As Christians we are called to ‘be doers of the word, and not hearers only’ (James 1:22).
The insights of effective altruism will only be useful if we choose to put them into practice. Here are a few ideas for getting started.
Learn how to give effectively
Figuring out where to give isn’t easy. Fortunately, many organisations have developed some excellent ways to figure out where your giving can have the biggest impact.
Through the use of robust research, the organization GiveWell has named some of the most effective charities in the world. A similar organization, the Open Philanthropy Project, looks at cause areas that are harder to assess like public policy advocacy, science research, and global catastrophic risks.
Learn how to make your career effective
Are you interested in increasing your impact through your work? The organization 80,000 Hours is here to help. They provide plenty of resources about how to improve or maximize the positive impact your career will have on the world. They also give practical tips about how to seek pay raises, whether or not you should move to an industry hub, and how you should consider happiness in your career.
Take the pledge
One of the best ways to have an impact is to sign up for Giving What We Can’s pledge. Giving What We Can is a global community of people who are committed to giving what they can to the most effective causes.
By taking the pledge, you commit to giving a certain percent of your income to effective charities every year. This helps you guarantee a certain continuity in your effective giving. Also, the public message of taking the pledge encourages others to follow.
Questions like global poverty alleviation, global health, and systems change can seem overwhelming or difficult. It is important to pray, seeking out wisdom about what the role of a Christian is in this turbulent, confusing space.
Join a local effective altruism chapter
One of the best ways to further explore these ideas is to either join or start a chapter of EA. Learn about chapters here. Lending your perspective to the group would be a great way to show that Christians care about these issues deeply.
Check out similar organizations
The Centre for Effective Altruism has some helpful tips for getting started, and tons of resources for learning more. Other organizations to look out for include the Open Philanthropy Project, GiveWell, Giving What We Can, The Life You Can Save, The Global Priorities Project, and Animal Charity Evaluators.
Do a Bible study about giving in your church or house group
What good is a light if it is kept under a bushel? One of the most important things you can do with these ideas is spread them in your circles. We believe that Christianity and effective altruism are a match made in Heaven, and further exploring these ideas in the context of Biblical teachings would be a great way to spread the word.
Stay tuned – we’ll have a few sample lessons up soon.