How to run a Giving Game event

Giving Games are educational activities designed to introduce participants to effective giving.

During a typical Giving Game, each participant is given $10, introduced to the featured charities, and asked to make an initial choice based on short fundraising pitches. The facilitator then goes into more detail about the work of the nonprofits, and how to maximise the potential impact of charitable giving.

In particular, the facilitator explains core concepts like cost effectiveness, evidence, and how the overhead myth is incorrectly used to assess the performance of nonprofits. At the end of the Giving Game, participants decide where to donate.

Contact Giving What We Can if you would like us to:

  • Dial in to run a Giving Game remotely (e.g., over Zoom) for your event
  • Help train you to run one yourself
  • Provide sponsorship for your game


Read instruction manual

Apply for sponsorship

Event format


  • Introduce yourself briefly and explain what the session will include.
  • Instruct people to log into the Giving Games platform with the group code (you would have generated this earlier).

Preliminary vote

  • Introduce the three charities.
  • Take a preliminary vote.

Talk about effective giving

  • The core section covers information about effective giving and key concepts such as opportunity cost, the overhead myth, cost effectiveness.
  • Introduce an example of charity gone wrong (e.g., PlayPumps).
  • Talk about the criteria for selecting an impactful charity.

Detailed introduction of charities

  • Introduce the charities in more detail now, covering how some of the key concepts relate to them.

Small group discussions

  • Break off into small groups and discuss the charities using the criteria given earlier, including some of the guiding questions.

Open discussion

  • Come back together and ask participants to share points raised in their discussions.
  • Open the floor for final pitches for the different charities.

Final vote

  • Instruct participants to do the final vote and include the survey.
  • Show the results.
  • Reflect on the activity.


Event listing

Event name:

Giving Game: Decide which charity gets donations on your behalf!

Event details:

We will be giving away real money to charities — and you can help decide which!

Join us for a Giving Game event where you can learn more about effective giving and how to identify which charities can do the most good.

This event will be facilitated by {facilitator and short bio}.

Afterwards, hang around and enjoy {e.g., a free pizza lunch}.

Real money given to the charities will be sponsored by {sponsor name}.