I tended to think, ah I'm not that well off, I can't donate a whole bunch really. This interactive tool helped put things in perspective. No I'm not the 1% but actually I'm not that far off it. That really surprised me. And since that point I knew I would up my donation amounts. I'm not in a position (or don't have the balls) to commit to pledge 10% of my earnings every year to effective organisations. Yet.
So in the meantime, I've started at a modest 2.5%. Here's how I decided who to donate to and how much.
Using my head
I selected three organisation suggested by the Giving What We Can website - they research how effective charitable campaigns are. Did you know, for example, de-worming initiatives are far more effective at improving educational levels in developing countries than say, school book donation initiatives? Well neither did I. And that Malaria still continues to be one of the biggest killers? Effective bed nets can be distributed for around £5 each. Based on effective altruism principles, I chose the following organisations;
Using my heart
I then thought about the issues that move me;
I'd like to look into effective organisations looking at plastic, waste, supply chains and over-consumption but my head hurts from thinking about where my money could be most effectively used. Upstream at curbing demand for say meat or plastic straws in PSAs or educational resources or downstream in ocean-cleaning initiatives or in supporting technological alternatives - can anyone give any help on this one?
Adding it up
That amounts to £50 donation every month - just under 2.5%. And it allows for around £50 left over for spontaneous, one off donations, perhaps more over the year.
For example I've just donated £26 to Story of Stuff - for my plastic fines - I decided supporting educational resources might be one effective way of tackling the issue - this particular website really helped inform my views.
I've also pledged £50 towards Bakey's on their Kickstarter campaign - and look forward to receiving edible spoons, chopsticks and cups later in the year that will make good Xmas presents as well!
This blog isn't designed to brag or seek out praise - but articulate the thought process I went through - from reading about the concept in January it's taken me 4 months to distill that information and act. Perhaps there are others waiting in the wings. If you are one of those people, set aside a few hours, glass of wine or other vice in hand and get down to this 'life admin'.
If we're privileged enough, perhaps it's our responsibility to make more and informed donations?
How have you got on? Who do you choose to donate to?
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