For the 2020 tax year and all years going forward, FullCalendar LLC, as it exists as a sole-proprietorship owned by me, Adam Shaw, pledges to donate at least 10% of its profits to effective charities.
An “effective charity”, a term coined by the Effective Altruism movement, is a charity that is especially impactful, sometimes even hundreds of times more than a different charity solving the same problem.
If we decide to give to charity, it is our moral imperative to ensure our contributions go as far as possible. However, the first hurdle is deciding to give in the first place. Why have I decided to take the Giving What We Can pledge and direct a minimum of 10% of my life-long earnings towards charity?
At a certain point, FullCalendar’s earnings began comfortably supporting my lifestyle. My plan was to relegate FullCalendar to the background of my life and focus on direct philanthropy such as teaching in low-income neighborhoods or working for a non-profit.
Then I discovered Effective Altruism and the “Earning to Give” philosophy, its main idea being that if you have a high-paying specialized skill, you’ll likely make the biggest impact if you simply make as much money as possible and donate a portion of it to effective charities. This idea felt counterintuitive at first, as capitalism seems an opposing force to philanthropy.
However, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. It would allow me to continue doing what I love. I would still be developing valuable software that increases the efficiency of developers around the world while also saving children in sub-Saharan Africa from malaria, ending animal suffering in industrial farming, and solving climate change with clean energy innovation.
If you are in tech, finance, or another industry blessed by good fortune in recent years, I urge you to consider reserving a percentage of your earnings for philanthropy, especially if you have leverage by living in a rich country. If you do so, be loud and public about it (as I’m doing with this blog post) to inspire others to give!