Harvard MBAs biggest opportunity for career impact? Giving their money away.

A guest post by Steve Hind, an Agora User and Harvard MBA c/o 2016, originally on Medium.

In a few short weeks, the 900+ students of the Harvard Business School MBA Class of 2016 will graduate. There is no doubt that these remarkable people will do great things in the world. But most likely, few will become CEOs of Fortune 500 corporations. Fewer still will be wildly successful entrepreneurs. Chances are, their efforts will improve the world without having a truly remarkable marginal impact.

We should be measured on our marginal impact.

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Global Philanthropy: Will China become a leader in giving?

To date, China has been extremely un-charitable. 

China ranks second-to-last according to the global charitable index (2015).

Global Giving 2015

Individuals in America give about 20x more than those in China in absolute terms ($300bn vs $15bn) and 10x more as a percentage of total GDP (US: 1.7%, China 0.15%), according to the latest available data.

However, giving in China is growing rapidly. 

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It’s Time To Open Source Philanthropy

How technology is solving the most fundamental issue in the nonprofit sector: transparency.

You want to be an effective and impactful donor, but how do you know the value created by a donated dollar? In traditional, for-profit markets, returns are easily calculated and understood: riskier investments offer the reward of larger financial profit, while less risky ones offer more modest returns.

With donating, on the other hand, the ‘returns’ are difficult to quantify. Too often, the ‘social returns’ donors receive are dominated by marketing and storytelling rather than data. The challenge lies in determining which nonprofits donors should entrust with your donations so that they produce the greatest impact in the causes you care about.

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How Much Does It Cost to Give a Drink of Clean Water?

A guest post by Jacob Falkovich, Agora Research Fellow

Not a Drop to Drink

How much does water cost? I could purchase my water in the form of Voss mineral water, a $3.99 bottle supplies me with about a third of the drinking water I need per day. I drink New York tap water instead, at $0.00451 a gallon I feel like I’m getting a great deal. Once in my life, I spent a few months living in a tent and having to walk a couple minutes to fill an old canteen with water that was a little bit… dusty. But it didn’t suck too much.

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