After some years of making donations to a range of well-known and respected charities, I have recently decided to take a more deliberate approach when selecting recipient organizations. Effectiveness as measured by impact per dollar varies greatly between organizations which means choosing charities carefully makes a big difference for everyone who wishes to do the most good with their donations.
Imaginge saving a child from drowning. That experience will likely be a defining moment for the rest of your life. It takes an estimated $4,500 to save a life (source) through donations to the most effective charities. That sounds like a lot. However, if you take home in excess of $25,000/year in net income and donate 10% to recommended charities, you’ll save one life every other year for the rest of your working life. That’s incredible impact, and very achievable for working people in wealthy countries.
Multiple people have inspired me to make this decision, and perhaps I will inspire someone to do the same in the future. An important inspirational voice for me and others is that of Will MacAskill, Associate Professor in Philosophy at University of Oxford. Will is the author of the book Doing Good Better - Effective Altruism and a Radical New Way to Make a Difference, which I warmly recommend.