The awkward truth about choosing charities

Philosopher Peter Singer broaches an uncomfortable truth about the Make-A-Wish Foundation and GoFundMe pages.

  • None of us have infinite bank accounts so when we make charitable donations we have to weigh up how to do it most effectively. What is the most suffering you can reduce for the amount of money you have?
  • Philosopher Peter Singer uses the Make-A-Wish Foundation as an example. It's a much loved charity for the joy it gives to dying children. Yet the cost of the average wish is $7,500—an amount that, if spent effectively, can save one, two, three, four, or more children's lives, says Peter Singer.
  • "We ought to think about that before we respond emotionally to what seems like a great idea," says Singer. "If you compare saving a child's life with giving a child one great day then anybody—the child, the parents—anybody would say 'Oh, so much better to save the child's life, of course.' And you can save not just one child's life but more than one."
A free download of the 10th anniversary edition of The Life You Can Save: How to Do Your Part to End World Poverty is available here.





America’s 'Great Wealth Transfer': How to pass on values and purpose

It's estimated that $68 trillion will pass down from Boomers to millennials. Here's how ultra-rich families can do the most amount of good with what they inherit.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
  • Approximately $68 trillion will pass from boomers to millennials over the next few decades in what's known as the Great Wealth Transfer.
  • 90% of family wealth is gone by the time the third generation comes around, primarily due to familial conflict.
  • Social capital advisor Richard Tafel suggests 4 steps families should follow so they transfer wealth in a way that does the most amount of social good.
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3 easy ways to help people in extreme poverty

There are many different ways of helping people in extreme poverty. Philosopher Peter Singer explains how you can do it.

  • Widely described as one of the most influential living philosophers, Peter Singer provides concrete and straightforward ways of combatting poverty.
  • You can have a major impact by donating to organizations like the Seva Foundation or Fred Hollows Foundation, which perform cataract surgery; the Fistula Foundation, which corrects potentially ruinous complications that occur while giving birth; and Village Enterprise, which fosters and funds enterprise in small villages.
  • A free download of the 10th anniversary edition of The Life You Can Save: How to Do Your Part to End World Poverty is available here.
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How much does it cost to save a life?

Our personal choices can help to effectively combat poverty, says Peter Singer.

  • For the amount it costs to save one life in the United States, several hundred or a thousand lives could be saved in developing countries.
  • You can make small sacrifices to fuel your personal philanthropy. Instead of giving, "we're buying ourselves things that we don't really need," says philosopher Peter Singer. "Things that might range from expensive cars to simply buying bottled water when we can drink the water out of the tap."
  • Peter Singer is the founder of The Life You Can Save, an organization that aims to help change the culture of giving in affluent countries and increase donations to reputable and effective nonprofits.
  • A free download of the 10th anniversary edition of The Life You Can Save: How to Do Your Part to End World Poverty is available here.
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College education is still a class luxury in America. PeerForward is changing that.

Like it or not, most jobs still require some kind of secondary degree. PeerForward is working with low-income communities to ensure that students aren't excluded based on their zip code.

  • More than two-thirds of American jobs require some kind of secondary education. Unfortunately, kids growing up in a low-income area simply do not have the same resources as wealthier areas when it comes to applying for college or making it to graduation.
  • PeerForward works with students in low-income areas to get them into college by helping them identify their target college, find and apply for financial aid, and consider how their choice of major connects to their future career.
  • PeerForward now is expanding onto college campuses to help students persist to earning a degree. The organization hopes to reach 10,000 college students by 2024.
  • PeerForward is a winner of the Lumina Prize. Discover what they're about here.
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