Today, I made the largest financial donation I have ever made. The recipient organisation/fund are within the Effective Altruism ecosystem. Through this action, I hope to have prevented approximately one unnecessary death https://www.givewell.org/giving101/Your-dollar-goes-further-overseas
I genuinely believe this, although it is impossible to know for sure.
I am grateful for many circumstances related to this possibility:
- I live in a wealthy country and have employment
- Thousands of scientists, philosophers, economists and many others have brought together a body of knowledge on how to be effective with altruistic behavior, and made that knowledge accessible
- I have sought education on how to make a proper impact through financial donation, and enjoyed the process over a number of years
- Brilliant people are working in charitable organisations and other professions (e.g. Health) within developing countries, doing the actual work on the ground. They are limited in number and resource, and one of the major limitations is financial. So from thousands of miles away, I can make a few clicks on Internet banking. Then a chain of events is put into action, whereby the net result is significant and meaningful.
- Checks and balances are in place to enable my trust. I believe in the assessments and audits of the people that I read the reports of, and listen to on podcasts. I believe in the methodology of the charity researchers.
To live in a world where all of this is possible, is truly astonishing.
I know many people are cynical around donating, likely doubting some of the items on the list above. You may think of me as naive because of things you've learned related to corrupt charities, systematic problems, foolish practices or overpaid executives. I hope you will consider questioning your doubts, and trying to find the best charities out there that you possibly can. There are plenty of resources available if you care to seek :)