We recently spoke with member Andrew Leeke from London, UK. He shared with us his journey to taking The Giving What We Can Pledge, what helped him make the decision, and what she'd say to people considering a pledge.
I first read Will MacAskill's book Doing Good Better, and then I thought, "this guy's onto something". Where else can I read more about this? I then read one or two of Peter Singer's books straight after this -- back-to-back reading on holiday. By the end of those three books, I was convinced. I was like: "let's get me started".
The reasons that Peter Singer and Will MacAskill covered in their books about how some charities are just so much more effective than others (in terms of what they actually do per pound spent motivated me). I first thought: "Well, these charities are great, and why is no one funding them?" And then I thought: "Well, I guess I am the sort of guy who could be funding them." I had to put my money where my mouth was.
I was working at my first job, and I suddenly had some money, probably more money than I knew what to do with. Not that I was earning a huge amount, but going from not earning any money to now having some disposable income definitely felt like I had more than I needed.
Reading about how other people have made similar commitments or the same commitment definitely helped me make that decision. If I thought I was the only person doing that, I'm not the sort of self-starter that would've made that decision myself.
I don't think I needed a huge amount of convincing after I stumbled across Giving What We Can; I think it certainly helped that a lot of people had taken the pledge at that time already.
I would say: take The Pledge. I think it's a very fulfilling, meaningful thing to do for oneself. Let alone for the consequences it has for others. Thousands of people have done it without regret, and you could be one of them.
You won't regret it, and you'll have something that you can always fall back on as some way that you are making a difference to others in the world. It's a lifelong commitment, so it's definitely not something you should do without consideration, but yeah, if anyone's on the fence, I would just advise them to get off the fence and take The Giving What We Can Pledge.