Dave Cortright

Professional Coach
400 karmaJoined Working (15+ years)



I have been a serious philanthropist since 2004 and part of the EA community since 2017. I am most passionate about  global mental health and EA capacity building (through my coaching). I also support environmental and animal welfare causes. I am on the advisory council of Vegan Outreach, The Confess Project, and the Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Board.

I am a certified professional coach, with additional experience in crisis counseling and peer mentoring. I shifted to mental health and well-being after 25 years as a designer, manager, and director at Silicon Valley tech companies. I am passionate about helping others, and by guiding them to find their true calling, I amplify my impact on improving the world.

How others can help me

I'm looking for partners to work on a peer support group (PSG) program that will help alleviate the global mental health crisis. I'm especially interested in working with students at colleges and universities, or young adults in general.

How I can help others

Figuring out what to do next in your life for maximal impact. 

Don’t ask what the world needs, but ask what makes you come alive, because that is what the world needs: people who have come alive.

—Howard Thurman


Topic contributions

I appreciate your perspective Alan and trust that everyone reading this has the agency to determine for themselves what is the best use of their time. I found watching the video gave me a better understanding of the challenges and benefits of unconditional cash transfers. 

Neither Joseph nor I were taking a black-or-white view of things. My "is the world better" thought experiment is merely a first-order approximation of a complex issue. I apologize if that was not clear.

So capitalization matters. I can get behind that 😊

I’ve updated the title, but to those of you who had a problem with me asserting that engaging publicly with Give Directly qualifies someone as an EA, what criteria do you think is required for someone/something to be in EA? There’s no standards certification body, so in my estimation it comes down to “the eye of the beholder”. But curious what others think.

For example, I heavily support Vegan Outreach because their goal is to get people to go vegan as efficiently as possible. Yet they aren’t on any EA animal welfare lists, they’re not interested in going to the conferences or getting more involved in the community. They want to focus on vegan conversations. And I respect that.

Giving What We Can also said as much in their latest blog post on the pledge, noting that pledgers get to decide what they consider is effective. https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/en/blog/5-things-you-ve-got-wrong-about-the-giving-what-we-can-pledge

First and foremost Jimmy wants to create a compelling story that gets people to watch. Maybe it all could be done a bit less dramatically, but overall I think he does a good job of representing people as just needing some resources and opportunities to build a better life for themselves.

At the end of the day, is the world better off for having this video in it and all the good done in its production? Yes, I think it’s a net positive.

I spoke with Jimmy 2 years ago and talked with him about EA, which he had already heard of through a friend. He’s definitely aware of it. Whether or not he considers himself an EA is another story, but he is engaging with an effective philanthropy, and doing a lot of good in the world not only through his direct work but also driving awareness via his massive platform. That looks effective from my perspective.

I’m a fan of this concept. Would love to see your analysis of https://good.store by the vlog brothers

Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth! I donated bone marrow, and enthusiastically recommend others consider signing up for medical donation programs like the ones listed above. 

Here’s another one worth a listen: Changing the Game: StrongMinds' Mission to Improve Mental Health Globally on The Giving What We Can Podcast


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