Updated: Dec 2, 2021
Arthur felt the smoke first; it stung his eyes and filled his lungs. As he turned the corner the sight of the house on fire lit up the night. He could see bright flames through the windows and black smoke billowing from cracks in the walls. Hearing a scream from inside the house, Arthur did not think. No one else was around and he knew he had to help.
Few people have saved someone's life. Those who have, say it’s a profound and surreal experience to think that a person would not be alive if not for your actions. And the impact does not stop at the person you save. Their parents, friends, and dozens of other lives are enriched by their bond with the person saved. Some people get a single opportunity in their life to save another person, often at great personal risk to themselves, such as running into a burning building. Others take jobs that give them more opportunities to save lives, such as becoming a paramedic. However, few jobs give the opportunity to affect someone's life so drastically. What about saving a life every day? This is a tier reserved for only the most talented scientists, the most well-known political activists, and the most successful charity entrepreneurs. Every great organization which has made a positive difference in the world had to be started by someone. Just as many of the richest people on the planet are entrepreneurs in the for-profit world, many of the most impactful people are entrepreneurs in the nonprofit world. Successful entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg are household names, but less heard about are the successful charity entrepreneurs Rob Mathers, Elie Hassenfeld, and Esther Duflo who have saved a life for every day they have lived. Saving so many lives is hard for the mind to grasp. Throughout your whole life you are unlikely to meet that many people. A way to conceptualize it is to imagine going to a stadium to watch your favorite team or musician. Hearing the roar of the cheering and seeing the stands packed full. If you save a life every day, that whole stadium of people would not be here if not for your actions. Saving this many people is a task normally reserved for superhero movies. Yet this feat can be achieved, with luck and a lot of hard work. This is the main reason to consider charity entrepreneurship as a path. Historically, people who have founded charities have made a massive difference to countless lives and tackled incredibly important problems that otherwise would have been forgotten. The best charities differ greatly from average ones. If your charity idea is backed by strong research and a good set of decision-making tools, starting a high-impact charity can be an achievable goal. For the right person, founding a field-leading charity can be the greatest good that can be achieved with your time.