Great, succinct explication of effective altruism and its importance, by reference to the concept of ‘donor-focused philanthropy’.
Originally posted on Quartz:
The ice bucket challenge is a symbol for much that’s wrong with contemporary charity: a celebration of good intentions without regard for good outcomes. It is iconic for what I call donor-focused philanthropy—making charitable giving about the giver, rather than about those who need help.
In my previous article I mentioned one damaging aspect of donor-focused philanthropy: that it encourages a culture of great praise for small gifts. I believe this culture trades a small short-term gain in donations for a long-term harm by undermining a charitable attitude according to which there are serious problems in the world that desperately need our help, and that won’t be solved by a bucket of ice water. (For those who point to the now $8 million raised, I respond: should we regard the fact that the most widely-publicised fundraising campaign in years has raised 3¢ per citizen, or 0.00006% of GDP, as a cause for…
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