We have skyrocketed to over 800 members. That’s more than double the number we had at the end of last year, when we ended with 391! To put this in perspective, this is twice the already rapid speed of growth we experienced in 2013 when we grew over 50% in one year. Accordingly, the amount pledged has also risen from $147 million to $344 million. We have expanded from 15 chapters to 26, with additions appearing Europe, America, and worldwide. You can find the full list here.
Our online presence has grown as well, with an ever-increasing number of likes on our Facebook page and followers on our Twitter, and a similarly high newsletter subscribership. We published nearly 100 posts in our blog on topics anywhere from agricultural R&D to a conversation with Alix Zwane of Evidence Action.
In January, we launched our charitable trust, enabling members and non-members alike to give automatically to top-rated charities of their choice. Over its first year, over £300,000 was donated to it.
In April we launched our new website, complete with an updated How rich am I? calculator and a My Giving portal where anyone can keep track of donations. June took us to Wales for the third annual Weekend Away with the largest turnout yet, and July to All Souls College for the effective altruism-focussed Good Done Right conference, with a range of speakers from writer Larissa MacFarquhar from The New Yorker to researcher Jeremy Lauer of WHO-CHOICE.
We held our large September internship for two weeks, producing a range of new content and organization-building thanks to the efforts and new perspectives of the interns. After lots of discussion and input, we amended the wording of the pledge new members will be taking moving forward. In light of this change, members Ravi Patel and Luke Llott spearheaded an event to encourage more members to join the community this December, resulting in unprecedented membership growth in the last month. We’re very grateful for their efforts, and those of the amazing team of students who worked with them!
We’ve had some personnel changes. We’ve been very lucky to be joined by Jonathan Courtney as Director of Community. As well as welcoming all our new members and reaching out to interested people, he’s been making videos about our recommended charities and travelling the country to visit Chapters and present on topics from the psychological effects of giving to charities combatting climate change. We’ve been sorry to lose Steph Crampin as our Director of Communications, who’s off to Bangalore to learn programming.
With events happening all around the world, local and remote volunteer opportunities, and loads of online content, there is a way for everyone to become more involved. If you haven’t already, we hope you join our community by taking the Pledge, and encourage you to learn more or contact us if you have questions or concerns. If you don’t yet feel ready to take the Pledge, Try Giving provides an opportunity to challenge yourself to give an amount of your choosing and see how it feels.
Thanks to all of you for your commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. Together we have already donated more than $5 million, helping hundreds of thousands worldwide. Here’s to another year of progress towards eradicating extreme poverty!