The Life You Can Save – Programs

Donate to The Life You Can Save - Programs

100% of your donation (minus credit card fees, if applicable) goes to the cause of your choice. Rethink Charity Forward will strive to extend its “zero fees” initiative indefinitely.

If you are making a donation of $1000 or more, or a monthly donation of $200 or more, please send an email to siobhan@rtcharity.org so we can provide you with alternative donation options that could cut back significantly on third-party fees.

The Life You Can Save, founded by renowned philosopher Peter Singer, aims to change the culture of giving in affluent countries such that dramatically more donations are allocated to highly impactful nonprofits that reduce suffering and premature death for people living in extreme poverty. 

Please note that this is not for donations to The Life You Can Save’s top charities. Give unrestricted donations to The Life You Can Save’s top charities through the Global Health Fund or Human Empowerment Fund. Alternatively you can donate to a specific recommended charity. 

All dollar and gift amounts on this donation page are in Canadian Dollars (CAD).

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Money raised for The Life You Can Save through RC Forward

The mission of The Life You Can Save (TLYCS) is to change the culture of giving in affluent countries while dramatically raising annual donations to highly impactful nonprofits that reduce suffering and premature death for people living in extreme poverty. 

TLYCS was founded by Peter Singer, widely recognized as one of the world’s most influential contemporary philosophers. We advance the ideas in his 2009 book, The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty, which Bill and Melinda Gates described as “a persuasive and inspiring work that will change the way you think about philanthropy.” In it, Peter argues that if we can provide immense benefit to someone at minimal cost to ourselves, we should do so. And since there are charities that dramatically improve, or even save, the lives of people living in extreme poverty (i.e. living on less than $1.90 USD/day) for relatively little cost, we should support those highly effective charities. 

In 2013, Charlie Bresler, formerly president of a large apparel company, approached Peter about expanding The Life You Can Save. Charlie provided funding to turn the organization into a registered 501c3 charity, began serving as a volunteer Executive Director, and started building a small team. Since then, we’ve worked to bring the ideas from The Life You Can Save to new audiences via our website, speaking engagements, media appearances, philanthropy education workshops, our newsletter, blog, and social media. We also provide tools that make it easy for people to donate effectively, such as our list of recommended evidence-backed charities, and an Impact Calculator that shows how far your donation can go. In short, we aim to inspire people to support the world’s poor, and we empower them to make the greatest impact possible. 

Philosophy may be in our DNA, but as an advocacy organization, our feet are firmly anchored in the real world. We speak to both heads and hearts, and try to make it easy and meaningful to make a difference. Even Peter Singer admits falling short of his ideals: while he donates 1/3 of his income to effective charities and says “the next step is half”, he’s also the first to admit that he could–and ethically should–do more. 

We urge you not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. As the statesman Edmund Burke put it, “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” If a large gift feels overwhelming, try a small one first. The people you’ll help will thank you for whatever you can do.