- In the US, bipartisan support is growing for carbon capture.
- GFI shows that meat cultivated directly from cells can result in up to 92% less global warming, 93% less air pollution, 95% less land use, and 78% less water use.
- Climate scientist Kimberly Nicholas explains why it's still okay to have kids.
- Germany's supreme constitutional court has ruled that the government's climate protection measures are insufficient to protect future generations.
Global health & development
- Lead Exposure Elimination Project confirmed a significant lead paint problem is likely affecting hundreds of thousands of people in Malawi. They also rolled out paint studies in new countries and have seen great success in our advocacy in Malawi, which could decrease poisoning in around 373,000 children.
- Give Directly was selected as one of FastCompany's most innovative not-for-profit organisations for their COVID-19 pandemic response. They received one of their first-ever Dogecoin donations from Elon Musk. Their second phase of Covid-19 response in Togo reached 54,430 recipients in just one week (more recipients than GD reached in all of 2019).
- A new Oxford malaria vaccine shows ~75% efficacy in the initial trial, and Vox explains why the new malaria vaccine is a total game-changer.
- AMF raised $100 million this year and have an immediate funding gap of $41 million.
- Member Kelsey Piper published on Vox some effective ways to donate to help with India's Covid-19 crisis (see also GiveWell's six tips on disaster relief giving).
Long-term future, existential risks, & emerging technologies
- Prevent Epidemics released a new website looking at epidemics that didn't happen.
- Skype founder Jaan Tallinn was on the Future of Life Institute podcast talking about Avoiding Civilisational Pitfalls and Surviving the 21st Century.
- The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk has released a new report looking at bridging the gap between global risk and policy engagement.
- Member Kelsey Piper wrote on Vox about how the US government is thinking about shaping AI policy.
- AutonomousWeapons.org has launched, its goal is to inform people interested in reducing the threats from lethal autonomous weapons.
- In "How Humanity Gave Itself an Extra Life", the New York Times explores the most important contributors to increases in human life spans over recent centuries.
- Michael Plant writes about how ending the war on drugs could be a new cause for effective altruists to consider.
- Tim Ferriss, Michael Pollan, and Dr Matthew W. Johnson did an AMA on the EA Forum about psychedelics research and philanthropy.
- Member Marius Hobbhahn writes alongside Dominik Hermle about whether chronic pain should be a new cause area.
- Review our giving recommendations.
- Report your donations with your pledge dashboard.
- Share our ideas to help grow our community and multiply your impact.
- Join other members in the Giving What We Can community Facebook or LinkedIn groups.
- Find more ways to get involved with Giving What We Can and effective altruism.
- Discuss effective giving and effective altruism on the EA Forum.