More than 5,000 people have now committed to give at least 10% of their lifetime earnings to charity, through the Giving What We Can initiative.
The organisation was founded in December 2009 following Oxford University philosopher Toby Ord’s decision to give more than half of all his future earnings to effective charities.
Since its founding, Giving What We Can has attracted members from 87 countries and from a diverse range of backgrounds, ages, professions, incomes and philosophies. Together the members have donated at least $195 million (around £152.5m) with their pledges estimated to amount to around $1.8 billion.
Giving What We Can provides charity recommendations but members can support any charity, with the only requirement being to give to the organisations which they believe to be the most effective at improving the lives of others. They can also choose to pool their funds together in Effective Altruism Funds, which work to find giving opportunities across different causes.
To keep track of members’ giving, each year Giving What We Can carries out a review of members’ donations, asking them to record their donations, recipients and donation dates, as well as their annual income, using its parent charity’s dashboard. This information enables it to track the proportion of members who follow through on their pledge and to quantify the impact that Giving What We Can has had on the charities it recommends, by comparing the amount people have donated with the amount they would have donated had they not joined.
Dr. Ord commented:
“I am delighted to reach this milestone, and that so many people have taken this pledge. And pledging is only half of the story — where you give your money is as important as making the decision to give in the first place.”
“Research shows that the best charities can have at least ten times the social impact of the typical charity, and hundreds of times as much as less effective charities. By finding outstanding giving opportunities we can make a significant difference to many more lives than we otherwise would.”
“We believe there is a strong moral case for people to give to the causes they deem to use money most efficiently.”
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