On January 4th 2021, I pledged to donate 10% or more of my annual winnings to effective organisations for the rest of my life.
This decision wasn't completely out of the blue. I began my giving journey in 2015 with a small, tentative donation, then the next year I took a Try Giving pledge to donate one percent. That felt really good, so the year after I donated five percent. Over the years I steadily increased that percentage until, in 2020, I founded High Impact Athletes and donated over ten percent. And now we're here.
The more I look into the charity world the more I realise that I won the birth lottery just by being born in a first world country. Compared to the global standard I have been extremely privileged my whole life. It makes sense that I should give a small portion of my own earnings to those who need it so much more than I do.
I want to set a positive example. I have a fervent hope that many others, both athletes and the general public, will join me in whichever way feels right for them.
Making a commitment public like this is a powerful way to hold oneself accountable. Now that I have told the world what I intend to do I expect to be called out if I don't do it.
I have been inspired by philosophers like Peter Singer and Will MacAskill both founders of the Effective Altruism movement, who donate everything they earn above a living salary. Those two have had truly gargantuan positive impact as a result of their actions, speeches, and writing. I hope to add to their legacy.
Donating 10% of your income sounds scary, but it's really not scary at all. I don't need a fancy car or an expensive watch or even an extra barista-made coffee each day to be happy. Donating that 10% is not going to decrease my happiness, but it is going to make thousands of lives a whole lot better.
I strongly believe that those in the nonprofit world should walk the talk. I wouldn't expect anyone to donate or pledge if I wasn't donating or pledging myself.
Community. I am joining over 5,500 other 10% pledgers on Giving What We Can, and knowing that I am just one person in a multitude of givers makes me hopeful for the future of this planet and its inhabitants.
It just feels right. It resonates.
I take deep pleasure in knowing that every success I have in my working life will ultimately end up saving or changing lives.
If you are interested in taking the pledge please do reach out to me. Even a 1% pledge is a beautiful life move that will benefit so many, including yourself. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
High Impact Athletes is a meta-charity that channels donations to the most cost-effective, evidence-based, and impactful nonprofit organisations in the world. HIA harnesses the wealth and social influence of high-profile athletes to both spread the word about effective giving, and to create an ever-growing snowball of donations starting from the athletes themselves and growing amongst their followings.