Giving what we can

I’ve finally taken the Giving What We Can​ pledge – a commitment to give away (at least) 10% of my income to the most effective charities in the world.

Amounts of money that are relatively small to us in the developed world can make an enormous difference if applied well. An insecticide-treated mosquito net costs around $5. Giving a child a deworming pill to treat schistosomiasis costs a little over a dollar. Online animal welfare outreach, per dollar, can spare the lives of 37 farmed animals.

These are highly effective interventions that are outstanding opportunities to do good. On a ‘cost per extra year of life’ basis, some charities are hundreds of times more effective than others. That’s why I’m convinced that ‘effective altruism’ – spending your money on the right kind of charity – is one of the best ways you can change the world.

If the average US citizen gave 10% of their income to The Against Malaria Foundation​, then each year it could distribute 700 mosquito nets, preventing 190 cases of malaria and 2.2 deaths. Over a lifetime, that would amount to saving 90 lives. Real change is possible. You can make a difference.