Giving What We Can
Just last year, there were over 200 million cases of malaria, killing over 400,000 people, around 300,000 of whom were under 5 years old. One simple solution is long-lasting insecticidal bednets.
I don't always keep my promises. I'm subconsciously biased in a hundred and one ways. I'm lacking in conscientiousness. But at least when it comes to global poverty, I will not, I cannot, just stand by.
As a child, I helped others by volunteering with an animal shelter, giving away my old clothes and being kind to my schoolmates. As I grew, my circle of compassion expanded to include more and more individuals in need. Among all the issues in the world, I found the plight of nonhuman animals particularly compelling.
Less than 5 percent of American donation dollars went to international causes, and an even smaller fraction was allocated for effective anti-poverty relief. Unfortunately, this means that the majority of American charitable dollars never reaches the people in the developing world, those who need our help the most.
William MacAskill is that rare creature: a true visionary and iconoclast, a bright rising star in the too often stodgy field of philanthropy. Like many people in the Effective Altruism movement, I anticipated this week's release of MacAskill's book Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference.
Giving our money to help others can be a source of personal satisfaction that outweighs whatever minor frustrations we might experience from having less money to spend on ourselves.
We Want to Know That We're Making a Real Contribution. That's Why We Pledged at Least 10% of Our Income
In our relationship, we tend to think and talk a lot about whether we are doing useful things with our lives. It's important to us to believe that we are, but it can sometimes be hard to know.