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This page collects our favorite resources on effective altruism, including articles, videos, and podcasts — there are many ways to learn!

See the Take Action page for ways to get involved more directly.

The EA Newsletter

The newsletter is our top recommendation for staying up to date. (It's also written by the same people who are writing this, so we're a bit biased.)

Sign up, and we'll send you one email a month with the latest news, ideas, and opportunities from the EA community. No spam.

The EA Handbook

If you want to learn about effective altruism, where should you start?

For a single article, you can't go wrong with our introduction.

But you'll get a better picture of the movement through the EA Handbook. This free resource lets you explore the movement's core ideas, so that you can start applying them to your own life.

You can also join our free online course to discuss these ideas with other people. If you have the time, this is what we recommend. For most people, a course is the best way to learn more and get involved.

As a preview, the handbook and the online course address these key questions:

  1. Why is it so important to focus on "effective" altruism?
  2. How can we tell which actions do the most good?
  3. Who should we care about helping?
  4. How should we think about the long-term impact of our actions?
  5. What can we do to prevent the worst possible outcome for humanity?
  6. How should we prepare for technology that could reshape our civilization?
  7. What are some important objections to the ideas of effective altruism?
  8. Once we've learned the basics, how can we take action?

Choosing a charity

Giving What We Can, a community of impact-focused donors, offers an excellent set of giving recommendations.

While this is our favorite resource, and we recommend it highly, you can see some other suggestions on this page.

Career advice

In your career, you'll probably spend tens of thousands of hours working. How can you best use this time to improve the world?

80,000 Hours has helped over a thousand people find more impactful careers. In the process, they've built a huge collection of free resources on career planning.

We especially recommend their 8-week course, which takes you through their advice step by step. It's designed to be helpful for people with any level of work experience.

You can also apply for individual career coaching — they recently hired new advisors and are looking to speak with many new people.

Other readings

These are some of our favorite articles on effective altruism. If you'd rather explore on your own than read the handbook or take a course, start here!

Key concepts

Effective altruism isn't about solving any single problem. Instead, we use a set of shared ideas and concepts to analyze different ways of improving the world.

80,000 Hours: Key Ideas
Our favorite one-page breakdown of the aforementioned ideas and concepts. (Warning: It's a very long page.)

Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others
"It is important to be rational about charity for the same reason it is important to be rational about Arctic exploration: it requires the same awareness of opportunity costs and the same hard-headed commitment to investigating efficient use of resources, and it may well be a matter of life and death."

Introduction to Longtermism
Longtermism is the view that improving the long-term future is one of the key moral priorities of our time. How can we do more to safeguard the future for many generations to come?

Comparing global problems in terms of expected impact
This article lays out factors you can use to estimate the impact of working on a problem, including the problem's scale, how neglected it is, how easy it might be to solve, and how well-suited you are to working on it.

For another spin on the same topic, featuring MS Paint illustrations, try Owen Cotton-Barratt's "Prospecting for Gold".

Misconceptions about effective altruism
It's easy to misunderstand effective altruism. This article describes common misconceptions and explains what the movement is really about. For more, see our list of common questions and objections.

Surprising ideas

History shows that if you want to do as much good as possible, you should be open to unusual ways of thinking. These articles showcase a few of the arguments, frames, and models that have driven some of EA's most important projects.

The Drowning Child and the Expanding Circle
How far would you go to save a life?

The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant
When should we accept death and suffering as inevitable?

Hits-based giving
When should we embrace high-risk, high-reward philanthropy, even if we think a project is likely to fail?

Modeling the Human Trajectory
If economic growth keeps accelerating, what does that mean for our future? How can we raise the odds of humanity going down one of the "good paths"?

The wild frontier of animal welfare
Should humans try harder to protect even wild creatures from predators and disease? Should we care whether they live good lives?

Are we living at the most influential time in history?
Is this our best chance to change the future? What resources should we save for descendants who might make better use of them?

(See the EA Forum for further discussion and a strong counterargument.)

Finding a cause

Choosing which cause to work on is crucial to maximizing your impact. These articles from EA-inspired research organizations cover the problems they see as most important, as well as ideas on how to solve them.

80,000 Hours: Problem Profiles

80,000 Hours helps people find careers with high potential for social impact. This page links to a number of writeups they've done on various causes, including advice for getting involved.

Writeups include:

Open Philanthropy: Focus Areas

Open Philanthropy is the largest foundation in effective altruism. This page links to the problems they work on, the grants they've made, and the reports they've written on how they see the world.

Writeups include:

GiveWell: Research on Programs

GiveWell, a research organization focused on global health and poverty alleviation, outlines the most promising ways they've found to save and improve lives.

Writeups include:

Online communities

The Effective Altruism Forum is an active platform for discussing topics in effective altruism, from scientific research to community building.

Some useful links:

There are also many Facebook groups for different communities (parents, artists, etc.) and cause areas (mental health, animal advocacy, etc.) within the broader EA movement.

Books

You could fill an entire library with books that relate to the goals of effective altruism. These are just a few of our favorites.

Doing Good Better 

An introduction to some of the key principles of effective altruism.

William MacAskill

The Precipice 

On the greatest risks to the future of human civilization, and how we can prevent them.

Toby Ord

The Life You Can Save 

Peter Singer

The Scout Mindset 

A guide to seeing the world clearly, while avoiding the bad habits that lead to biased views.

Julia Galef

Superintelligence 

Sets out Bostrom’s views on how artificial intelligence is likely to develop, and the risks that it will pose.

Nick Bostrom

The Alignment Problem 

Explores potential dangers from advanced AI systems, and profiles people who are working to address them.

Brian Christian

Videos

Our YouTube channel features videos from Effective Altruism Global and EAGx conferences around the world.

Subscribe to our channel

We've created playlists for talks on a variety of topics; you can also check out a playlist featuring more than 100 talks from female, trans, and non-binary speakers, courtesy of WANBAM.


Podcasts

In the 80,000 Hours Podcast, Rob Wiblin interviews experts from a range of fields about how best to tackle the world's most pressing problems.

80,000 Hours has compiled two sets of episodes covering some of the most influential ideas in EA: "Effective Altruism: An Introduction", and "Effective Altruism: Ten Global Problems". These conversations don't require much background knowledge, though we'd still recommend starting with our introduction before you listen.