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The Science Behind Effective Charitable Giving


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Charitable giving is one of the greatest hallmarks of our culture.

Published in: Lifestyle
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The Science Behind Effective Charitable Giving

  1. 1. The Science Behind Effective Charitable Giving ADAM CROMAN
  2. 2. ADAM CROMAN Charitable giving is one of the greatest hallmarks of our culture. But donating money to charities is a less straightforward process than one might think, and with so many issues of varying severity, and different ways to solve each of them, it’s not clear how a person can make the biggest impact with their charitable giving.
  3. 3. ADAM CROMAN EFFECTIVE ALTRUISM a social movement dedicated to helping individuals make informed decisions when giving to charities. Donations are decided through scientific evaluation of an organization’s success, and effective altruism finds which charities have the most potential for impact and identifies the best solutions for charities to carry out
  4. 4. ADAM CROMAN STEP 1CHOOSE ORGANIZATION Givers must perform research in order to select charities based on a few criteria: the scale of the issue at hand, how “neglected” it is, and how likely the issue is to be solved.
  5. 5. ADAM CROMAN EXAMPLE: THE SCALE OF THE ISSUE Issues of blindness and HIV affect nearly identical amounts of people, about 36 million each. However, a study conducted by the WHO concluded that people living with untreated HIV exhibit a disease burden 1.5 times higher than blind individuals. In this case, HIV is a larger scale issue than blindness, despite affect similar numbers of people, and an effective altruist would prefer to donate to charities combating HIV.
  6. 6. ADAM CROMAN A “NEGLECTED” ISSUE is one that’s scale is measurably large, but has less funds being donated to it.
  7. 7. ADAM CROMAN Solvability for an issue is important, but once knowing that success is achievable, the goal should then shift to discovering the most cost-effective solution.
  8. 8. ADAM CROMAN While effective charitable giving and effective altruism are more likely sources for scientific analysis, there is also scientific data linked to the basic act of giving. When a person gives, the brain’s pleasure and reward centers light up as if the giver was the recipient, and the body floods with oxytocin, a hormone that lowers stress and makes a person feel more connected with others. Simply put, it feels good to give.
  9. 9. ADAM CROMAN IN CONCLUSION: Giving and helping others is seemingly ingrained in the human psyche, and effective altruism is a sign that we are always looking for ways to better do so. Any charitable person hopes that their contribution is important; by researching and using the scientific techniques behind effective charitable giving, that goal is more attainable than ever.