Make a Difference With Effective Altruism


Rahsi Shafana Other ,,,,,,

Featured Image courtesy: Children At Risk Foundation [via flickr], 2005

It’s the Holy Month of Ramadan and we all embody the spirit of giving; donating money, giving away free meals and clothes, holding fundraisers. Although, despite all the humanitarian activities people partake in, many are almost often unconvinced about how much of a difference it can make to the lives of the receivers.

Philanthropists have pondered over this for quite a while and the movement of effective altruism has thus begun.

The concept of effective altruism involves giving your time, effort and resources in such a way that they cause an effective, measurable impact on people’s lives. Combining empathy with strategy can make a greater impact than just empathy. People like Bill and Melinda Gates have been effective altruists of the decade, saving innumerable lives over the years.

Various organizations are now monitoring this phenomenon. They track various charity projects and rank them on how effective they are on the ground level. Donors can then decide to which organization and social cause they can donate to.

One such organization is Giving What We Can, which was founded by Toby Ord, a philosopher at Oxford. “I realised that my money would do vastly more good for others than it could for me and decided to make a commitment to donating to the most effective charities I could find. Many people contacted me asking how they could do this as well, and so I set up Giving What We Can,” he says.

Take a look at their top charities here: https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/top-charities

If you want to know more about effective altruism:

Watch author and altruist Peter Singer’s TED talk about ‘The why and how of effective altruism’ discussing about the movement and the various organizations involved:


If you’re a University student, contribute to the discussion:

Giving What We Can have announced a worldwide invitation to a Global Poverty essay competition addressing the matter. The question to be addressed being:

“What is the most effective, scalable, evidence-based, but currently underfunded global poverty/health intervention that is already being implemented or could be implemented soon?”

Be part of the conversation and win cash prizes and ‘Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference’ book prizes. See here for more details.