It’s the holiday season, which to many people means a season of giving—to loved ones, colleagues, public radio and television, and to any number of the countless charities seeking support. Nearly a third of all annual charitable giving occurs in December, and many nonprofits raise as much as half of their annual funds from this year-end burst of giving.
With so many charities relying on these donations to achieve their goals, how do we choose between them? How do we know how much impact our dollars actually have?
Enter MyGoodness: an online game that aims to maximize the impact of charitable donations, created by Iyad Rahwan and Edmond Awad of the Media Lab’s Scalable Cooperation group. MyGoodness presents each player with a hypothetical $1,000 to spend on donations to various causes. Players are then faced with a series of 10 sets of choices between different charities, giving away $100 at each turn. By choosing between numbers and characteristics of people, geographic location, and types of aid, players are invited to better understand the effectiveness of their donation choices.