Frequently Asked Question

Should everyone take a giving pledge?


While we believe The Giving What We Can Pledge is a good fit for most of the people reading this, clearly it will not be the right choice for everyone.

Some reasons it may not make sense to take the The Pledge at this point:

  • You are undertaking something very resource-intensive like founding a startup or nonprofit.
  • Your employment or health situation is unstable.
  • You expect your student debt to be particularly heavy, such that the years after graduation will be especially financially tight.
  • You have family obligations that require much of your money.

Taking the Pledge is not necessary to be part of the effective altruism community, and no one should feel pressured to join simply to feel that they are in good standing. We recognise the richness of ways that people contribute to this community and to the world, and that The Pledge represents only one of the many ways of taking significant personal action to benefit others.

In many cases we’d recommend people might be better to start off by taking a Trial Pledge, start by donating to an effective charity, or find other ways of getting involved.

Still have questions?

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