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  • Occupation:Student, Professional, Retired
  • Time commitment:Hours
  • Duration:Long-term
  • Familiarity with EA:New, Familiar, Very Familiar

The effective altruism movement began with a pledge. A few dozen people gathered in a house and promised to donate at least 10% of their income to highly effective charities, for the rest of their lives.

Since then, more than 8,000 people have taken one of the following pledges:

  • The original Giving What We Can Pledge — 10% of lifetime income, or 1% of spending money for students and the unemployed.
  • Try Giving, a temporary commitment for those who want to test the waters before taking a lifetime pledge.
  • The Founders Pledge, for startup founders who promise to donate a percentage of the proceeds when they succeed, even if they can't afford to give much before then.

Taking a pledge lets you make a serious commitment to improving the world through your donations. By declaring your intention to give, and joining a community of others who've done the same, you can make altruism a deeper part of your identity, and strengthen the EA movement as a whole.

However, a pledge is a major decision, and it won't make sense for everyone:

  • You might choose to prioritize financial security, so that you can be more flexible in your career and make a bigger impact that way.
  • You might choose to give later in life, once you've taken more time to consider your values and research your options.
  • You also might decide that a pledge just isn't a good fit, for any number of reasons — and that's totally fine. (Many dedicated members of the EA community haven't taken a pledge.)