About us

Best known for The Giving What We Can Pledge, we’re building a global community of people who care about doing what they can to help others.

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What we do

Giving What We Can Logo

We leverage thousands of hours of research to help you decide where to donate, share practical advice so you can make more informed giving decisions on your own, and connect you with a community of people who value making progress on some of the world’s most pressing problems.


We're changing the norms around charitable giving

We believe giving should be

Effective

We empower people to make more informed decisions about where to donate — so they can have a bigger impact.

Normal

We imagine a world where it’s normal for those who can afford it to share some of their resources with others.

Public

We encourage people to talk about their giving. Giving publicly helps create a social norm by inspiring others.


Hear our executive director’s thoughts on how to think about charity

We're creating a resource hub for people who want to make a difference

Whether you’re looking for the best charities to donate to, doing deeper research into how to choose charities and causes, pledging a portion of your income or wealth to highly effective charities, or learning about the key principles of effective giving (and how your donations can achieve real change), our effective giving resources and guides are here to help.

We’re building a global community of effective givers

More than 8,757 people around the world have taken the Giving What We Can Pledge, a public commitment to give at least 10% of income to whichever organisations can most effectively use it to improve the lives of others. We support each other in our commitments to helping others and learning about effective giving.

We make it easy to connect with people who share similar values. See if there’s a local Giving What We Can group in your city, apply to start one, and/or join our global Giving What We Can community online. Our groups are open to anyone who is interested in using their resources to help others.

We share effective giving news and updates through our newsletter – including what motivates people to take the Giving What We Can pledge, a curated list of articles about topics like animal welfare, climate change, global poverty, and preventing global catastrophic risks, and exciting developments from some of the charities we recommend.

How we do it

We're independently funded and don't take fees

We don’t take any fees from donors who use our platform or from organisations we choose to recommend. In short, we’re here to help you do the most good through your giving.

We have a team of dedicated staff and incredible volunteers

As of November 2022, everyone on our core international team (which spans three continents) has signed the Giving What We Can Pledge to give 10% of their income to effective charities throughout their lifetime. While this isn’t a requirement to join the team, it reflects our commitment to our mission.

Luke Freeman
Grace Adams
Sjir Hoeijmakers
Lorenzo Buonanno
Sarah Baka
Fabio Kuhn
Alex Savard
Lucas Moore
Alana Horowitz Friedman
Michael Townsend

We're anchored by our mission & vision — it's central to all that we do

At the core of our work is a deep commitment to our mission of creating a world where giving effectively and significantly is a norm. We're here because we care — deeply and passionately — about building a better world. Read more about our mission and vision below.

We understand that every decision we make can change lives

With limited resources, the stakes are always high. We opt for a strategy of crafting the simplest, yet effective solutions, and running small, cost-effective trials to gain meaningful feedback. We hold ourselves accountable to interrogating our actions, ensuring that what we do is impactful.

Our mission and vision

Founded in 2009 by two Oxford philosophers, Toby Ord and Will MacAskill, Giving What We Can's mission is to make giving effectively and significantly a cultural norm.

We mean this quite literally: our goal isn't just to marginally increase the amount of money going to effective charities — we're aiming to make meaningful cultural change.

Here's a playful vision of what we imagine:

It's 2050

Entrepreneur Beth Bayseoff has just sold her startup for 10 billion dollars. Her friend suggests that she should keep all the money for herself and her future lineage. Beth laughs, saying that sounds like something a monkey might do if it found a large stash of bananas.

It's 2070

Yuvanna Noel Harare is a young historian. Like most people he knows, he and his family give at least 10% of their income to charity, and he's quite well-read about the current best donation opportunities. When he sees the early cost-effectiveness estimates from GiveWell, he wonders: "How on earth could it have ever been so cheap to save a life?"

It's 2200

The concept of donating money no longer makes much sense, given the widespread rational compassion that means all our abundance is fairly distributed.

We're aware this is an extremely ambitious vision, but we think it's worth pursuing. As Ord and Macaskill concluded when they launched Giving What We Can after being inspired by ethicists such as Peter Singer, a tremendous amount of good can be done by carefully combining the head and the heart — using evidence and reason to figure out how to best help others.

Every step towards our goal of creating a culture where people are inspired to give both significantly and effectively has strong positive direct and indirect effects — and if we succeed, we believe the world will be a vastly different (and better) place.

Read more about our history.

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Our co-founder, Toby Ord, personally sending letters to people who signed The Giving What We Can Pledge. Inspired by the ideas of ethicists such as Peter Singer, Ord decided in 2009 to commit a large portion of his income to effective charities; shortly after, he launched Giving What We Can with Will MacAskill to encourage others to do the same.

Our community

At its heart, Giving What We Can is a global community of effective givers. We are a group of like-minded people who are committed to make a meaningful positive impact on others’ lives by donating to highly effective charities.

We’ve got over 9,343 members across the world, just like Ollie and Catherine.

What Ollie says:

It's a rare community, a really special community of people dedicated to trying to make a difference, which is just hard to come across.

— Ollie Base, member since 2017

What Catherine says:

It's not actually the size of the problem that matters, it's how much impact I can make. If I can make life better for some animals or people in a meaningful way, that's so important to do.

- Catherine Low, member since 2011

Learn more about our members and hear their stories.

Our connections with effective altruism

Giving What We Can was one of the first organisations created with what would later be called 'effective altruism' in mind. However, while effective altruism encompasses a wide variety of projects and priorities (see #4), Giving What We Can is focused on effective giving — the idea that it’s important to combine head and heart when donating to charity, and that philanthropy, when done with an impact-focused mindset, can have much more of an impact than we might think.

Giving What We Can is a project of the Effective Ventures group, the umbrella term for Effective Ventures Foundation (England and Wales registered charity number 1149828, registered company number 07962181, and also a Netherlands registered tax-deductible entity ANBI 825776867) and Effective Ventures Foundation USA, Inc. (a section 501(c)(3) public charity in the USA, EIN 47-1988398).

Effective Ventures Foundation was previously called the Centre for Effective Altruism. Learn more about why the name was changed.

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Where do people who have taken the Giving What We Can pledge tend to donate? Here's a breakdown of the causes pledgers supported in 2020-2022.

Improve the world with us

If you want to join our global effort to make the world better for all its inhabitants, for generations to come, you can:

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