Luke Freeman

Executive director @ Giving What We Can
5538 karmaJoined Aug 2021Working (15+ years)Forest Lodge NSW 2037, Australia



I’m Luke Freeman, Executive Director of Giving What We Can (GWWC), a global community on a mission to make giving effectively and significantly a cultural norm. We’ve got a strong base of over 8,000 members from 100 countries, who’ve pledged to give 10% of their lifetime income to effective charities, amounting to a collective $3 billion pledged and over $300 million given so far.

My journey started early, enrolling at university at 15 and developing a keen interest in media and communications. My career later steered towards tech start-ups, focusing on marketing and growth. I was on the initial team at Sendle, Australia’s first technology B-Corp, and co-founded Positly.

Beyond my work, I’m a devoted member of Giving What We Can and Founders Pledge, pledging to donate a significant portion of my income to effective charities.

I enjoy sharing my thoughts and experiences on effective giving and have had the pleasure to do so on platforms such as BBC Radio 4, Aussie Firebug, DW News, and hosting The Giving What We Can Podcast. Feel free to tune in!


Sadly I read it the same way 😅 But I’m glad this is happening!!

I can’t quite state enough how much I appreciate you writing this right now. You shared what I’m feeling and thinking way better than I feel I can. Thank you.


While I can't share specific details about our previous benefactor for various reasons (e.g. privacy), I can assure you the reasons for this are not related to any issues with the Donor Lottery itself (e.g. support of the approach, estimation of its value or cost-effectiveness, any issues with the process etc).

Our previous benefactor has been instrumental in supporting the lottery in the past and we deeply appreciate this. We'd be excited to find more backstop funds to increase the size of the Donor Lottery again.

@Larks. Further to Jason’s above comment (noting it’s roughly equivalent to tax deductible donation calculations), you count Gift Aid if you count your pre-tax income. If you can’t claim Gift Aid then you count your post-tax income.

Yep. Plus:

  1. the recommendations are as the donation is made (not after which is the case with a DAF and is why the donation gift card might be difficult as the allocation comes afterward)
  2. the programs are restricted (whereas DAFs give unrestricted funding)

A DAF let’s you donate to a fund that you ~control so you can later make unrestricted donations from to charities registered in the same country that the DAF is registered in, whereas GWWC/LTYCS/GiveWell etc can receive donations to program restrictions (eg bednets) and then make restricted grants based on the allocations of donors made at the time of donation to programs that are delivered by partners located ~anywhere.

(Excuse my brevity, typing on the phone.)

Nice work!! Love it 🥰

This is something I’ve been thinking about for GWWC but haven’t yet figured out the legalities (especially trying to avoid being seen as a Donor Advised Fund).

Our largest funder has been OP, and we received some (now returned) money from Future Fund. Other than that it hs mostly been individuals and small foundations (eg family foundations).

(Thank you!!)

We take funding from Open Philanthropy (currently our largest funder) but not from the evaluators and grantmakers whose recommendations we use (eg Founders Pledge, GiveWell etc) because we don't want it to undermine people's trust in our recommendations.

For various reasons both OP and us would like us to reduce the portion of funding that comes from them as time goes on.

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