Myth #04 – Compassionate – to be or not to be?
Couple of cute African children sitting in their desk at school in Bamako, Mali.

Myth #04 – Compassionate – to be or not to be?

“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination.”

– Nelson Mandela –

If you are reading this newsletter, you likely use both your heart and your head to guide your donations. Your heart inspires you to help people much less fortunate than yourself, and your head guides your decisions about how best to help. But what about your family, your friends, and your wider community?

Very likely, they do not make donation decisions like you do.

According to the most comprehensive study on charitable giving to date — “Money for Good II,” led by Guidestar and Hope Consulting and funded in part by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — only 16% of donors list “high impact” as the primary motivation for their giving. Other motivations include:

  • supporting organizations that have had a direct impact on yourself or your loved ones (23%);

  • giving to well-known organizations because it isn’t complicated (18%);

  • supporting a faith-based organization (16%);

  • supporting local organizations where people can “see the difference” their contributions make (13%); and

  • giving to organizations where you are personally connected (14%).

We need your help spreading the word about the importance of cost-effective, high-impact philanthropy that uses both the heart and the head. You can multiply your influence significantly if you are willing to share the bookdiscuss the major points in the book, share your own giving journey, and have zoom meetings to discuss the book.

Becoming an evangelist for effective giving can feel self-righteous and intrusive. I know because it is my role to do it all the time :)! But please consider taking your giving journey further. Help us spread the word on behalf of those who can’t!


Do Good. Feel Good.

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About the author:

Charles Bresler

Co-Founder & Executive Director

After earning a PhD in Social and Clinical Psychology from Clark University, Charlie became Director of Behavioral Medicine for The California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno (CSPP-F), where he was a full-time professor and founder of a teaching clinic for treating anxiety & stress disorders. He was recruited to The Men’s Wearhouse where he became head of human resources, stores, and marketing and ultimately President. He stepped down in order to fulfil his long-standing desire to work directly on social and economic issues, especially wealth inequality. In 2013, Charlie became volunteer Executive Director of The Life You Can Save, a non-profit dedicated to reducing extreme poverty and its devastating effects on over 700 million people globally. Through his financial support and leadership, Charlie has helped TLYCS’s Founder, Peter Singer, develop the organization from the ground up. Charlie lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington with his wife Diana, a family physician, who partners in supporting The Life You Can Save. He welcomes discussion and questions at

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