I read every single new member signup survey filled in when someone takes a Giving What We Can pledge.
This means that several times a week I'm blessed with what is the favourite part of my job: reading the "other comments" that people leave just before they complete a pledge. This along with the question about how GWWC influenced where they donate sparks some incredibly heartwarming things to share.
This is part of what gets me out of bed in the morning (sometimes as early as 5:30am due to the varied timezones across our global community). I've recently started sharing some of these with our team of volunteers and they've also found them to be inspiring.
One thing that consistently strikes me is that the impact of joining the community extends beyond the impact of those whom our donations help: the donor is also impacted, often mentioning how they find meaning in this commitment.
Many of you have advocated for GWWC/EA in your personal lives without seeing the impact ("referred by a friend" is one of our top sources of new members). It can be demotivating not seeing the impact of your efforts, so...
Here are some anonymised messages (from the past month) showing you the the impact that you have when you spread the word:
- Being part of a community feels meaningful and powerful to me. I am thrilled to see the effect we can have together.
- You shifted how I view myself in relation to the rest of the world, makes me realise that even right out of college I have an opportunity to make change.
- The Pledge helps me feel more comfortable making a lifestyle change knowing that others have done so (irrational as that may be) and helping me realise the positive impact I want to make with my life.
- I am motivated to make a real impact. I hope that by making this commitment, I connect to a movement of like-minded people empowered to minimise suffering in the world.
- As a curious, inquiring mind, the kind of work you do here is exactly enough to convince me to go into action rather than stay with the status quo of, "yeah I would contribute, but what’s the point" or "it’s wasted". A grand mission as far as I’m concerned.
- I never signed up, because I thought it was not my time, but when I saw “Giving what we can” on Instagram I was like “oh, right! I can become a member as a student now and donate 1% at least” and then I can my easily promote “Giving what we can” and say that I also do it and recommend fellow students to join. Main point: It's really good that you are on Instagram now and spreading the word there.
- I want to get better at tracking my giving and keeping myself accountable, and I think Giving What We Can, can help in that regard.
- I’ve started donating through the my local EA organisation and you have motivated me to slowly increase my donations up to 10% within a year.
- Giving What We Can has caused me to pause and think about where my donations go, and whether or not those donations are doing the most good that they could do.
- I now know look for more effective causes rather than what I “feel” will do the most good.
- I was skeptical about charities misusing money and confused about where to donate in the first place, although it’s something I knew wanted to do. I was influenced in terms of confidence in and the necessity of charity, as well as overcoming indecision by making donation strategy simple.
- I now understand that simply giving is not enough: I must do the research so that my donations can have the greatest impact possible.
- I now will be donating over the course of my life a lot more than I otherwise would have. I have always been interested in doing good, but I had no idea how much of a difference donating to the RIGHT charities can make in the world.
- You made me realise for the first time the position of privilege I am in and the power I have to help. It has made me realise I should definitely give 10%, more than I would before in piecemeal donations to whatever cause or person I came across. I hadn’t realised the disparity in effectiveness of charities either.
These are just the tip of the iceberg. I hope you find these motivating.
For those of you who took the time to write these, thank you. Your passion to make an impact in the world spurs me on every day.
This post was inspired by Michelle Hutchinson's post 'What Gives Me Hope'. Highly recommend reading that too.