# What You Can Achieve

The most surprising thing about extreme poverty is just how much each of us can do to prevent it. Let's start by asking what you could achieve through concerted donations. In other words: if you wanted to continue with your chosen career, but give away a fixed percentage of income then what could you achieve? To find out, use the calculator below. You can also read more about the pledge on our blog:

### The Pledge Calculator

Age at which you expect to retire:

Average annual income for the rest of your career:

Percentage to donate:

Total you would earn: Total you would donate:

Lives you could save:1

Years of healthy life you could save:2

Years of school attendance you'd produce:3

### Reference:

 1 According to GiveWell page on the AMF Partnership a life can be saved for \$2500. (Close footnote)

### Reference:

 2 Experts on global health measure the burden of a disease in terms of Disability Adjusted Life Years (or DALYs) which is the number of years of healthy life lost due to premature death or disability (see more information on DALYs). The most effective health interventions cost only \$55 for each DALY prevented (see our page on neglected tropical diseases). (Close footnote)

### Reference:

 3 Treating children for neglected tropical diseases produces an extra year  of school attendance for each \$3 (see the J-PAL study, but note that this doesn't include the possible need for extra teachers if more class members turn up). (Close footnote)

As you can see, you really could have a dramatic impact on hundreds or thousands of lives. In all probability, this is the largest positive impact that you could have in your life. The members of Giving What We Can are people who have been so impressed by the amount that they could achieve that they have all decided to make giving a significant part of their lives. They have done this by making a pledge to give at least 10% of their income to whichever organisations they think can do the most to fight extreme poverty. This is known as the Pledge to Give and is the basis of Giving What We Can.

A few have gone even further and have also chosen to give everything above a chosen threshold, but there is certainly no requirement to go so far. To see what you could achieve by giving everything above a fixed baserate, try the calculator below:

### The Further Pledge Calculator

Your current age: Age at which you expect to retire:

Average annual income for the rest of your career:

Country for tax purposes:

Total you would earn: Average annual donation:

Total you would donate: Lives you could save:4

Years of healthy life you could save:5

Years of school attendance you could produce:6

### Reference:

 4 According to GiveWell page on the AMF Partnership a life can be saved for \$1600. (Close footnote)

### Reference:

 5 Experts on global health measure the burden of a disease in terms of Disability Adjusted Life Years (or DALYs) which is the number of years of healthy life lost due to premature death or disability (see more information on DALYs). The most effective health interventions cost only \$55 for each DALY prevented (see our page on neglected tropical diseases).(Close footnote)

### Reference:

 6 Treating children for neglected tropical diseases produces an extra year  of school attendance for each \$3 (see the J-PAL study, but note that this doesn't include the possible need for extra teachers if more class members turn up). (Close footnote)

As this shows, you can have a tremendous impact without changing careers, or even significantly changing your lifestyle. It is strange that such a major impact can come from so simple an act when we spend our lives striving to acheive much smaller goals, yet it is a simple consequence of our relative wealth. It should be no more surprising than that a millionaire could easily transform a pauper's life. We are all millionaires compared to those living on a dollar a day and we can prevent untold suffering if only we choose to.