Effective Altruism vs. Traditional Charity

By | October 6, 2015

effective altruism

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Despite all of the talk about the nonprofits having to demonstrate the “direct impact” of philanthropic gifts, William Schambra’s research has found that “only 3 percent of donors give based on the relative performance of charities.” In addition, “Among those [donors] who do research, only 24% regard outcomes as the most important information.” And in a recent op-ed by Jeremy Beer, he challenges the notion that “effective altruism” is the wave of the future for philanthropy and we should not dismiss the fundamentals of traditional charity as its been practiced for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

Certainly, the conversation about effective altruism versus traditional charity is coming to a head, and that’s why it’s the topic of this week’s #fundchat. Join the #fundchat community on Wednesday, October 7 from 12-1 pm EST for a discussion on this important topic.

Guiding questions for this chat (one posted every 10 minutes or so during the hour):

  • Q1 Is “effective altruism” changing the expectations of your donors? Why or why not?
  • Q2 What are the top 3 reasons donors support your #nonprofit?
  • Q3 What is the biggest downside to traditional charity as you know it?
  • Q4 Sites like @CharityNav focus on “results reporting.” Are #nonprofit rating systems helpful or not?
  • Q5 How does your #nonprofit “demonstrate impact?”

Here’s what you can do to ensure a successful #fundchat:

  • Share this post with your social networks! Invite your colleagues to join the conversation.
  • Suggest questions that we should ask during the chat to guide the discussion (use the comments section below).
  • Review the question line-up for the discussion. We typically post these guiding questions the night before the chat.
  • Participate in the conversation. Don’t forget to follow and use the hashtag. You can also use our live discussion page.

#fundchat is a weekly conversation on Twitter where experts share and discuss topics related to nonprofit fundraising and marketing. Joining #fundchat is easy. Use your favorite Twitter client to follow the hashtag (#fundchat!) during 12 – 1 pm EST to see the conversation in action. When chiming in, be sure to include the hashtag in your tweet. You can also use our live discussion page or Nurph.

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