A pledge is a promise, or oath, to be made seriously and with every expectation of keeping it. But if someone finds that they can no longer keep their giving pledge (for instance due to serious unforeseen circumstances), then they can simply revoke their pledge or contact us, discuss the matter if need be, and then cease to be a member if they so decide. They can of course rejoin later if they renew their commitment.
Some of us find the analogy of marriage a helpful one: you make a promise with firm intent, you make life plans based on it, you structure things so that it’s difficult to back out of, and you commit your future self to doing something even if you don’t feel like it at the time. But at the same time, there’s a chance that things will change so drastically that you will break this tie.
Breaking a pledge is not something to be done for reasons of convenience, or simply because you think your life would be better if you had more money. But we believe there are two kinds of situations where it’s acceptable to withdraw from the pledge.
The spirit of a pledge is not to stop you from doing more good, and is not to lead you to ruin. If you find that it’s doing either of these things, you should probably break your pledge.
We understand that some people have a very strong definition of “pledge” as meaning something that must not be broken under any circumstances. If this is your sense of the word, and you wouldn’t want to take a pledge if there were any chance of you being unable to keep it, you might find that taking one or more shorter duration Trial Pledges is a better fit for you.
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