Difference between revisions of "Effective altruism"

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(Created page with "Many people donate to charity, but rarely do donors ask themselves where their contributions could do the most good. Attempts at '''optimal philanthropy''' are the exception. Bu...")
 
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Many people donate to charity, but rarely do donors ask themselves where their contributions could do the most good. Attempts at '''optimal philanthropy''' are the exception.
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'''Optimal philanthropy''' is the approach of donating to charity in a way calculated to do the most good.
  
But when effectiveness is quantified in terms of, e.g., how many dollars it takes to save an additional life, the best estimates tend to differ across charities by orders of magnitude. It turns out to be important to analyze not just whether charities waste overhead money in achieving their goals, but whether their goals themselves do much to improve people's lives.
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The best estimates of cost-effectiveness (quantified in terms of, e.g., how many dollars it takes to save an additional life) tend to differ across charities by orders of magnitude. Making such estimates requires analyzing not just whether charities waste overhead money in achieving their goals, but whether their goals themselves do much to improve people's lives.
  
The approach has grown in popularity in recent years. Organizations such as [http://www.givewell.org GiveWell] and [http://www.givingwhatwecan.org Giving What We Can] have been using cost-effectiveness estimates to recommend the best charities.
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Compared to the total amount of money given to charity, optimal philanthropy is rare. However, in recent years, the approach has been growing in popularity. Organizations such as [http://www.givewell.org GiveWell] and [http://www.givingwhatwecan.org Giving What We Can] have been doing research in order to recommend optimal charities.
  
Often, the best rated charities involve health measures in the Third World. Reduction of [[Existential risk|existential risks]] has a potential claim to even greater cost-effectiveness, because of the large number of present and [[Astronomical waste|future]] lives threatened by such risks.
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Often, the best rated charities involve health measures in the Third World. The large number of present and [[Astronomical waste|future]] lives threatened by [[Existential risk|existential risks]] gives attempts to reduce such risks a potential claim to even greater cost-effectiveness.
  
 
==Blog posts==
 
==Blog posts==

Revision as of 12:13, 27 June 2012

Optimal philanthropy is the approach of donating to charity in a way calculated to do the most good.

The best estimates of cost-effectiveness (quantified in terms of, e.g., how many dollars it takes to save an additional life) tend to differ across charities by orders of magnitude. Making such estimates requires analyzing not just whether charities waste overhead money in achieving their goals, but whether their goals themselves do much to improve people's lives.

Compared to the total amount of money given to charity, optimal philanthropy is rare. However, in recent years, the approach has been growing in popularity. Organizations such as GiveWell and Giving What We Can have been doing research in order to recommend optimal charities.

Often, the best rated charities involve health measures in the Third World. The large number of present and future lives threatened by existential risks gives attempts to reduce such risks a potential claim to even greater cost-effectiveness.

Blog posts

External links

See also