Friday, September 18, 2015

Philanthropy Friday: Effective Altruism: a primer

By Christine Emba

Should we value art museums as much as we do homeless shelters? For those seeking better ways to answer those questions, a new philosophy for giving is gaining traction — especially among younger and more quantitatively-driven potential philanthropists. Effective altruism, advocated by ethicists like Peter Singer and entrepreneurs like Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, leans on utilitarian principles to say that it is a moral responsibility not only to give to charity but also to optimize your charitable donations to ensure that they are as “high-impact” as possible. If cost-effectiveness is the ultimate goal, where do philanthropic efforts for the arts and humanities fit in? How can one best define “the good?”[link]