How to Keep Your Pledge (3)

How to Keep Your Pledge (3)

You’ve taken the pledge. You’re going to give a percentage of your income to effective charities working to save and improve the lives of those living in extreme poverty. Nicely done! 

But now what?

Three and a half years ago, I took the same public pledge. Keeping it has been easier than I thought it would be, thanks to some tips and tricks I picked up along the way. Every week, I’ll be sharing a strategy that worked for me or another fellow pledger.  This week’s strategy was recommended by two different pledgers: Michael and Brad.

If you have a giving strategy that you’d like to share on this blog, email it to


Strategy 3: Make it automatic

It’s easy to set up recurring donations to the effective charity of your choice (thanks technology!). Calculate the monthly or quarterly gift you’ll need to make to reach your annual goal, then set-up automatic credit card payments or bank account withdrawals. You’ll avoid the sticker shock of writing one big check at the end of the year, and there’s no way you’ll forget to give.

Michael has automatic payments sent to his two favorite charities every month. Every so often, he increases the automatic payment. Giving an extra $10 a month doesn’t feel like a lot, but it adds up to $120 at the end of the year.

Brad sets his automatic payments a little bit lower so he’s comfortable meeting unexpected expenses in his life. At the end of the year, he makes an additional gift to reach his annual giving goal.

Can’t get automatic payments to your preferred charity? Open a savings account just for your charitable giving and set-up automatic transfers from your paycheck. At the end of the year, your donation is waiting patiently for its intended destination.


We all handle money differently, and our relationship with money changes overtime. You know best what strategy will work for you. Mix and match the strategies on this blog, or come up with your own. Just keep giving!

Have you found a great way to keep your pledge? Share it with us!


Claire Knowlton is President of the Board for The Life You Can Save. She lives in Los Angeles and works as an accountant and auditor of nonprofit organizations.

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About the author:

Claire Knowlton

Claire Knowlton, President of the Board for The Life You Can Save, is an independent auditor of not-for-profit organizations in the United States. She shares her Los Angeles apartment with a physicist, a fluffy cat, and a window garden.

The views expressed in blog posts are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Peter Singer or The Life You Can Save.