28 January 2014

I just donated eight percent of my 2013 net income to GiveDirectly, a charity that directly transfers this money to some of the poorest people in the world.

I have learned about GiveDirectly the charity via GiveWell, a charity evaluation project founded by two people who wanted to donate heaps of money for good purposes, but didn't find good information on what best to invest in. I already donated a smaller amount to GiveDirectly twelve months ago. What I like about GiveDirectly that they are the first organisation who do a very simple and obviously good thing efficiently on a large scale: directly giving donations to people who need resources. By donating such a large amount to one single cause, I am not neglecting all the other important causes, but I am following GiveWell's detailed analysis which says basically that most of the really good causes and efficient charities already get a lot of funding and sometimes even have trouble absorbing and using more funding with their existing staff.

Recently I read a lot of interesting articles on "effective altruism", the science of doing the most good with the little money that each of us can spare:
So Warren Buffet gives away 99% percent of his wealth during his lifetime or in his will. In the meantime he talks to other billionaires to convince them to give away at least half of their wealth and it seems he's quite successful at that. 

There's also a more inclusive club for non-billionaires (like you and me) called Giving What We Can. All you need to do to become a member is commit to regularly donate 10% of your regular income to any good altruistic cause. 

Twice in a row, I have used my winter-holidays in January to decide on and make a yearly donation. This time I realized that I can make my giving much more social by doing it in the traditional holiday season. Then I can talk to others what and where they intend to give this year. This will be much more fun and probably also do more good. I am looking forward to a great year!


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