Giving Tuesday falls on December 2nd this year, today in fact, and I have to say that this is a far more admirable manufactured publicity event than the preceding Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In this case the motivation is to encourage more people to do good by helping charitable causes to meet their year end fundraising goals: a little mainstream social pressure to make the world a better place to add to that already present in many communities. We could all do more, of course, but the person without a charitable urge is, I think, no more than a person who hasn't yet found the way in which he or she wishes to change the world. When you do find a goal that speaks to you then generosity comes easily: there are always many fellow travelers to discover, and some of those people will be further ahead in the game, having organized to the point of setting up non-profit initiatives to advance the cause. If you want to get anything done in earnest there must be collaboration, networking, research, and sundry other projects, and to be effective in the long term all of that must be funded in some way, shape, or form. Hence the drive for donations.
There are many causes in the world for which the limiting factor on speed of progress is not money. Those are the truly hard jobs. For everything else, helping things along can become very simple: write a check, click the PayPal button, make a donation. Provided you've done the legwork to ensure you are donating to a sound charity performing proven good work, then congratulations - you are helping to make the world a better place. Funding the efforts needed to get the job done is a vital part of the bigger picture for any cause.
The charitable cause I favor above all others is the medical research needed to bring about the end of frailty, disease, and death as a result of aging. Aging is by far the greatest cause of human suffering in every part of the world, even those with other terrible problems. In a more reasonable world we wouldn't find ourselves in the position of having to persuade anyone that, yes, researching the means to treat and reverse aging is the most important goal in the world at present, the goal that will help the most people at the least cost. We are in that position, however, and progress in this research is absolutely limited by funding and little else. There are hundreds of researchers in the present life science community who, if given grants, would gleefully drop their present research in favor of working on ways to repair the cellular and molecular damage that causes aging. It is ever a challenge to bring funding into this community however: aging research is a small and comparatively unattended branch of medical science, and longevity science is a tiny field of that tiny branch. The public at large have not yet woken up to realize that the possibility of turning back the painful consequences of old age is, given sufficient funding, just a few decades away.
So it is Giving Tuesday, and you are sitting there with a few dollars in your pocket, and there is a PayPal button on the SENS Research Foundation donation page. Make a donation and it will be matched at $2 for every $1 you donate by the Fight Aging! matching fund founders, and also by a further $1 for today only by Aubrey de Grey personally. If you're here reading this, then there is perhaps a certain level of interest on your part in helping to assure a personal future that involves less disability, less pain, and less age-related disease. The only way that will happen is if the best and most promising research programs - such as those funded by the SENS Research Foundation - achieve more traction in the years to come. The way that starts is with more public interest and more grassroots donations: so it is up to you.
We know you share our conviction that a world without age-related disease is possible - and our commitment to making that world a reality.
So we would like to encourage everyone who is able to make a donation to SENS Research Foundation on #GivingTuesday and post, tweet, blog and let others know about how your are celebrating #GivingTuesday.
Today only the first $5,000 of your donations will be quadrupled thanks to our ongoing Fight Aging! Challenge Grant and the generosity of Aubrey de Grey, who will match every donation made today up to $5,000.
Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.