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Hi Gleb_T, Are you arguing that the "inward" message shouldn't be be so slanted toward poverty issues? To me it makes sense that both inwardly and outwardly GWWC should be focused on eliminating extreme poverty, as the "best" example of EA in practice for the reasons stated above by Michelle. Richard

Nevermind, Jonathan has responded below.

Hi Jonathan, I agree that if you're goal is to "do the most good" that majority of EAs (myself included) believe that reducing extreme poverty is the most tractable/efficient way to do that at the current moment.

I think the main issue is that when people are learning about EA, if they find major discrepancies between GWWC currently stated mission (helping reduce poverty) and some materials like the blog post above (mission being do most good) it becomes difficult to figure out what's going on.

One recommendation I have is that if a major rebranding effort is happening within GWWC, an email out to Pledge members/chapter leads etc., and blog post on GWWC's blog and updating the various mission statements would be a good start. I was extremely surprised reading the post, when I follow many effective altruism forums/websites/materials and have never once seen GWWC even hinting at being cause neutral with the exception of the Pledge.

I find a good analogy for this situation is climate scientists, they are "cause neutral" when it comes to global warming, it just happens that all the science/facts point towards global warming being a real man made thing that should be addressed.

I'm very happy for the new direction, with GWWC being primarily focused on making the world a better place via donations to effective charities.


Great to hear Michelle. I agree that being cause neutral allows us to make more of a difference, and agree 100% with the change in tone, it's going to be extremely confusing for new members that are checking out the website, or reading wikipedia, etc.

Have you talked with Tom Ash Re: givingwhatwecan chapters vs. EA chapters? I think the branding continues to be confusing for a lot of people.

Also if this is the case, we should probably update the Wikipedia article as well:

"Giving What We Can is an international society for the promotion of the most cost-effective poverty relief, in particular in the developing world."

Oh and the Centre for Effective Altruism website: "Giving What We Can is an international society dedicated to eliminating extreme poverty."

Hi Michelle,

This is so hard to comprehend why this post was made, when it is in strict disagreement with the history/current mission statement for GivingWhatWeCan. Here are are the best descriptions about GivingWhatWeCan's mission that I could find.

"What do you do, and hope to achieve? Our goal is to play our part in eliminating poverty in the developing world."

"OUR HISTORY Giving What We Can is the brainchild of Toby Ord, a philosopher at Balliol College, Oxford. Inspired by the ideas of ethicists Peter Singer and Thomas Pogge, Toby decided in 2009 to commit a large proportion of his income to charities that effectively alleviate poverty in the developing world."

I started a GivingWhatWeCan chapter in my home town and have been very active in the community reading books/blogs/courses/ etc. and it's still incredibly difficult to figure out the various organisations and what their stated goals are and how they differ. A recent problem I've encountered is why are there GivingWhatWeCan chapters and LEAN/Local EA chapters. Our current meetup.com group is called GivingWhatWeCan, but our website is eacalgary.org.

This makes things extremely difficult for new members who are learning about the movement to navigate the EA landscape, and when the communications coming directly from the organisation are conflicting with it's stated mission, it becomes even more difficult to piece everything together. Perhaps this is a start of a rebranding effort that I wasn't aware of.

Looking forward to hearing back from you, appreciate all the good work the organisation does!


Hi Evan! Shoutout from EA Calgary! We have been discussing with our local chapter to make a road trip to vancouver sometime this summer to meet some fellow EAs, and just read this article and it seems that you were reading my mind! Are there any particular time/events that we should look at coming for? Richard