Most of us base our giving decisions on the heart: a loved one has suffered from a disease, a friend asks us to invest in a cause, a local organisation asks us to support the community. This personal connection to giving is good and necessary. It’s what inspires charitable donations in the first place.
But truly making an impact also requires the head. We need to base our giving on an objective analysis of what works. We’re short-changing ourselves — let alone the people we’re trying to help — if the charity we choose to support isn’t cost-effective, evidence-based, and well-run.
The Life You Can Save “makes smart giving simple” by curating a group of nonprofits that save or improve the most lives per dollar. It aims to create a world where everyone has an opportunity to build a better life, and where there’s no suffering or death due to extreme poverty.
The organisation works to inspire people to help the world’s poor and empower them to make the greatest impact possible. In his book, The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty, cofounder Peter Singer argues that if we can provide immense benefit to someone at minimal cost to ourselves, we should do so.
The Life You Can Save website provides tools that make it easy for people to make smart donations, including a curated list of evidence-based charities, in-depth reports on its impact, and a calculator that helps donors see how far their dollars can go in a developing country.
The Life You Can Save was founded by Peter Singer and Charlie Bresler in 2013. It is a 501(c)(3) charity in the United States and has been a charity in Australia since 2019.
The Life You Can Save meets our criteria to be a top-rated charity because one of our trusted evaluators, Founders Pledge, has conducted an extensive evaluation highlighting its cost-effectiveness as part of its report on Giving Multipliers. (Our trusted evaluators are charitable giving experts who focus on impact — their research into the best charities means your donations can do even more good. Learn more about charity evaluators we trust and why.)
In 2021, The Life You Can Save helped raise over $22.7 million USD globally for its recommended charities. It did this through engaging fundraising campaigns and free, easy-to-use donation tools hosted on its website. Over the last three years, each dollar invested in its work has generated an average of $18 in donations for its recommended charities.
Your donations through our portal are tax deductible in the UK, US, and the Netherlands. Giving What We Can does not take any fees from donors using our platform or from charities listed on our platform. We are independently funded to promote our mission of making giving effectively and significantly a cultural norm. Read more on our transparency page.