One for the World Villanova: Applying Ethics to Make an Impact



Kate Costanza

One for the World Villanova’s Pledge Week returned to campus from November 18 to 22, offering students an easy platform to devote 1% of future income to the world’s most effective charities. 

The national organization was founded in 2014 by Wharton graduate students who believed that more people would be apt to donate to charities if they understood how their contribution would be utilized. Keeping practicality at the forefront of their mission, the founders developed a structure to ensure that every dollar donated does good. 

One for the World partners with GiveWell, a non-profit charity assessment organization to determine the most efficient charities that produce the most effective dollar to contribution outcome. One for the World then brings this research to its selection committee, who take various other factors into account. This qualitative analysis ensures that the charities chosen do not value just effectiveness, but also the ethics of care itself. 

With this information, the organization produces a list of four to five top charities that directly utilize each dollar they receive each year. This year’s list includes Against Malaria Foundation, GiveDirectly, the Malaria Consortium, Helen Keller International’s Vitamin Supplementation Program and Living Goods. The list is subject to change each year, however many charities remain on the organization’s Top Picks List year to year. 

One for the World has chapters at undergraduate colleges and universities, law schools and business schools across the U.S. One for the World Villanova’s Chapter President Grayson Kisker took some time to explain the philosophy of effective altruism, the ideology behind One for the World. 

Effective altruism is a philosophy that seeks to determine the most effective way to interact with and benefit others. Effective altruists promote any act that provides more benefit to others than detracts from one’s own life. He explained this concept with the example of donating a kidney. To a person with two functional kidneys, giving away one kidney represents a low cost. For the thousands of people in need of kidney transplants however, this kidney provides a much greater benefit. Kisker went on to say that finding the middle ground between giving everything and doing nothing is the ultimate goal, settling on a low cost solution that does an incredible amount of good. 

“At this contemporary moment,” he explains, “there has never been a greater time where more people can do so much with so little cost to themselves.” 

This is the foundational idea behind One for the World.  

The importance of understanding the organization’s underlying ideology is key to the chapter’s mission. Kisker notes that though their goal is to get as many Villanovans to pledge 1% of their future income as possible, Pledge Week serves as a vital opportunity to advocate for One for the World’s effective altruist ideals. Kisker explains that if you don’t truly believe in the cause, you won’t follow through with the pledge. Inspiring fellow Villanovans to envision a better future for the world is at the core of OFTW Villanova’s mission. 

Though pledge week has ended, it’s not too late to get involved and make an impact. Search to make the 1% pledge today. Once here, users can create an account and set their first pledge date to a customized time in their post-graduate future. OFTW Villanova recommends 1% of the average Villanova graduate starting salary ($51,000) which equates to $51.00 once a year. Users can then choose to donate this entire sum to one of One for the World’s chosen charities, or evenly distribute this contribution to each of the year’s Top Picks. 

As One for the World Villanova’s leadership transitions for next semester, keep an eye out for Exec Board applications. The executive Board members help plan campus events like Pledge Week, social events, and speaker events, run OFTW Villanova’s social media and marketing efforts, as well as take part in One for the World regional chapter conferences.