Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde.

2020 Giving Report

In 2020, I donated €12,725.

Just like last year, in 2020 I gave away around 10% of my net income. My strategy is to distribute this amount across three cause areas:

  1. 20% to finding long-term solutions to global poverty and inequality.
  2. 20% to spreading happiness.
Against Malaria Foundation    €6,433
Malaria Consortium €1,132
J-PAL €2,580
StrongMinds €2,580

Why Against Malaria Foundation?

AMF has been on GiveWell’s list of most effective charities for years. The organisation provides free mosquito nets in areas affected by malaria at a cost of $5 per net. It is estimated that a donation of $4,450 will save a life.

Why Malaria Consortium?

Rather than distributing nets, the Malaria Consortium prevents malaria in children by providing them with seasonal chemoprevention. Protecting one child costs around $7. The cost per life saved is estimated to be $3,373. While this is lower than the estimate for AMF, GiveWell considers the two programmes to be equally effective as it is impossible to calculate cost-effectiveness precisely.

Why J-PAL?

Last year, I donated to Innovations for Poverty Action, an organisation that runs randomized controlled trials and works with decision-makers in target countries to facilitate the adoption of the most effective poverty interventions. This year, I decided to support J-PAL instead. While the two organisations are closely related, J-PAL engages in research that is more diverse and often more speculative. On the one hand, this means that some of the studies they fund will lead to dead ends. On the other hand, their willingness to experiment and their vast network of researchers means that they might just come up with something big.

Why StrongMinds?

In much of the world, mental health is chronically neglected. Most low- and middle-income countries spend less than $2 per person per year on mental disorder prevention and treatment. On top of that, there is very little evidence on the effectiveness of such treatments. In other words, finding a charity that works on mental health in lower-income countries and is demonstrably effective is pretty much impossible. The thing is, depression, anxiety and other disorders are not waiting around until researchers, charities and governments get together and run a randomized controlled trial or two. Almost 800M people, or more than 10% of the world’s population, were affected even before the pandemic started. Today that number is likely much higher.

As always, this was hard

I agonise over my giving decisions. What if another charity fights malaria more effectively? What if rather than supporting poverty research it would be more effective to give to social movements? Can group therapy really treat depression?

Bookworm (but I sometimes go on real adventures) · Obsessive thinker · Inconsistent writer · “You live and learn. At any rate, you live.” — Douglas Adams