Dan Smith is on a mission to save lives as he once again offers to match charitable donations to effective charities this time with a $175,000 ceiling.
There was a knock on the door.
Nobody knocks on my door unless they are (a) delivering something, or (b) wanting something. Either way, the beat signifies money flowing out of my account quicker than the water from the melting ice caps flowing out of the frozen wastes of our world.
I open the door, and there stands a young man from St.John’s Ambulance. I listen to him for 10-minutes, talking about the lack of first aiders in the country, and how we need more to save avoidable deaths. He also talks about their school program. And then he asks me for a donation.
There was a time when I would have given a donation to anyone who knocked on my door. Then I read The Life You Can Save and The Most Good You Can Do by Peter Singer who taught me that I should apply more rational thought to charitable giving than just handing out my cash to all and sundry.
There was only one problem. Using rational thought sounds like hard work.
I needed a simplified method to apply my newfound knowledge.
I Want to Donate to Charity But Who do I Donate to?
Choosing to give at all is a significant milestone. Resistance reminds you that you can’t afford it, to wait until next year and that you still have plans to buy those lovely Gucci loafers.
Once you can get over that hurdle the next question posed is where to donate? If like me, you don’t like thinking too hard about anything and don’t feel a particular heart-connection to one charity or another, then the best place to visit is Givewell.org because they will do the hard work for you.
In 2015, Dan Colman and Dan Smith created a charitable drive that leant towards the type of charities recommended by Givewell.org. The pair promised to match charitable donations to a limit of $70,000. Add a matching challenge to a set of charities that you know receive the biggest bang for your buck and you have an easy decision on your hands, and that’s right up my alley.
Dan Smith is Doubling Down For Charity
The matching drive was such a success for Dan Smith; he has decided to do it again, only this time he has raised his personal stakes.
Smith is offering to match contributions to a ceiling of $175,000, and he has reduced your thinking time further by recommending three very different routes that you can take.
The first is to choose from the most effective charities as determined by Givewell.org and The Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) and Give Directly are two that Smith extracts from the noise.
His second tranche of charities is designed to positively affect the problems that The US’s rising incarceration rate introduces into the world. I know what you are thinking.
Don’t we want to ensure our bad guys and gals are locked up?
Yes and no.
According to statistics stolen from William MacAskill’s Doing Good Better the USA have a horrific problem when it comes to locking people up. At any one point in time, the criminal justice system needs to find a home for 2.2 million inhabitants representing 0.7% of the country’s population, one of the highest in the world. And yet the US has the highest level of intentional homicide rates in the developed world with 4.7 per 100,000 people per year meaning the prison system is not working when it comes to acting as a deterrent.
Smith wants to do something about that and recommends a selection of charities trying to make a difference.
His final group of funds all come from foundations that are looking at fixing the world’s root cause issues, so none of these problems exists. A donation of $3,500 to the AMF can save a child’s life by providing impoverished people with anti-Malaria nets, but wouldn’t it be more efficient to fight the root cause of the poverty?
Smith wants you to consider those possibilities.
I never did give the St Johns Ambulance any money. I thanked the lad for his time, told him that I already invested my money into charities that made sense to me and thanked him for making a difference in the world.
And that’s what he is doing.
The St John’s Ambulance might not rank on Givewell.org as a highly efficient charity, but that young man probably doesn’t know that. I am sure he goes home at the end of the day safe in the knowledge that there will always be a piece of his heart devoted to helping those less fortunate than him.
We need more people like him.
We need more people like Dan Smith.
But most importantly, we need more people spreading education on effective charities so at least people can consider more effective and different choices.
If you want to donate to one of Dan’s suggested charities and take advantage of his willingness to match your donation then follow this link.