Deciding which charities to support is a heavy responsibility. Who among us is really qualified to compare the moral worthiness of old people and children, trees and animals, cancer patients and diabetics, Indians and Haitians? Should the question of who is deserving be based on our personal preferences and prejudices alone? A movement called “effective altruism” is an increasingly popular solution to this quandary. We’re all familiar with utilitarianism—Jeremy Bentham’s notion that we should make decisions that result in the greatest good for the greatest number. Effective altruism, based on the ideas of philosopher Peter Singer, says we should apply a similar logic to philanthropy, allocating our money, time and other resources in a way that will measurably do the most good. The UK-based Centre for Effective Altruism suggests we This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Two Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 46 Samuel Ross Art, fashion, lifestyle: Samuel Ross has seen the future and it’s got his name all over it. Arts & Culture Food Issue 46 At Work With: Deb Perelman The little blog that could: An interview with Smitten Kitchen’s unflappable founder. Arts & Culture Issue 46 Word: Wintering When to withdraw from the world. Arts & Culture Issue 46 Brock Colyar An interview with a professional partygoer. Arts & Culture Issue 46 Studio Visit: Yoko Kubrick In the studio with a sculptor of monuments and mythologies. Arts & Culture Issue 46 Community Inc. Can a brand be friends with its fans?