Large sums of money go into the charity sector, e.g. 2% of GDP in the U.S.(National Philanthropic Trust 2016). However, these resources are not always spent effectively. Consequently, many effective altruist activities aim to improve the effectiveness of the charity sector. For instance, charity recommenders such as GiveWell redirect money towards the most effective global poverty charities—which both increases impact in the short term, and incentivizes charities to become more effective in the long run (GiveWell 2016).
Similarly, members of the effective altruism community work for other charities, hoping to get to a position where they can help them achieve their goals more effectively. Members of the effective altruism community have also started charities of their own—such as Charity Science Health, which tries to increase vaccination rates in India using phone-based reminders (Charity Science Health 2016).
Centre for Effective Altruism. Cause profile: Building an effective altruism community
Birkwood, Susannah. 2016. Effective altruism: will donors change their ways?
A look at effective altruism and the effectiveness of charities
Charity Science Health. 2016. About us.
GiveWell. 2016. Top charities.
National Philanthropic Trust. 2016. Charitable giving statistics.
Figures on charitable giving.