Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference

Sold by Penguin
20
Free sample

Most of us want to make a difference. We donate our time and money to charities and causes we deem worthy, choose careers we consider meaningful, and patronize businesses and buy products we believe make the world a better place. Unfortunately, we often base these decisions on assumptions and emotions rather than facts. As a result, even our best intentions often lead to ineffective—and sometimes downright harmful—outcomes. How can we do better?

While a researcher at Oxford, trying to figure out which career would allow him to have the greatest impact, William MacAskill confronted this problem head on. He discovered that much of the potential for change was being squandered by lack of information, bad data, and our own prejudice. As an antidote, he and his colleagues developed effective altruism, a practical, data-driven approach that allows each of us to make a tremendous difference regardless of our resources. Effective altruists believe that it’s not enough to simply do good; we must do good better.

At the core of this philosophy are five key questions that help guide our altruistic decisions: How many people benefit, and by how much? Is this the most effective thing I can do? Is this area neglected? What would have happened otherwise? What are the chances of success, and how good would success be? By applying these questions to real-life scenarios, MacAskill shows how many of our assumptions about doing good are misguided. For instance, he argues one can potentially save more lives by becoming a plastic surgeon rather than a heart surgeon; measuring overhead costs is an inaccurate gauge of a charity’s effectiveness; and, it generally doesn’t make sense for individuals to donate to disaster relief.

MacAskill urges us to think differently, set aside biases, and use evidence and careful reasoning rather than act on impulse. When we do this—when we apply the head and the heart to each of our altruistic endeavors—we find that each of us has the power to do an astonishing amount of good.


From the Hardcover edition.
Read more

About the author

William MacAskill is an Associate Professor in Philosophy at Oxford University and the cofounder of the nonprofit organizations Giving What We Can and 80,000 Hours. These nonprofits have raised over $400 million in lifetime pledged donations to charity and helped to spark the effective altruism movement. He is a contributor to Quartz, the online business magazine of The Atlantic and he and his organizations have been featured in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and TED, among other media outlets. He lives in Oxford, England.


From the Hardcover edition.
Read more
3.9
20 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
Read more
Published on
Jul 28, 2015
Read more
Pages
288
Read more
ISBN
9780698191105
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Social Science / Philanthropy & Charity
Social Science / Volunteer Work
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Get ready to question everything you’ve been told about charity, and to find out how you can truly succeed at making the world a better place.

Many of us donate to charitable causes, and millions more work or volunteer for non-profit organizations. Yet virtually none of us have been taught what it means to succeed at doing good, let alone how to do so. In short, we’ve never been encouraged to treat charity with the seriousness and rigor it deserves.

How to be Great at Doing Good is a complacency-shattering guidebook for anyone who wants to actually change the world, whether as a donor, a volunteer, or a non-profit staffer. Drawing on eye-opening studies in psychology and human behavior, surprising interviews with philanthropy professionals, and the author’s fifteen years of experience founding and managing top-rated non-profits, this book is an essential read for anyone who wants to do more good with their time and money.

Find out how Bill Gates and a team of MIT grads are saving thousands of lives by applying business principles to charity work – and how we can tooPeer inside our brains as we donate, and discover how the same chemical forces that make us crave junk food and sex can steer us toward bad charity decisionsSee why following our passion and doing what we’re good at can actually doom our efforts to improve the worldLearn how two seemingly identical charities can have jaw-dropping differences in impact, and find out how to pick the best one when donating

Sure to generate controversy among non-profits and philanthropists who prefer business as usual, How to be Great at Doing Good reveals that a more calculated, effective approach to charity work isn’t just possible – it’s absolutely necessary for those who want to succeed at changing the world.

©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.