My 2011 pledge: Spend 1, Give 1

Inspired by zestyping’s pledge (hat tip Peter Singer) I have decided to make a similar pledge for 2011. For every £1 (or $1 or €1 or ¥1) I spend during 2011, I will give £1 to an effective charity.

I’m still working on my definition of an effective charity. I’ll focus on that in the coming weeks. I hope to use an existing system of measuring charity’s effectiveness rather than trying to re-invent the wheel. Any tips / suggestions?

In effect, this doubles the cost of everything. Every time I spend, I give, on everything. My current outgoings are approximately £400 a month, so this pledge doubles my financial needs to about £800 a month. Time to get some projects cranking… 🙂

The spending and giving won’t necessarily be simultaneous. For the next few months I may accrue debt towards charities as I might not have the cash to make payments. But by the end of 2011 I will have settled, and every pound spent will have been matched with a pound given.

As this decision has serious financial consequences, I’m giving myself a 7 day cooling off period. So I can back out, without penalty, in the next 7 days. I don’t expect to.

5 thoughts on “My 2011 pledge: Spend 1, Give 1”

  1. Wow, this is quite bold and impressive, going beyond the essential/non-essential distinction that I make. I am very interested to know how it goes!

    Regarding which charities are effective, I have so far found the arguments at http://givewell.com/ and http://givingwhatwecan.org/ to be fairly compelling. I am sure that there is much more to learn, and hope to join many conversations about this question over the coming year.

    1. Excellent, thanks for those links, I’ll check them out in detail. I’m thinking to aim for quarterly donations to 3 charities. So a total of 12 per year. Not sure if I’ll be ready for the March set though, it might be 6 in June depending on how my finances play out over the next few months… 🙂

    1. That was part of my inspiration, you’ve mentioned Paul and b1g1 before. I couldn’t quite make sense of what they do, but it sounded right on. 🙂

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