Well, you know how some people talk about “doing well by doing good”? “Earning to give” is basically “doing good by doing well” — you look specifically for a high paying job in order to earn a lot of money, and then use your large disposable income to donate to charity
For instance, one might think to join a non-profit and do important work and earn a hands salary. Or, one might instead choose to become a businessman earn more ,keep part of it and donate further and hire two or more charity workers to serve in their place. Chances are good that those two charity workers who displace you will do more good combined than you will have done if you worked in their place, and that you displaced someone who would have joined finance but not donated their money.
As Jeff Kaufman considers summarizing it, the idea is to “give money to the most effective charities, and maximize your impact by earning more and spending less.”
“So all this is great, and I’m glad there’s a big conversation now on effectiveness and considering career choice as an ethical question. However, while the level of criticism I’ve seen in the popular press isn’t great, there definitely are objections to “earning to give” that matter.
First, Frequently, however, I think this baseline can be beaten. While there’s a “make more money to donate” side of things, there’s also a “make the donated money work better” side, working in the organizations themselves to increase the impact of each donation by increasing the impact of the organizations themselves. How many people pursuing “earning to give” end up burning out? And what happens then? Can one really choose any high-earning career and do well at it, or does one also need some sort of direct passion for the job
Overall, the career you choose is an incredibly important choice to consider not just from a personal perspective, but from an ethical perspective. But it’s also a very individual choice and the good one can do with their career and the satisfaction they can get out of it depend immensely on one’s individual talents and desires. Therefore, a would-be career do-gooder should instead try to find individualized .