Creating a Culture of Effective Philanthropy

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Fistula Foundation is proud to be a recommended charity of The Life You Can Save (TLYCS). Inspired by the book of the same name by Australian ethicist Peter Singer, TLYCS maintains a list of 12 recommended charities which it believes can make the most positive change in the most effective ways. TLYCS’s CEO, Charlie Bresler, recently penned a guest column about creating a culture of effective philanthropy which ran in The Aspen Times.

While it’s true you can spend $10,000 (or more) on a bottle of wine in Aspen, that’s not why people live here. Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke and other founding fathers and mothers re-envisioned Aspen as a place that would revive people’s minds, bodies and spirits and allow them to re-engage in the world energized and as better human beings. It was conceived as a place to fix the world, not to consume it — a place to solve problems, not create them.

Yet today, Aspen is often justifiably criticized as a center of conspicuous consumption and ostentatious wealth. While there’s truth to that characterization, there also is opportunity: With wealth comes power and influence, and much of that power here in Aspen is already focused on improving the world. But we can do better, and we should.

On Wednesday night, I will be in town talking about effective philanthropy. In particular, this means focusing on using our relative wealth and privilege to reduce the devastating effects of extreme poverty. The fact is that there are 1.2 billion people living on less than $1.25 per day — a fact of life for approximately 44 percent of people in developing countries and 14 percent globally. In his book “The Life You Can Save,” world-renowned moral philosopher Peter Singer argues that leading an ethical life involves using a portion of personal wealth and resources to efficiently alleviate the effects of extreme poverty.

To read the entire article, click here.