Charitable Giving

Since graduate school (2010), I've been a member of Giving What We Can, an organization whose members pledge "to give 10% of their income to the most effective charities they can find." Other academic philosophers who have joined GWWC include: Derek Ball, Nick Beckstead, Nir Eyal, William MacAskill, (founder) Toby Ord, Derek Parfit, Theron Pummer, Janet Radcliffe-Richards, Tim Schroeder, Peter Singer, Neil Sinhababu, and Alex Voorhoeve. I warmly encourage others to consider taking the pledge.

It may sound like a self-sacrificing thing to do, but there's really not that much to it: it's very easy to acclimatize to a 10% change in income (especially if you start early in your career) — no radical lifestyle changes are required — and in return you get to achieve an incredible amount of good, helping those who need it most.

If you're curious about where best to donate, I offer my current recommendations here. In short: GiveWell's Maximum Impact Fund is a safe bet for the risk-averse. Alternatively, if you're willing to balance higher uncertainty for higher potential reward, I know of no better options than the EA Funds.

Finally, I encourage you to give publicly! People are more likely to give to charity when they see that others around them are doing so.