Blog post

Olympian Marcus Daniell takes the Giving What We Can Pledge and founds High Impact Athletes

3 min read
18 Jan 2021

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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

Happy giving!

This was originally posted on the High Impact Athletes blog by Marcus Daniell, the founder of High Impact Athletes.

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.