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of developers who care

Get exclusive deals on cloud, ebooks, software and courses for developers. Support research-backed charities at the same time.

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The why

There are people and animals who suffer even though they don't have to. 1 in 10 people don't have clean water[1]. Also 1 in 10 people suffer from hunger (and the war in Ukraine is creating the biggest global food crisis since the Second World War)[2]. 1 in 7 people are living with vision loss because they lack access to medical care[3]. Around 600,000 people die from malaria each year and 70% of them are children under 5[4]. Malaria is preventable. Another few hundred thousand die from schistosomiasis - also preventable[5].

At the same time, globally there is more wealth than ever before. Big portion of it has been created leveraging the internet. And the internet is still growing. Global eCommerce reached $5 trillion dollars in 2021[6]. If we could direct only a tiny portion of it to help feeling beings who suffer, we could make a huge difference.

We believe it can and should be done through a market solution. So that it is sustainable and scalable. Optimized for positive social impact rather than profits of the shareholders.

The idea

The idea is to gather a community of people, like you, who care about others. Then offer deals on products you enjoy from companies who want to promote what they sell while supporting good causes. You get discounts, companies get more customers, and charities get more money.

The plan

We have a simple plan:

  1. Bring together a community of developers who want to help others.
  2. Generate donations for charities from deals on products that developers love
  3. With the help of the community, scale the project to other audiences and industries.
  4. Make donating a portion of the income from products a standard, creating an economy in which every transaction helps someone.

In short, build for developers first, and then, with their help, build for everyone else.

How to do it right

If we want to build something that will last, something truly impactful, we need to build it on solid foundations. Here are some of the things we are doing to make sure that we, in fact, do it right:

1. Social enterprise

We are registered as a not-for-profit social enterprise - a Community Interest Company. It is a type of company introduced by the UK government specifically designed for companies that want to use their profits and assets for the public good.

2. Research-backed charities

Research shows that some non-profits can be 100x as effective as the average organization.[7] We are carefully selecting charities that have been thoroughly researched and vetted by independent evaluators like GiveWell, Animal Charity Evaluators, The Life You Can Save.

We believe it is crucial to follow both your heart and your head when it comes to helping others. Even though the research into the effectiveness of charities is in its early stages, we think it's still the wisest choice to follow the highest quality of the information we currently have access to.

3. Transparency

Transparency builds trust and keeps us accountable. That's why we will publish all the donation receipts and the financial statements of the company. Same as we did when we launched appsforukraine.com (see here).

4. Respecting privacy

The privacy of your data is a big deal for us. We will never sell your data. Ever.

For example, we switched from Google Analytics to Plausible. It's a privacy-first alternative that is compliant with GDPR, CCPA, PECR (and donates 5% of their revenue).

In places where we need to have access to information to make our service better, we will clearly state it. For example - we are measuring the number of opens of our emails via our email provider - MailerLite.

5. Open source

Open source is awesome. It makes the internet better. It is what let the internet become what it is today. And therefore we want to open source as much of our work as possible. Check out the github of this page: https://github.com/altruisto/devsforgood

Why now

The shift towards social impact

The spirit of the times is changing. People care much more about the impact of the products they buy and the companies they support. We are more likely to buy a product that supports a charitable cause[8]. A lot of companies are already noticing the change and trying to capitalize on it by using social impact as a superficial marketing tool, without actually making meaningful changes. We believe people will, in the long run, value an authentic approach and the social impact will become a major factor - at least for some consumers. Let's offer ourselves, as we're all consumers, a chance to be part of this change.

The Artificial Intelligence Revolution

The next revolution is here. AI will be more profound than the industrial or the internet revolution. It will change everything. New possibilities will open up, new industries will emerge. And an immense amount of wealth will be created in the process. It's crucial to make sure that, at least some of it, will be used to help people and other animals who suffer.

It's hard to imagine that AI is not going to be linked tightly to the internet. So as the internet builders we are in a prime position to make sure that it is used for good.

We don't have much time before the world becomes unrecognizable. We need to start preparing now.

Potential criticism

We found a study showing that people who purchased a product whose price included a charitable donation were making smaller donations themselves[9]. It might be caused by people thinking that they have already done their part and don't have to do more (known as "moral licensing"). We've reached out to the author and learned that the study, as far as she knows, was not replicated. We are going to observe this field of research. As for now, given that many studies in psychology do not replicate[10], we don't think it's enough to conclude that the effect of supporting causes via purchases is negative.

Who is behind it

I'm a senior software engineer by day and a social entrepreneur by night. I've been writing code since I was 12, when I got a book about PHP as a Christmas Gift from my parents. While studying psychology, my second biggest passion behind tech, I've discovered the works of Peter Singer, Toby Ord, Will MacAskill - philosophers who argue that we should not only try to do good, but also do it as effectively as possible. And since then, I've been trying to use my skills and talents to help others.

Photo of Daniel Wyrzykowski

Daniel Wyrzykowski - Founder of Altruisto, Apps for Ukraine, and Devs for Good.

Made with ❤ in Warsaw, Berlin, Rotherham.