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Ever wondered what it’s like in my studio? Let me set the scene.

It’s an old converted cowshed. It has it’s own miniature ecosystem of lost bees and flies, and giant, over-fed spiders. I don’t like spiders but my conscience won’t let me get rid of them, so we have a relationship of mutually ignoring each other and hoping that the other will go away. And it’s messy. I am surrounded by so many materials that it’s hard to keep everything in its proper place – and when it is in its proper place, it’s not in easy enough reach for when I’m working. And then there’s the unusual smell… A bizarre mixture of moth balls, potpourri and the residual smell of an acrylic spray which has the overwhelming stench of toxic sweets. And in my messy, smelly oasis, I listen to the TED radio hour while I work. (Actually, that’s misleading. I usually listen to guitar-based music a notch slightly too loud. The TED Radio Hour is an exception, but it’s relevant to this particular blog post.)

One particular podcast was about the charitable impulse: why we give to charity and how people can be encouraged to give more… Don’t worry, I’m not about to manipulate you into giving your life savings to this month’s charity. But one of the speakers talked about the efficiency of charitable fundraising. Did you know that charity skydives for the NHS have cost the NHS and emergency services more than they have raised? (Tip: if you want to raise money for the health service, do something with minimal risk of injury :)) In response to this and other issues, the Centre for Effective Altruism was established, looking at how money can be best given, to the most effective charities, to have the greatest positive impact. Clever, huh?

So this month’s charity is the Against Malaria Foundation – one of the charities that comes up top for most effective impact. Giving to these guys is the most likely way that your money will be used effectively to save lives. Simple as. This is partly because the Foundation runs a tight ship with minimal administrative costs (which are, in fact, covered by private donors, so all public donations are pushed directly into their charitable work), and partly because malaria is comparatively cheap to prevent. The Foundation distributes insecticide treated mosquito nets to areas of need – proven to be the most effective way of preventing the disease. Malaria killed around 438,000 people in 2015, including an estimated 306,000 children. This month, let’s reduce that number.

And as per usual, for every £2 you donate, you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win an original art work. To see how it works, and to see what we’ve raised so far this year, see the 12 Acts of Kindness blog post.

DONATE NOW (slightly different format to usual – by donating directly through the charity’s website we can ensure that even more of the funds go direct to them)

Want to know more about effective altruism? Here you go:

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