The Giving What We Can Pledge

Documentation of deworming treatments provided on a deworming day in Delhi, India (Evidence Action/Stephanie Skinner /

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The first step to becoming a Giving What We Can member is to take our pledge, making a solemn commitment to giving at least 10% of your income to the organisations that you think can do the most good with it.

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 for the rest of my life or until the day I retire, I shall give at least ten percent 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.”

How it works:

For people earning a regular income, the Pledge commits you to giving at least 10% of your income, until retirement, to the organisations you believe will do the most good in the world.

For students and the unemployed, the spirit of the Pledge requires you to give 1% of your spending money, (which does not include money received to pay tuition fees), and 10% of your future income once employed.

Of course, the Pledge is in no way legally binding. It is a commitment entered into voluntarily and enforced solely by your own conscience.

For more information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions about the Pledge.

Why a pledge?

We take the Pledge for three reasons:

  • Commitment: By pre-committing to giving, we are more likely to stick to our aims and give more than we otherwise might. It helps us to plan for donations in our budgets, and it serves as a ‘line in the sand’ to help us to resist temptations to stop giving.
  • Community: By becoming part of a group who all take the Pledge, we can support each other in sticking to our giving aims and help each other with advice and tips.
  • Publicity: Taking the Pledge shows the strength of our convictions to the general public. It can inspire others to give and help us to forge a world in which giving is normal and expected. Take a more in-depth look at the psychology behind the pledge

Keeping track of the pledge

Each year, Giving What We Can carry out a review of our members' donations and request that they record their donations, recipients and donation dates, as well as annual income, using My Giving.

This review is optional, although the information it provides us with is very useful for the following reasons:

  • It allows us to track the proportion of members who follow through on their pledge, showing us whether the commitment we encourage is realistic and is working.
  • It allows us to quantify the impact that we have had on the charities we recommend, by combining the amount people have donated with the amount they would have donated had they not joined Giving What We Can.
  • If for any reason you would prefer not to provide this information, please let us know, with a confirmation of whether you have kept to your pledge.

I'm ready to commit:

Take the pledge

  • Make a lifetime/career-long commitment
  • Pledge 10%
  • Donate to the charities that will have the biggest impact

Take the pledge and become a member

I'd like to try it out first:

Try Giving

  • Pledge for a fixed period
  • Choose a Pledge percentage
  • Donate to the charities that will have the biggest impact

Learn more about Try Giving