Given the current global state of extreme poverty and humanitarian disaster, as well as the unfolding assault on basic human rights in the United States and the resulting threat to world peace and stability, I pledge to donate a percentage of my time and money to causes which I think address these problems effectively.
My current commitment stands as follows:
I pledge to donate at least 2.5% of my pre-tax income to worthy causes.
At the moment, my donations are spread through the following causes and charities, all via monthly payments:
Extreme Poverty and Humanitarian Disasters
The bulk of my donations goes to charities recommended by GiveWell, and mostly to the Against Malaria Foundation,
the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, and Give Directly. I’ve set up these donations in Canada through Charity Science.
I have also set up recurring payments to Seva, which fights preventable blindness, and to Doctors Without Borders, which can be found in the midst of the worst crises in the world, bravely providing essential medical care.
Human Rights and Advocacy
Additionally, as a response to the shockingly inhumane actions of the new American administration, I am now a monthly donor of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and, after consultation with people more knowledgeable than me, of the Casa del Migrante, which provides hospitality to migrants, refugees, and deported individuals in Mexico and Central America.
(UPDATE: I have now also added the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to the list of organizations to which I donate monthly. As a Mexican-Canadian, I feel it is a bit strange to donate more to American organizations than to either Mexican or Canadian ones, but things in the United States truly look dire in comparison these days.)
Environmental and Other Interests
I am a donor of Mercy for Animals, an organization fighting to prevent cruelty to farmed animals, of the Lifecycles Project, which fosters community health, urban farming, and food security in Victoria, and of the Green Party of Canada, which through Elizabeth May has often been the first or only voice of reason on many issues in our Parliament.
I pledge to commit an average of at least two hours per week to non-violent action towards the causes above.
This at the moment involves protesting, researching, writing materials to advocate for these causes and for effective means of action, and contacting Members of Parliament. I expect the specific actions in which I’ll invest my time will fluctuate depending on events.
Time spent yelling on my pillow on Twitter or Facebook does not count.
I am fully aware that 2.5% of my income and two hours per week is a small commitment.
If you are doing or giving more than this, I commend you for it, and I admire you. I intend to do more, as personal circumstances allow, and will update my pledge if I do so.
If you are doing or giving less than this, or not at all, I invite you to consider if you can increase your commitments. Your time and money are more powerful to effect change than you may think.
Finally, I make my pledge public not to brag (it is actually somewhat uncomfortable to do so), but with the knowledge that giving is contagious and in the hope that learning of it will help tip your scale in favour of committing as well, if this is something you had been considering but were not sure of doing before.
If you do decide to donate time, money, or both, I invite you to make your commitments public, small or large as they may be, to help your friends and contacts know of your actions and to encourage them to go on the same path. We can do something about these issues. We have power. We should use it.