Combining Empathy with Evidence

Effective altruism is a growing social movement founded on the desire to make the world as good a place as it can be, the use of evidence and reason to find out how to do so, and the audacity to actually try.

As the organisation to first settle on the term, the Centre for Effective Altruism is a growing coalition of projects that put these ideas into practice in different ways. The Centre is based at its offices in the University of Oxford.

The following two organisations are part of the Centre for Effective Altruism:

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Giving What We Can

Giving What We Can is an international society dedicated to eliminating extreme poverty. Its members take a pledge committing to donate at least 10% of their incomes to relieve the suffering caused by extreme poverty. It is also critical that they donate to the most effective charities, so that it will have the greatest impact possible. To that end, Giving What We Can also undertakes research into the most effective ways to help people in the developing world. It turns out that the difference between charities is astounding: some do 1,000 times as much good with their donation as others!

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80,000 Hours

80,000 Hours was founded in October 2011 to help people like you use the 80,000 hours you’ve got in your career to make a difference: we provide life-changing one-on-one career coaching to exceptional individuals, produce in-depth research on the careers that do the most to solve the world’s most pressing problems, and have a global community of like-minded world-changers.

The Centre is also piloting projects, including setting priorities among the many challenges facing the world, as well as promoting effective altruist ideas to a wide audience. If successful, these experiments may go on to form their own organisations.

The following two organisations started as part of the Centre for Effective Altruism, and now operate independently in the United States:

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The Life You Can Save

The Life You Can Save is a movement of people fighting extreme poverty. It holds that an ethical life involves using some of one's wealth and resources to save and improve the lives of the less fortunate. For this reason, it spreads knowledge of what all of us can do to reduce poverty and we encourage people to publicly pledge a percentage of their income to highly effective aid organizations.

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Animal Charity Evaluators

Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) is dedicated to finding and advocating for highly effective opportunities for improving the lives of animals. Using research, evidence, and reason, ACE aids compassionate givers, professionals, and volunteers in determining the most effective ways to help animals. ACE was founded by 80,000 Hours staff working in Oxford, and until late 2013 was called Effective Animal Activism. Today it is based in California and is financially independent from the Centre, though it remains affiliated.

Learn more about effective altruism