Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

Welcome to the so-called giving season. If you have given to charity, you will soon be inundated with letters and email imploring you to do so again. Giving Tuesday approaches! Gifts will be matched! Bad charities will claim to be good! Giving is good, but don’t make any impulsive decisions. Instead, consider the work of the philosopher Peter Singer and in …

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Funny, how timing is everything. Peter Singer, the Princeton professor, ethicist and author who has been called the world’s most influential living philosopher, laid out the principles of what is now known as Effective Altruism in a succinct 1972 essay called Famine, Affluence and Morality. “If it is in our power to prevent something very bad …

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To borrow an overused word from Silicon Valley, Effective Altruism threatens to disrupt conventional philanthropy. Effective altruists, who aim to do the most good they can with their time and money, rely on reason and evidence to decide where to donate. If enough people join their movement–and yes, it is a movement–more charity dollars will flow …

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In a 1972 essay called Fame, Affluence and Morality, Peter Singer, the philosopher and intellectual leader of the Effective Altruism movement, wrote:  If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, then we ought, morally, to do it. Nearly 40 years later, Singer made …

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The idea of “effective altruism” — giving from the head, not the heart, to do as much good as possible — is gathering attention these days. It’s the topic of The Most Good You Can Do, a new book from Peter Singer, a philosopher at Princeton. Practically speaking, effective altruism would seem to favor nonprofit …

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