The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

The Giving Game: may the audience be in your favour

The Giving What We Can: Manchester Society in association with RAG kick off this year’ series of charity events.

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As RAG descends once again upon Manchester, the Students’ Union hosted one of its first charity events last Monday in association with the Giving What We Can: Manchester society. The event, ‘The Giving Game’, saw Cancer Research UK head off against the Anti-Malaria Foundation to compete for the votes of the audience and £490 in donations.

The society, founded last year by Sam Dumitriu, is Manchester’s local chapter of the international society Giving What We Can, and is dedicated to eliminating extreme poverty around the world. Members of the society pledge to donate at least 10 per cent of their annual incomes to go towards relieving suffering caused by extreme poverty.

Unlike most other charitable organisations, however, the society donates to only the most effective charities in an attempt to ensure that donations have the greatest possible impact. As such the Giving Games aim to make the audience use their initiative to judge with both their hearts and their heads what charities can actually make a difference.

At last week’s Giving Game event society members Andrew Pearson and Pete Werner compete against one another to convince the audience that their organisation was the best equipped to make donations go further, representing Cancer Research UK and the Anti-Malaria Foundation respectively.

For each audience member’s vote £10 was donated, courtesy of a grant applied for from the Frederick Mulder Trust, for the overall winner. By a margin of just 14 votes the Anti-Malaria Foundation won the night with an overall 31 votes.

Speaking to The Mancunion, Sam Dumitriu, the founder and Chair of Giving What We Can: Manchester commented on the benefits of The Giving Game and Giving What We Can international society.

“Giving Games are a great way to get people to think about where is the best place to donate. There are numerous causes and charities worthy of our support, but our limited resources of time and money can only stretch so far.

“Some charities are a thousand times more effective than others and so it is vital that we think carefully about where to give. I encourage people to look at charity evaluators like GiveWell and Giving What We Can online and combine the heart with the head.”

Three further events are scheduled to occur in association with the Giving What We Can: Manchester Society: ‘Taking Charity Seriously’ on November 7th, ‘Giving and Happiness’ on November 11th and ‘80,000 Hours’, an ethical career talk, on November 22nd.