As the calendar flips over to the new year, I take time to review the past 12 months. This review includes looking back on the experiences, activities, books, and purchases that produced the most and least joy. One of the items that produces significant meaning is budgeting a small percent of my paycheck for donations. This money could definitely be used for a shiny new iPad or invested in my retirement fund. However, it’s important to me to set aside a certain amount of money for worthy causes every year.
I first came across the idea of annual charitable donations while researching career advice in 2018. One of the takeaways from that research was I wanted to make a positive impact on the world. According to 80,000 Hours, the most effective way to do that is a career in research, government policy, or non-profit organizations. However, people in any career can make a significant impact by contributing financially. Since I’m not in any of the aforementioned fields, I’ve decided to do my part with donations.
I donated to the following charitable organizations in 2019:
Youth Rally is an organization dedicated to helping adolescents living with bowel and bladder conditions. I made this contribution because my friend asked for donations as his birthday present. Money is a taboo subject and asking for it can be difficult. So whenever one of my friends ask for donations and it’s within my means, I do what I can to contribute.
TEACH FOR AMERICA
Teach for America‘s mission is to provide an excellent and equitable education to all children. They believe, as I do, that where you are born should not determine your opportunities. Being a former Corps Member, I feel compelled to donate every year to this cause.
EFFECTIVE ALTRUISM FUND
Most of my donation dollars go to the the Effective Altruism Fund. This fund uses analysis and research to determine the best causes to work on. The people behind the fund do all the leg work to determine the best and most effective charities. This frees me up to concentrate on other aspects of life while still making a positive impact on the world.