Effective giving

Effective giving is the branch of effective altruism focused on charitable donations.

The main purpose of effective giving is to support a charity or project that can achieve an especially large amount of good with that support. However, effective giving on a sufficient scale can also influence the charitable sector, giving charities an incentive to improve their own effectiveness.

There is a variety of questions related to effective giving.

For instance, how can one ensure that a donation has the largest possible direct impact? Should donors give to multiple organizations? This is common, but there are reasons to think that it may be more effective not to diversify donations in this way. Donors can also think about when to give their money — in which cases is saving money and giving it later better? And all of this gets more complicated when multiple donors are involved; a person’s donations may impact the effectiveness of another person’s donations, raising the tricky question of how they should coordinate to collectively maximize their impact.

The indirect impact of donations can also be important to consider. For instance,  giving publicly could encourage others to donate.


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