I have always been keen on matched fundraising. Not only does it increase the amount of money raised, but it also involves collaborating with other people and makes people feel better about the money they donate. This is why I set up a fundraising page for SCI, quadrupling donations this Christmas.
I always used to look for donation matching appeals to increase the impact of my donation. However, after reading about effective altruism, I learnt how some charities are many times more effective than others - to a degree that can dwarf the impact of donation matching to less effective charities. I joined Giving What We Can in 2014 and have since tried to use donation matching to fundraise for the most effective charities.
It’s obviously important to try to publicise effective altruism and the most effective charities to as wide an audience as possible. Matched fundraising has allowed me to reach out to my friends, family and colleagues – hopefully leading them to donate more to effective charities and eventually to more people joining Giving What We Can.
My own personal experience was that I only became a Giving What We Can member after a matching appeal.
I first heard of Giving What We Can from an article about Toby Ord in 2010. I was very impressed with the idea of donating 10% of your income to effective charities, but it seemed like too big a commitment at the time and I forgot all about it.
In 2013, while looking for matched fundraising on the internet, I came across Oxford’s Big Match- a matched fundraising campaign for the Against Malaria Foundation (AMF). This led me to read about AMF, and I was astonished to learn that Givewell estimated that a life was saved for every £2,000 donated to AMF. I was delighted to make a matched donation to such an effective charity, and was then contacted by Rob Gledhill from Giving What We Can. After discussions with Rob and some deliberation, I decided I would make the pledge once I got back to work. I started a new job in May 2014 and took the pledge then.
Last Christmas I took advantage of generous donation matching offered by Charity Science to offer quadruple matching for donations to AMF. I offered to match all donations up to £5,000. After Charity Science's matching, this would be multiplied to £20,000. In the event, we had generous donations of £6,700 before I decided to close my chequebook (!), and Charity Science's matching as well as gift aid multiplied our fundraising to a total of £32,632- see the donation page Based on Givewell’s estimates, our fundraiser saved 15 lives!
This year, I’m again taking advantage of Charity Science’s generous matching with a quadruple matching fundraiser for the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI)- another of Giving What We Can’s top charities. SCI works in sub-Saharan Africa to supply drugs and health education to protect against schistosomiasis (bilharzia) and other Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) caused by intestinal worms. NTDs are so-called because treatment is cheap and effective, but interventions in the area are chronically underfunded due to lack of publicity. Schistosomiasis is the most deadly NTD, killing an estimated 280,000 people each year.
SCI has a strong track record, and its cost-effectiveness is so high that it has been designated a “best buy” in public health by the World Health Organisation. The cost per treatment is only 50p. Givewell's evaluators estimate that similarly to AMF, a life is saved for every £2,000 or so donated to SCI (estimates are subject to substantial uncertainty). So I’ve set up a fundraising page offering to quadruple donations- I’ll match all donations up to a total of £8,000 (capped at £1,000 per individual) made before 25th December, and with charity science's matching, all donations will be quadrupled (or more including gift aid). This page can only accept GBP donations and only offers UK Tax deductibility.
So please donate to my page, and maybe consider setting up your own quadruple fundraiser page for SCI (with a carefully chosen maximum total of course) and publicise effective altruism to your friends, family and colleagues! If you’d like to discuss setting up your own quadruple fundraiser, please get in touch with me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Katherine Savoie (Katherine@charityscience.com)
Many Thanks for your generosity! Allan Saldanha