Why we’re giving well

Why we're giving well

Ask yourself what would you really love to do with your time on earth.

Some people, like us, are just lucky. 

I live in a nice house. I don’t need to worry about the price of food or fuel. I never worry that I might not have enough money to take care of my family. I’m in the top 3% of richest people in the world, and maybe you are too. https://howrichami.givingwhatwecan.org/how-rich-am-i

£30 is unlikely to change my level of happiness, health, or satisfaction in any given month. So if I want to help others, it would be reasonable to give it away to a good cause.

Here’s where Effective Altruism comes in.

We sometimes don’t ask ourselves the same simple rational questions about charitable donations that we would ask about spending money on well… anything else.

Questions like: is this good value? Can I buy the same thing for a tiny fraction of the price somewhere else?

GiveWell is a charity evaluator/assessor which focuses on the cost-effectiveness of the charities it evaluates. It was set up by two wealthy finance guys who decided to give away a fortune to help others, and wanted to figure how best to do that https://www.givewell.org/about

I think most people have no idea how HUGE of a difference there can be between different charitable causes & organisations.

From thelifeyoucansave.org:

Not all charities are equal.
Some charities can be hundreds or even thousands of times more impactful than others.

The best charities can be 

  • at least ten times better than a typical charity within the same area 
  • hundreds of times better than poor-performing charities

and the worst charities can even do harm.

From https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/charity-comparisons/

If we select the charities that are most effective, we can do an astonishing amount of good with a relatively small amount of money.

In Effective Altruism, there are broadly three categories of causes, and people tend to gravitate  towards those which interest them the most

  1. Global health and extreme poverty
  2. Animal Welfare
  3. Longtermism

Humans: Global Health & poverty
Personally I’m most interested in human health and finding the most effective ways to alleviate the worst poverty and human suffering in the world.

Animal welfare comes a close second, and I find myself being more convinced of the importance of this as time goes on. I think I’ll probably start donating to these causes fairly soon.

Longtermism: people/ other sentient beings who aren’t alive yet:
Frankly I’m just not there yet. I understand the intellectual argument but just can’t seem to convince myself that not-yet-born people are as important as children currently dying of malaria. Longtermism is, as far as I can tell, the nerdy branch of EA. It’s wonderful that people are thinking and caring about this issue, but in all honesty I’m just… not. Yet. 

The GiveWell Maximum Impact Fund is a great option if we’re interested in global health, saving human lives, and alleviating human suffering.

Here’s a clip of Evie chatting to Luke Freeman, Executive Director of Giving What We Can, where Luke explains the meaning & benefit of GiveWell’s Maximum Impact Fund 


The figure of £30 was chosen based on the idea that if there were 10 of us in the group, our donations would add up to saving the life of a child per year. You can read about how GiveWell estimated this figure here

We in the Physios Giving Well group can reasonably expect that by making these donations we’ll save a child’s life this year, and prevent many others from suffering. Imagine your neighbour’s child, your friend’s child, or your own child.
That’s how real the child whose life we can save is.

To donate £30 monthly:

Go to secure.givewell.org

The amount must be stated in US Dollars. 
£30 is currently about $37.
Opt for “every month”.

I’m hoping this group will have fun knowing each other and achieving some good together. It would be great to have different types of people with different backgrounds and views, all interested in “doing dood better” (see the book of the same name by William Mac Askill)

As part of this group, let’s keep an eye on each other on social media, and help and be good to each other whenever we can. Even if we disagree on everything else – physio treatment strategies, politics, or whatever – we know we’re all united by a deeper wish to help others and be decent people. Kumbaya-style.

On that note, I will be happy to amplify or promote the ideas, causes and messages of the people in this group – if I miss something that’s important to you and you’d like to share, please let me know.

Maybe we can all even make physiotwitter a slightly better place by agreeing that in this group, we all treat each other well regardless of any differences of opinion.


I’m so happy to be in this community. It’s a great feeling to encourage and support each other to do some real good in the world.



Interesting or enlightening Effective Altruism-related sites and resources:


Episode #44 of the Making Sense podcast with William Mac Askill: https://www.samharris.org/podcasts/making-sense-episodes/being-good-and-doing-good

Hearing this episode is what first got me interested in Effective Altruism back in 2016. 
The full episode is subscriber-only, this is an hour-long excerpt.
(Note: I’ve been in touch with the podcast team and they have said I can play the full episode over Zoom for a group if any of you want to hear the whole thing but don’t want to subscribed to the pod.)





Evie’s interview with Marcus Daniell, a pro tennis play who founded “High Impact Athletes” https://physiosonline.co.uk/2022/05/high-impact-athletes-with-pro-tennis-player-marcus-daniell/

Video of Evie with Luke Freeman, Executive Director of Giving What We Can:

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