Frequently asked questions

Are you saying that my current contributions aren’t the most effective?

Possibly. We’re just being honest.

Have you actively considered whether your contributions are having a great impact? How did you do this? We’re not interested in criticizing anyone’s generosity and efforts because we don’t believe that we should ever cast others’ compassion as blameworthy. We’re just interested in getting better at doing good.

Are effective charities in other countries tax-deductible in Denmark?

Currently, this is a grey zone that we are trying to clarify. In general, you cannot assume that you will get relief for donations to charities that are registered outside of Denmark, even if they are recognized in another EU country. Since Denmark has a relatively low limit on relief (15.600 kroner in 2017), the dilemma isn’t that great, depending on what you earn, and many of us choose to donate an amount up to the limit to what we deem to be the most effective among charities recognized in Denmark and then the rest to the most effective international charities.

Does effective altruism only recommend things that are ‘proven’ to work?

No. However, we do think that we ought should consider evidence to be very important when considering where to donate. Some causes may be very speculative but because of the potentially extremely large number of beings that may be affected by that cause, now and in the future, it may be reasonable to give these causes serious consideration. We need to work on how to weigh things systematically as possible in our decisions. Fortunately, there are organizations working on exactly this, so we don’t have to go it alone.

Aren’t you neglecting changing the system as a whole?

No, not at all, actually. The principles of effective altruism don’t reject changing social systems for the better. Since we are concerned on anything that is effective in improving the welfare of sentient beings, any systematic approaches to achieving this ought to be taken seriously and many people are looking at exactly this.