Can't donate right now? I totally understand.
Still interested in supporting the project?
There are lots of ways you can contribute!
Sharing is caring!
To raise $2000 to fight malaria is going to take lots of people. I would love love LOVE it if you helped me spread the word about what I'm doing! I've created template e-mails, social media posts. I've also created a set of unique photos for my project that you can share. Check out the Resources Page.
Follow along with the campaign, charity news, and tattoos by following the social media links at the bottom of the page. I spend a lot of my time and energy thinking about ways to improve the world. This leads down some funny rabbit holes sometimes, but is generally pretty great. Interested in listening in on what I'm thinking? Follow my blog!
Donate your day!
Consider donating your birthdays to a cause you love. Charity: water can get you started here, or consider starting a campaign through Crowdrise. Both of these organizations even send your contributors tax receipts so your friends and family can get karma points, and IRS points (that’s how taxes work, right?).
Learn more about efficient nonprofit work
and things to think about before donating your dollars
1. My first recommendation if you are interested in really changing the world is to read How To Be Great at Doing Good. Don't have time to read the whole thing? I wrote a synopsis! Part I & Part II are on my blog.
2. I would recommend you look into Effective Altruism. This movement is all about connecting your head and your heart. Wise donation choices can have a huge impact on the world. More on this below!
3. Wise donations (like wise decisions) are dependent on data! Don't forget to do your homework (or let others like GiveWell do it for you [don't worry they encourage you to cheat off of their homework]).
4. Encourage organizations to share data about their performance. As a donor you have huge leverage over what an organization prioritizes. If donors begin asking great data-driven questions before they donate, many charities will start collecting this data. But remember it has to be meaningful data that actually works! Because
5. A sign of performance for any organization is worker satisfaction and the internal ethics of an org. I would highly encourage you to think about the culture of each charity you donate to. Ask yourself - would I want to work there? Check them out on Payscale or Glassdoor and see what their employees have to say.
6. I'm a huge proponent of breaking the Overhead Myth. The idea that low administrative costs means more effective charities is sooo 2000's. You can pledge to end the Overhead Myth by signing HERE. Because it isn't about overhead per donation, it is about people helped per donation.
Daily Affirmations and Donations
There are lots of projects out there that allow people interested in giving to make small donations simply by living their lives and navigating the world normally. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Tab for a Cause - Holy crap guys I can't recommend this enough!! If you are anything like me you are constantly popping up a new tab on your browser to run a search of just 'check in' on your social network of choice. What if each time you did this you got to donate a small amount of money to a cause of your choice? What if each time you did this you were greeted by a beautiful, customizable landing page? It isn't a dream. Tab for a Cause is a reality. Check it out!
Amazon Smile - This is definitely a go-to for lots of people. Every time you buy something on Amazon 0.5% of your purchase is donated to a charity of your choice. I recommend either GiveWell (comes up as Clear Fund on Amazon Smile) or GiveDirectly. *Note* If navigating to smile.amazon.com just takes you to your Amazon page it means you’ve already selected a charity. Want to sign up to support a more effective one? AWESOME! Just go to the ‘My Account’ drop down menu and click on ‘Change Your Charity' *Note #2* Do you blog? Write any online? Email people? Chances are good you will drop an Amazon link in your life. Be sure it is an Amazon smile link! Help your followers out by always making your links to amazon smile so that if they purchase anything their charity gets some love.
Shop for Charity – It is like Amazon Smile on steroids! It will mean that Amazon donates 5% of the value of your purchase to charity. You read that right – not a measly 0.5% a whole 5%! Shop Amazon via the appropriate link (see here for the links) To make things easier, you can install a plugin on your browser which will automatically take you to the appropriate link whenever you go on Amazon (so you don't have to actually remember to use the link each time you shop). There are plugins for Chrome, Firefox and Safari here.
Currently donations will go to SCI (Schistosomiasis Control Initiative) - one of the top-rated charities according to GiveWell and Giving What We Can *Bonus: This stacks with amazon smile, so if you set that up you can direct 5.5% of your purchase to charity.
Play a Giving Game - So cool! Just click the icon on the left. With $10,000 set aside to go to a highly effective charity you get to help decide which one it goes to. And learn a bit more about what you value most along the way.
- One Today - This app allows you the daily option of donating one dollar to causes. This little Google app is a great way to keep giving and donating in your mind each day. Another simple effective reminder of all the good we can do in the world.
- Employer Matches - Lots of people don't take advantage of their employer's charitable match programs. Lots of employers will match up to 100% of your donations which means you are doubling your impact! Your employer doesn't offer charitable matching? There are a growing number of people to use friend's employers to double their impact. By getting a friend to donate through an employer who doubles giving you can still double your impact. Most people agree that this, in most cases, isn't illegal, you do run the risk of upsetting said employer. Please consider this carefully and engage at your own risk.
Take the plunge...
Wait, I mean pledge!
If you are really into the idea of effecting change & working to save lives and reduce suffering around the world consider taking a pledge to donate. The Life You Can Save suggests taking a pledge of donating at minimum of 1% of your income. They provide a wonderful income evaluator to see what a good suggested percentage is. Or if you are more ambitious think about taking the Giving What We Can pledge to donate 10% of your income each year.
In my own research of charities I began to think about my need to be discerning with the small amount of money I was able to donate. I wanted the small amount a college student could donate to have the largest impact possible. This is how I first discovered effective altruism. This desire to create the most amount of change with limited resources has carried over into my Birthday Challenge. It has further been informed by my own work in the nonprofit world and a realization that good intentions don't always lead to appropriate or worthy outcomes.
So how do we, as donors and world citizens make informed knowledgeable decisions about the how and why and who of changing the world? I'm rather fond of this summation of the tenants of Effective Altruism by Ben Kuhn:
Maximization: trying to do the most good rather than just some good (and accepting that different things do different amounts of good).
Cause-neutrality: being willing to consider any cause based on how effective it is, rather than giving based on pre-existing “passion” or “connection” to a cause.
Egalitarianism: valuing the well-being of all sentient beings equally.
Consequentialism: taking into account all the consequences of your actions, not just the direct consequences. For example, if you don’t take that job with a nonprofit, would they have just hired someone else instead?
This list is a part of a larger article summarizing some basic readings about EA. Ben isn't the first one to put together such a list - in fact the EA forum has a good one two (you will notice some repetition). For me the biggest selling points that make EA special aren't just trying to be effective but an emphasis on reducing whitewashing charity work, particularly the work done in developing countries. There are lots and lots of other resources out there if you are more interested in the topic. Here are just a few:
Lost perspective somewhere among all that info? Ya, me too. Philosopher Peter Singer explains why it matters.