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 48 Jordan Casteel The acclaimed painter of people—and now plants. Arts & Culture Issue 48 The Sweet Spot How long is the perfect vacation? Arts & Culture Issue 48 Cliff Tan Four questions for a feng shui guru. Arts & Culture Issue 48 Figure Skating with Mirai Nagasu The Olympic athlete has known glory, pain and transcendence on the ice. Arts & Culture Issue 48 Sweet Nothing On the virtues of hanging out. Arts & Culture Issue 48 The Art of Fashion On what artists’ clothes communicate.