Blog post

Member Profile: Pippa Gilbert

4 min read
2 Dec 2020

This profile is part of the "People of Giving What We Can" series.


Meet Pippa Gilbert, originally from Great Britain, but for the last 11 years a resident of The Hague in the Netherlands. Pippa works as an analyst for an international organization and enjoys being active in her free time. She is passionate about cycling and is a member of local cycling and running clubs. She is also an active volunteer. Earlier this year, Pippa committed to donating 10% of her income to help improve the lives of others.

Pippa's journey with effective giving and charitable donations started a long time ago. At first, she tried to research charities and organizations on her own to ensure that the money she donated would be well-spent. After realizing that it was too time-consuming to identify effective organizations, Pippa turned to the Giving What We Can website, recalling that she had heard about its 10% pledge.

Pippa's motivation for giving is mainly driven by her acknowledgment of inequalities around the world:

"I'm fortunate by accident of birth that I'm born European and I've got a decent income, and all the rest of it that we get through living in Europe. Huge numbers of people haven't had this luck and it's just very unfair. There's huge inequality across the world between those people who suffer terrible conditions and those who don't. As long as there's that huge inequality, then I am motivated to keep donating a part of my income."

The main factor that Pippa considers when donating to charitable organizations is confidence about its effectiveness. The bulk of her giving is directed toward alleviating human suffering, but she is also keen on supporting environmental and animal welfare causes:

"The quality of human life years appeals to me. That's a really rational way to look at it, how much you can improve someone's quality of life, whether it's stopping them going blind or getting ill or some sort of other form of suffering. If you can improve that, then that's one of the main things. I think that you have to worry more about humans than animals, but if you can help them be better treated, I'm happy for some of my funds to go that way, as well."

Pippa finds donating through the Giving What We Can Pledge to be particularly helpful for several reasons:

  1. The Giving What We Can Pledge is well-structured and helps with keeping track of her donations. Pippa stresses that "if you have set a target, then the Pledge gives you something to make sure you meet it."
  2. Taking The Pledge allows individuals to set up self-imposed goals and deadlines. Pippa explains: “I’d been meaning to increase my donating but kept putting it off because other things were more urgent. The Pledge helps me to prioritise this to make sure my goal is reached.”
  3. It's a public commitment. Pippa cautiously states: "I think it's good, maybe, that the Pledge is public. I really like the whole idea of it, so if it's a way of promoting it to other people, that's also good."
  4. Donating through the Giving What We Can website saves time. Pippa clarifies: "The big issue for me, over these years, has been a question of time. I, personally, just want something that doesn't cost me a lot of time. I think that the Giving What We Can website is particularly good, because it makes it really easy to donate."

Reflecting on whether she finds it difficult to give, Pippa concludes that for her, it isn't. She cannot think of any reason for not wanting to donate or for it to be difficult. When asked about her visions for the future, Pippa admits that she is not particularly optimistic about the future "with mankind being how mankind is." However, she ends telling her story with a rhetorical question: "But all you can do is just do your little bit, can't you?" If each individual does their little part, maybe there is still hope for humankind after all.

This interview is part of the "People of Giving What We Can" series which profiles a selection of the Giving What We Can community. The Giving What We Can is a community of people from all walks of life, with different perspectives and motivations for giving -- all united by their desire to make a significant commitment to use their income to effectively helping others. Read more member stories. Share your effective giving story to help inspire others to give more, and more effectively.

For more information about Giving What We Can we recommend you check out our frequently asked questions, our effective giving recommendations, our giving pledges, and our homepage.