Introduction to Effective Altruism

by Aaron Gertler Mar 19 2016 updated Jan 4 2017

Effective altruism (EA) means using evidence and reason to take actions that help others as much as possible.

The world has a lot of terrible problems, but we can't work on them all at once. And we don't agree on what the worst problems are.

Despite this, most people want to "make the world a better place". What should those people actually be doing?

Some of the questions EA sets out to answer:

The answers to these kinds of questions will be different for each person. What you should do depends on who you are: What are your skills? What are your values? How much time do you have?

But no matter who you are, effective altruism can help you figure out how to improve the world. To learn more, follow the links below.

More on EA

Are you a high school student? Are you a college student?

Do you work for a nonprofit or a business with a social mission?

Are you religious?

Which of the following issues most concerns you? (Politics, poverty, health, education, animals, environment, far future)

Are you interested in donating? In direct work?

Are you financially comfortable?

Common Questions

Here are some really good articles from outside Arbital:

This page is a work in progress. If you have questions, or you'd like to see a topic added, please contact the author: aaronlgertler (at)