Giving What We Can is a community of effective givers. We inspire people to donate significantly and as effectively as possible.
Forming a community allows us to share information on how and where to give, helps us stick to our commitment and lets us stand together to create a culture of giving more, and more effectively.
A world in which giving 10% of our income to the most effective organisations is the norm
Inspire donations to the world’s most effective organisations
We believe that charitable donations can do an incredible amount of good. However, a donation to a more effective charity can make a much bigger difference than a donation to a less effective charity. It turns out that the difference between charities is astounding. It is therefore critical that we give our money to the most effective charities, so that it will have the greatest impact possible.
If you're not sure where to start in your own charity research, we recommend a few avenues here.
We are a welcoming community, sharing our passion and energy to improve the lives of others.
- We have a deep commitment to helping others.
- We are dedicated to helping other members of our community give more and better.
We take action based on evidence
- We are open-minded towards new approaches to altruism that may show greater effectiveness.
- We are honest when it comes to what we don't know or mistakes we have made.
We are optimistic
- We are ambitious in terms of the change we believe we can create.
- We apply energy and enthusiasm to support and build our community.
Giving What We Can is the brainchild of Toby Ord, a philosopher at Balliol College, Oxford. Inspired by the ideas of ethicists such as Peter Singer, Toby decided in 2009 to commit a large proportion of his income to effective charities.
Discovering that many of his friends and colleagues were interested in making a similar pledge, Toby worked with fellow Oxford philosopher Will MacAskill to create an international organisation of people who would donate a significant proportion of their incomes to cost-effective charities.
Giving What We Can launched in November 2009, attracting significant media attention. Within a year, 64 people had joined the society, their pledged donations amounting to $21 million. Initially run on a volunteer basis, Giving What We Can took on full-time staff in the summer of 2012.
We now have 3,978 members, who have pledged to donate over $1.5 billion over the course of their careers. So far, our members have donated more than $25,309,348 to charity.
In July 2016, Giving What We Can was incorporated more fully into its parent organisation, the Centre for Effective Altruism. It is now run by the Centre for Effective Altruism's staff.
Giving What We Can was one of the first in a growing network of like-minded organisations focused on effective altruism, the art of thinking critically about how to do the most good. You can learn more about the ideas behind effective altruism here.
Giving What We Can and 80,000 Hours are incorporated under the Centre for Effective Altruism, a registered charity in England and Wales and in the United States. Other organisations associated with the effective altruism movement include Animal Charity Evaluators, GiveWell, and the Life You Can Save.
Giving What We Can is extremely grateful for the support provided by the following organisations over the years:
- The Future of Humanity Institute — The leading research center looking at big-picture questions for human civilisation.
- Balliol College, Oxford — One of the oldest Oxford colleges, with a strong philosophical tradition.
- The Oxford Uehiro Centre — An institue that encourages and supports debate and deeper reflection on practical ethics.