DOING GOOD BETTER by William MacAskill


Effective Altruism and How You Can Make a Difference
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How to determine which charities are the best to support.

For those with the money and the incentive to do so, donating to charity is common practice. But how do you know if your money is really going to help those most in need? MacAskill (Philosophy/Oxford Univ.), a founder of the “effective altruism movement,” offers readers several parameters they can use to examine the effectiveness of their chosen charity so they can be assured that their “purchase” is doing the most good. By looking at qualitative data such as the overall number of people who will be aided, whether this is the most effective use of the money, and whether this is an area that otherwise might be neglected, the author assures readers that they can donate in a significant way. He thoroughly analyzes each condition he outlines and uses graphics and mathematical formulas to walk readers through examples, comparing existing charities to show that those with some of the largest names in the charity business might not be the most effective. He offers lists of the top charities, in his opinion, along with brief explanations of his findings, and he studies the pros and cons of controversial topics such as sweatshops and child labor in developing countries. MacAskill also explains why it is important to remove the emotional aspect of giving since it may not be the best use of your contribution. (If you know someone with cancer, you’re apt to donate to a cancer society as opposed to, say, buying mosquito netting to help prevent malaria.) There are thousands of charities in the world, most of which are attempting to do good for people. The author shows readers how to take any of these charities and assess them against his structure so they can make informed decisions on their charitable contributions.

Highly useful guidelines to finding the perfect charity worthy of your money.

Pub Date: Aug. 4th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-592-40910-5
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Gotham Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2015


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