Are Giving Games a better way to teach philanthropy?

Wouldn’t it be nice if our educational system taught students about good giving?  The good news is that over $8 million has been spent teaching university students about philanthropy.  The bad news is that the prevailing model of student philanthropy hasn’t grown for the better part of a decade and at best reaches a few thousand people a year.

EAs will probably find a some irony in my analysis of the history of the philanthropy education sector: the organizations responsible for teaching students about effective giving do so using an intervention that provides very little bang for the buck.  But I also show how Giving Games and other models that deploy resources where they’ll provide the highest marginal return offer the potential to teach philanthropy at mass scale.

 Full article here, originally published in Alliance Magazine:


Comments (6)

Comment author: david_reinstein 20 May 2017 05:55:43PM 1 point [-]

Briefly, how do you define/describe 'Giving Games'?

Comment author: Jon_Behar 22 May 2017 09:05:40PM 1 point [-]

Giving Games are workshops where participants hear a brief introduction to effective giving, learn about a few pre-selected charities, discuss their relative merits, and then make a real money donation (with money typically provided by an outside source) to their favorite. More details here.

Comment author: david_reinstein 24 May 2017 05:14:23PM 2 points [-]

Thank you. It sounds somewhat similar to some economics experiments involving charity that I have seen, but of course with a different goal in mind. I will look into this -- I am curious also about the evidence one might collect from such games, especially about which arguments people have found convincing, and which approaches have convinced people to choose the more effective charities.

Comment author: Jon_Behar 24 May 2017 09:22:27PM 1 point [-]

Yes, there’s definitely a quasi-experimental format, and we hope to use meta-analysis to draw lessons from all the different Giving Games we run in the field (which include a lot of natural variation). Separately, we’re also working with a number of academic researchers on experimental collaborations. Some of these involve studying the efficacy of the GG model, while others use the GG format as an experimental design to study other topics. You can find more about experimentation with GG here

Comment author: aaronhamlin 09 August 2017 04:10:12AM 0 points [-]

Giving games are a great interactive activity and an awesome idea. A big component that may be being overlooked here is how participants vote on the charities. That plays a role in how the winner is determined as well as how the results are reflected. The voting method can also play a role in how participants assess candidate charities. To expand on the role of the voting method in giving games, I've put together an article. I hope this information brings even more success to giving games: https://medium.com/@aaronhamlin/let-the-giving-games-begin-d19a5ad91570

Comment author: Gleb_T  (EA Profile) 22 May 2017 02:22:18AM -1 points [-]

Great piece!