Charity donations for 2017

The pledge

I had been considering taking the Giving What We Can pledge for a while and through a combination of long philosophical rumination, procrastination, and plain old forgetfulness, I did not act until late 2017.

I went most of the way through the account creation process but eventually got turned off by the extensive request for personal information. I do believe such a pledge serves many useful purposes, and since I feel that taking it here on my personal site, while arguably not quite as visible as taking it on GWWC, still fulfills them.

I pledge that for the rest of my life or until the day I retire, I shall give at least ten percent of what I earn to organisations dedicated to improving the live of others, now and in the years to come. I make this pledge freely, openly, and sincerely.

Note that, unlike the standard GWWC plegde, mine does not make the claim my donations will be the most effective use of that money. I do not believe there is a simple uncontroversial scalar metric by which many wildly different approaches to improving the world can be rated. If one such metric existed, I do not think it could be accurately approximated, and quite frankly, I think it’s more important to establish a norm where people are expected do some amount of good than to hold everyone to an unrealistically high standard and risk losing most of them as a result.

Reality check

Strictly speaking, I fell short of my 10% goal in 2017, only donating 6.1% of my gross income by year end. I have since donated the remainder and will not count it towards my 2018 goal.

I allocated my charity budget in a handful of broad categories and a few organisations in each category. For each organization, I give in the following list the percentages of my yearly donation target.