One of our group, Steve Barney, was so convinced and moved by our last book that he has taken Peter Singer up on his invitation to do something concrete to help create a "culture of giving." Below is his pledge to give more to save lives, at some cost to his own enjoyment. And he has invited us to ask from time to time how he's doing! Thank you, Steve, for giving us an example.
I PLEDGE . . . that I will make a matching donation, approximately equal to the amount that I spend on nonessential luxury items over the remainder of this year, to an organization, or organizations, helping people throughout the world who live in extreme poverty by giving it to GiveWell (givewell.org/about/donate) for the sole purpose of re-granting it to some of their top charities, according to their next round of charity evaluation research, without using any of it for their own operating expenses.
June 23, 2012
PS: By making this pledge public, I hope that I am, in my own small way, "creating a culture of giving" (title of chapter 5):
"The most important reason for pledging is that by doing so you help to change the culture of giving."...
--The Life You Can Save -- http://www.thelifeyoucansave.com/why
This is my self-imposed luxury or consumption tax, similar to one described in Singer’s book:
"Israel Shenker, founder and CEO of the Philadelphia-based real estate firm ISS Development, is happy to tell others about his standard. He matches everything he spends on discretionary items—vacations, a luxury car, a larger house than he needs—with a charitable donation of the same amount." ...
"Shenker’s standard is a self-imposed consumption tax—if you spend extravagantly, you will also be giving substantially. But much will depend on how strictly the category of "discretionary item" is interpreted: Remember that bottle of water. On the other hand, a consumption-related standard allows those who are reinvesting their income productively to live modestly and continue to do so. The very rich, though, should go beyond merely matching their philanthropy to their consumption."... (The Life You Can Save, p. 160-161)