Effective Altruism: Charlie Bresler on How to Amplify Your Impact

Dr. Chris E. Stout
13 min readAug 1, 2022

Extreme poverty has devastating effects on over 700 million people globally. Every year 5.3 million children, under the age of five, die, and more than half of these deaths could have been easily prevented if they would have been fortunate enough to have been born in the United States.

In 2020, the world saw global wealth surpass $400 trillion for the first time in history. Yet climate extremes and economic slowdowns led 811 million people to go hungry, and the pandemic pushed nearly 100 million people into extreme poverty, creating a “historically unprecedented” increase in the number of global poor.

Peter Singer has famously noted that “we have an ethical obligation to use some portion of our wealth and privilege to save lives and reduce the unnecessary suffering associated with extreme poverty — defined as living on less than $1.25 USD/day.”

Almost a decade ago, Charlie Bresler became volunteer Executive Director and co-founder of The Life You Can Save, a non-profit dedicated to reducing extreme poverty. Through his financial support and leadership, Charlie has helped Peter Singer, develop the organization from the ground up. The Life You Can Save’s mission is to inspire more people to give effectively and end world poverty.

And Charlie has famously said that it’s a privilege, not just a responsibility to save lives, reduce suffering, and empower livelihoods through using the financial resources he and his wife were lucky to have, and through the hard work of helping to grow the number donors to amazing nonprofits.

Charlie is the first to say that his career path has not been “exactly linear.”

Charlie went to New York University for his undergraduate degree, received a Master’s degree from Harvard in Social Studies and Education, and a second Masters and Ph.D. in Psychology from Clark University. He then served as Director of Behavioral Medicine for The California School of Professional Psychology in Fresno, where he was a full-time professor and founder of a teaching clinic for treating anxiety and stress disorders…