Our Write the World journey: Thank you for what you have already achieved

At our charity project, Write the World notebooks, we make our donations to The Life You Can Save on a quarterly basis, with the end of May marking the end of our third quarter of fundraising. Every quarter The Life You Can Save then directs that quarter’s donation to an agreed effective charity tackling global poverty.

I think, my friends, it’s worth reflecting on just what your purchases of $10 notebooks have achieved so far.

In our first quarter we raised $7,150 which was donated to the Fred Hollows Foundation. With this amount of money the foundation could: fund 20,100 antibiotic distributions to prevent blinding trachoma or provide 96 cataract surgeries to CURE reversible blindness. Yep, thanks to those notebooks you bought back in September, October and November.

In our second quarter we raised $2,650 which was donated to the Against Malaria Foundation. With this amount of money the foundation could purchase 894 bed nets to protect those living in malaria-stricken areas from infected mosquitos. One bed net protects two people from malaria for up to three years, meaning 1,788 people have been protected from malaria thanks to those notebooks you purchased back in December, January and February.

Over the same quarter we also raised a bonus $1,780 for the bushfire relief funds in Australia. (Remember those bushfires?) That was thanks to every notebook you bought in January.

In our latest quarter we raised $4,590 which is to be donated to The Fistula Foundation. With this amount of money the foundation can cover the cost of supplies for 43 fistula surgeries in the Democratic Republic of Congo or fund four complete surgeries to safely repair a woman’s obstetric fistula, and rehabilitation services.  All thanks to the notebooks you popped into your carts in March, April and May.

So, thank you. Thank you for supporting Write the World so generously. Thank you for keeping us in mind when you need presents for your friends, family, neighbours and school teachers. Thank you for helping us spread the word about our project.

Stay tuned to hear where our next quarter’s donation will be directed. You can guarantee it will be to an equally worthy charity that is effectively helping the world’s poorest.

In the meantime, you can buy your notebooks at http://www.writetheworldnotebooks.org…

Do you love the sound of Stephen Fry’s voice?

In 2015 our family embarked on a ‘big red road trip’ from Darwin in the north of Australia, down to Alice Springs in the centre of Australia. It was 1,500 kilometres with just me, my husband, our two kids… and Stephen Fry.

And when I say Stephen Fry, I mean we listened to a Harry Potter audio book narrated by Stephen Fry. Sadly, he wasn’t in the car with us. Though even if he wanted to come there wouldn’t have been room, what with the tents and the eskies and the lilos and the sleeping bags and every other essential you need on a getting back to nature road trip.

Hour after hour, kilometre after kilometre, Stephen talked us through the Australian outback. Often as we pulled up at majestic landmarks – Kakadu, the Olgas, Uluru, Karlu Karlu – we would all look at each other and taciturnly agree to stay in the car until Stephen finished the particular chapter we were on. I don’t know if we were sadder when the trip ended or the audio book finished.

So, you can imagine how excited I was when I heard that Stephen Fry was one of the narrators on the new audio version of the tenth anniversary edition, The Life You Can Save. If you haven’t heard of it, The Life You Can Save is Peter Singer’s landmark book about how we can all be doing our part to end world poverty. Don’t take my word for it though. Check out what Bill Gates says about it – “A persuasive and inspiring work that will change the way you think about philanthropy… and shows us we can make a profound difference in the lives of the world’s poorest.”

Having different celebrities narrate different chapters of the book is such a great idea. As well as my favourite voice ever, Stephen Fry, there is also a chapter narrated by Kristen Bell. For those of you who haven’t watched The Good Place yet, get to it – super funny. Kristen plays the role of Eleanor Shellstrop – a morally challenged character and an absolutely inspired choice to narrate a book on ethics.

And guess what? You can download a copy of the audio book – or the ebook if for some reason you want to read it yourself rather than have Stephen Fry read it to you – for free.

And just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any better? For every time the book is downloaded before the 31 December, US$1 is donated to The Life You Can Save.

Download your copy of either the audio book or the ebook of The Life You Can Save from here. You’re welcome.

July 2019: Launching our love project – Write the World

Earlier this year I had an idea. In the shower. Which is often where the best ideas happen, I reckon.

It was a little niggly idea at first. But it grew and grew, until before I knew it the idea was a project. Which is now happening. The idea in a nutshell: Write the World notebooks, unique notebooks designed to make the world a better place. Our point of difference: 100% of the $10 purchase price of every single Write the World notebook sold goes to The Life You Can Save to direct towards effective charities. That’s right, 100%.

I jokingly call it the love project. It’s such an apt name for it. I love so much about it…

Selfishly, I love that it allows me to use my skills – working with specialists like designers and printers, creating, writing, implementing, organising. Oh yes, I’m an organiser!

I love that it’s increasing my horizons, allowing me to talk to and meet interesting people I wouldn’t have otherwise come across. It’s broadening my own world.

I love that the whole family is engaged in the project, offering ideas and suggestions and ever so patiently listening to my constant updates and latest Write the World thoughts.

I love that the idea has been so positively embraced by every single person I’ve told about it. It’s a project that seems to bring out the best in people.

And I love that The Life You Can Save has agreed to be our project’s donor charity. It means the project is totally aligned to where our family has been putting our effective altruism efforts for the past 24 months.

Our family will be directing our monthly effective altruism donations to Write the World for the next few months. We are funding the design and printing of the first six hundred notebooks ourselves. For an initial outlay of $3,500 – which we would have donated to effective charities anyway over the course of the coming months – we will eventually be able to direct $6,000 in notebook sales to The Life You Can Save. Almost twice what we would have otherwise being able to donate.

Because that is another thing I love about the love project. It has this magical multiplier thing going on. The more we print, the less the notebooks cost. The more we sell, the more we donate. Say, for example, we increase our print quantities in the future – with economies of scale, the notebook production price goes down and for a $5,000 initial investment, we’d see $30,000 donated to The Life You Can Save in notebook sales.

How magic is that?

We will be looking for generous effective altruists to sponsor future design and print runs. We’d love to hear from you if you’re interested in having your donation magically multiplied through the Write the World notebook love project – drop us a line at savinglives@writetheworldnotebooks.org to start a conversation about how we can work together.

The Write the World website will be launching in September 2019. In the meantime, you can follow our journey to launch on Facebook (http://fb.me/writetheworldnotebooks) or Instagram (@write_the_world_notebooks)