Our pledge

8,276 members of Giving What We Can have made a public pledge to give a meaningful portion of their income to effective charities.

Picture of the pledge certificate that reads "Pledge to Give - "I recognise that I can use part of my income to do a significant amount of good. Since I can live well enough on a smaller income, I pledge that from __ until __ I shall give _% of what I earn to whichever organisations can most effectively use it to improve the lives of others, now and in the years to come. I make this pledge freely, openly, and sincerely."

The Pledge to Give

"I recognise that I can use part of my income to do a significant amount of good. Since I can live well enough on a smaller income, I pledge that from __ until __ I shall give __ to whichever organisations can most effectively use it to improve the lives of others, now and in the years to come. I make this pledge freely, openly, and sincerely."

If this opportunity inspires you, we invite you to join our community of people who have taken a pledge to donate a meaningful portion of their incomes to improving the lives of others.

Take a pledge

Sign up to join 8,276 effective givers

Why a pledge?

Hear from our members about why they pledged and what advice they have for you if you’re considering pledging!

Why Akhil was motivated to pledge

“I think it’s incredibly valuable to make a commitment to something that you think is important. I think that arguably there might be times in my life…where I might not be able to make this 10% commitment every year but having that as my goal and aspiration every year was something that I thought was really important to do.”

Catherine’s thoughts on joining the Giving What We Can community

“I found it really fulfilling to be part of a community, of a whole bunch of people trying to do the most good with their resources…It feels like being part of an amazing mission and that’s so much more fulfilling. So that community is really important for me.”

We find a pledge helps for three main reasons:

  • Commitment: Making public commitments helps us to live up to our values and stick with the goals we may otherwise let slide.
  • Community: Joining a community provides us with support and advice that helps us to follow through with our commitments to help others.
  • Culture: Taking a public pledge helps inspire others to follow our example. Together we can forge a world in which giving effectively and significantly is a cultural norm.

Take a pledge Learn more about why


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the pledge options?

Our most popular pledge is The Giving What We Can Pledge which commits at least 10% of lifetime income to effective charities. You can also take a Trial Pledge for at least 1% of income for any period you choose. You can take either pledge using our pledge signup form. Please contact us if you are interested in taking The Further Pledge for income above a living allowance, or the Company Pledge for 10%+ of profits.

Is a pledge legally binding? What if my circumstances change?

Our pledges are in no way legally binding. They are commitments made voluntarily and enforced solely by your own conscience. There is some flexibility in the pledge, for times when you may not be receiving any significant income. In some circumstances, it may be best to resign from your pledge. Read more.

Am I required to donate regularly?

The spirit of the pledge is to donate regularly, but there's flexibility here. Some members donate less in some years and make up for it in the following years, or donate to a charitable trust or donor-advised fund (DAF) and disburse the donations later. Read more.

What if I am a student or unemployed?

If you have no significant income and you take a pledge, we recommend donating 1% of your spending money (which does not include money received to pay tuition fees). Read more.

Do I have to keep track of my pledge?

We provide a dashboard for you to keep track of your pledge, and also send a survey once a year with questions about your giving. This helps us track our impact, and helps you track your commitment. However, you don’t have to report to us or track your donations to take a pledge. For many members, we recommend making donations using our donation platform, because the organisations selected are highly effective and your donations are automatically linked to your dashboard. Read more.

Should everyone pledge?

We invite everyone to pledge and provide a number of options to account for different circumstances, but we recognise that a pledge won't be the right choice for everyone. We believe there are many ways people can contribute to making a positive impact, regardless of whether they pledge or not. Read more.

What charities, organisations or causes can I donate to?

Our pledges do not restrict you to give to registered charities, specific organisations, or organisations working in a particular cause area. The only requirement is that you give to the organisations which you sincerely believe to be among the most effective at improving the lives of others. However, we provide effective donation recommendations and a donation platform to help our members. Read more.

What do you mean by ‘effective charities’?

Some charities are especially good at using donations to improve the world. They tend to work on unusually promising interventions, use scientific evidence to plan their activities, and seek out ways to increase their own impact. See which charities and organisations we recommend and our guide on how to evaluate charities based on effectiveness.

How do you define income?

Generally, we define income as your gross wages or salary (pre-tax) if you are donating to a tax-deductible charity (or Gift Aid eligible charity in the UK). Otherwise, we define income as your net wages or salary (post-tax). Read more.

Can I make a bequest or just donate?

We also recommend making bequests (leaving money to charity in your will) as a way of committing to give to effective charities. You are welcome to donate to effective charities any time, but taking a pledge often increases motivation and follow-through, and inspires others.

What can I do if I’m not ready to take a pledge?

We’d love to help you to stay engaged! You can donate to an effective charity, sign up to our newsletter, read our blog, attend an event, join an effective altruism group, or get in touch if you’d like to discuss anything.

What if I still have questions?

Check out our full list of Frequently Asked Questions.