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FAQ Topic: Effective Altruism

What is effective altruism?

Effective altruism is an approach to philanthropic giving that focuses on maximizing the good from one’s charitable donations. This evidence-based approach first identifies issues where the next dollar spent could have the greatest impact on human welfare, and then supports the most effective charities tackling these issues. 

In his book, The Life You Can Save, Princeton ethicist Peter Singer asserts charities operating effectively in low-resource countries—where poverty and its effects are most pronounced—are best positioned to make the largest impact.

Since 2014, The Life You Can Save organization has recommended Fistula Foundation as one of its Top Charities that it believes provides the greatest good for funds spent. Named after Singer’s seminal book, this watchdog organization is one of  the nonprofit sector’s most authoritative voices on Effective Altruism.

From a health metrics standpoint, healing a woman with fistula is a highly effective intervention—comparing favorably with vaccines and bed nets. Obstetric fistula is one of humanity’s most disabling injuries, but it can be cured by a surgery that costs $586.

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