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.
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.
Often, the best rated charities involve health measures in the Third World. Reduction of existential risks has a potential claim to even greater cost-effectiveness, because of the large number of present and future lives threatened by such risks.
- Efficient charity: do unto others...
- Optimal philanthropy for human beings
- Existential risk reduction career network (Frank Adamek's mailing list for those interested in donating substantially to x-risk organizations)
- Why we can't take expected value estimates literally (even when they're unbiased)
- Posts tagged "charity"
- Posts tagged "philanthropy"