There’s a phrase by Melinda Gates, a major American philanthropist, that flipped a switch in my mind about the concept of donation: – “Philanthropy isn’t about money. It’s about using whatever resources you have at your fingertips and applying them to improve the world.“
This logic made me think that donation isn’t something exclusive to those who have a lot of money, and that the experience of helping others can be much more practical, effective, and simple, without causing much commotion or mobilizing millions of resources (it’s also about that, but not JUST that).
And we have a lot of examples that show that donating any available resources has its power. We can observe what happens during the rainy season in Brazil, earthquakes in Japan, or tornadoes in the US for instance. There’s always a campaign to collect and distribute clothes, and food, or mobilize volunteers to rebuild what has been destroyed.
But, besides mobilizing during environmental disasters, do we usually do something for more latent and entrenched problems, like hunger and extreme poverty? And if the answer is no, the next question is: why?
Well, I’m not going to answer that question here. At least, not now. Today we’re going to learn about an alternative created to make donations more accessible, intelligent, and present in people’s lives. And no, I’m not talking about Ribon, this time I’m talking about The Life You Can Save!
A philosopher, a book, and a new way to donate – How The Life You Can Save began?
TLYCS is an organization founded in 2009 by Peter Singer, an Australian philosopher and one of the leading voices of Effective Altruism — a philosophical and social movement that encourages people to use evidence and rationality to identify the most effective ways to improve the world and take action based on that information.
This movement emphasizes the importance of making a real impact, rather than just feeling good about your actions or supporting causes.
Do you know that feeling when you’re donating through Ribon for some cause and know that this little action will reach those who need it the most? Well, that’s what it’s all about.
In addition to being a philosopher and bioethics professor at Princeton University, Singer is also known for his work in the fields of animal ethics, practical ethics, and global poverty.
Initially, the focus was promoting his book idea: “The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty“. Now, the TLYCS Foundation’s goal is to encourage people to donate a portion of their income to effective charities that work to alleviate poverty in developing countries.
The Foundation works to increase social awareness, encourage people to do something about it and promote the idea that everyone can make a difference in the fight against extreme poverty.
One of the Foundation’s main services is to select non-profit organizations that save or improve as many lives as possible. This allows donors to have not only more information about who will receive their donations but also a wider range of options as to where to donate for.
The foundation advocates for systemic changes to address the roots of poverty, but I’ll talk more about them throughout this text.
What does the book The Life You Can Save about?
The book discusses the responsibility people have to act to help combat global poverty. Singer argues that by using their resources effectively, people can make a significant difference in the lives of the less fortunate and reduce suffering worldwide.
Topics such as the ethics of donation, the causes of global poverty, and the importance of focusing on concrete and effective actions to help people living in extreme poverty are also addressed.
In summary, we can see the book as an appeal for people to take responsibility for helping and using their resources effectively to make a difference in the lives of people living in poor conditions worldwide.
Oh, and it’s great to know that you can read the book for free, just click here.
The birth of a new culture of donation
The donation culture promoted by The Life You Can Save is similar to what Ribon follows, as both organizations share many common values. Both believe that everyone can make a difference, regardless of their income level, and that effective donations can help create lasting and systemic changes to social problems.
This donation culture also advocates for transparency and accountability in the donation sector by providing resources and information to help individuals make informed decisions about which charities to support.
Besides that, the culture of giving is not just about donating money but also encourages people to become more informed and engaged citizens who care about making a positive impact on the world.
The objective of Effective Altruism institutions is to stimulate conversations about charitable donations by bringing measurable results and evidence-based approaches to philanthropy.
Summing up, this logic promotes a donation culture that is based on empathy, rationality, and a commitment to social justice.
Sharing the Donation Culture – The story of the Partnership between Ribon and The Life You Can Save
If you’ve been following Ribon for some time, you know that our Donation Culture and business model are based on Effective Altruism, and we believe that with our platform and developed technology, we bring more people into the daily act of giving.
In 2017, after discovering The Life You Can Save online, our CEO Rafa Rodeiro contacted Charlie Bresler, executive director of TLYCS, and since then we had monthly meetings to share Ribon’s progress and future ideas.
This resulted in the first partnerships that opened up the possibility for Ribon users to donate to projects present in the Foundation.
Going from inspiration to partnership is something amazing, isn’t it?
From inspiration to impact partners
In 2022 we launched the Ribon dApp, an open-source Blockchain technology, which means that donations made by Ribon are more secure and allow a higher degree of transparency between the users and donors (one of the pillars of Effective Altruism).
Our goal, increasingly, has been to use donations to create new donors. Our platform enables the user to have 100% free access to our daily donation tickets, meaning we are helping to democratize the donation experience.
This access is only possible because when a user becomes a contributor (a user who goes from a free user to a paying user), they multiply the impact of their donation because it not only goes to the project that received the resource but also multiplies the free tickets for the entire community to access.
See? It’s a circular and sustainable system because we know that only then will the necessary resources reach the end of various social problems.