Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Would you change your giving?

I recently signed up for GiveWell's periodic updates (which I strongly recommend) and the initial email came along with a this survey question:
Would you consider supporting different organizations if you found options that could accomplish more good with your donation?
I read this and thought: "Of course. That's what I'm all about." But then I thought about my recent first-time decision to donate. It was to a small organization working on economic empowerment, the type of organization I've always worked with and been interested in. It was the type of organization I set out to donate to.

So, then I thought: "Would I really? Or am I just blind to all, potentially better, alternatives?"

If your favorite organization (or your favorite cause) ended up on the naughty list, would you accept it and move on, or would you defend it to the end? Maybe you'd make up an excuse, like it is working to solve broader, more difficult to measure problems or it is a small organization finding its way. Or maybe you'd say: Who's to decide what organization is better than another?

I hope that's not what I would do. What would you do?

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