How to Be an Effective Altruist When Giving to Charities

Lucius Caviola and Joshua Greene: It’s easier to follow effective altruism principles if we also acknowledge the importance of personal meaning when it comes to helping others.

The next time you’re ready to give, make two donations: one to a charity that speaks to your heart and one to a charity that’s expert-certified for extraordinary impact. Why not support your local school or hospital, but also give to a project that treats parasitic worm infections for about 66 cents per child? (, a website we created at Harvard, will add to your donations when you pair your giving in this way.) Human goodness comes from the heart. We shouldn’t deny that. But by making charitable giving a bit more evidence-based, we can multiply our impact and benefit even more people.


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