Summary of Doing Good Better

How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference

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Doing Good Better book summary
The next time you open your heart and your wallet, make sure your donation does the most good.


8 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


With so many people needing help and thousands of worthy causes vying for your donations, how do you decide where to invest your time, energy and money? William MacAskill, the co-founder of the nonprofit organizations Giving What We Can and 80,000 Hours, offers a framework of scientific reasoning to address this problem. His approach to “effective altruism” includes asking, “How can I make a substantial positive impact?” and he uses hard evidence and thoughtful analysis to find the answer. getAbstract recommends MacAskill’s practical approach to leaders of charities, to those responsible for corporate giving and to anyone who wants to “do good better.”

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to gauge “effective altruism”
  • How to determine where your donations will do the most good
  • How to select a charity, cause or career


“Effective Altruism”
In 1989, the PlayPump, an invention of water engineer Ronnie Stuive, amazed and impressed South African Trevor Field. At the time, women in rural South Africa walked miles to wind-powered pumps and waited hours for water for their families. The PlayPump offered a better...
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About the Author

William MacAskill is a co-founder of the effective altruism movement. He also co-founded two nonprofit organizations – Giving What We Can and 80,000 Hours. MacAskill is an associate professor of philosophy at Lincoln College, Oxford University.

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