Charity Profile: Marcus Daniell
Marcus Daniell became involved with the effective altruism movement, which focusses on using one’s resources to do the most good, in 2015. The Kiwi believes in the importance of effective giving — finding ways to make the most out of charity dollars to earn the most positive, tangible impact possible.
The doubles player, who has climbed as high as No. 34 in the FedEx ATP Doubles Rankings, donates between five and 10 per cent of his annual income to charity. While tournaments were not going on during the COVID-19 pandemic, Daniell began to think about how he could further spread the cause.
Daniell knew he would have to socialise the importance of effective giving in the world he knows best: tennis. On 30 November 2020, he founded High Impact Athletes.
“The reality is if I donate five per cent of my income, I’m one person and that’s great. It’s a beautiful thing. If I can convince one other person to donate five per cent of their income, I’ve basically just doubled my own impact and on it goes,” Daniell said. “The more people you can bring with you, the more impact you can have on the world. That’s where the idea of High Impact Athletes started, the idea of, ‘Okay, I don’t know any athletes who have heard of the effective altruism movement before. I think it’s an extremely powerful and compelling message, the idea that we should really care where we donate to, because some charities are literally 1,000 times more impactful than others. Let’s try to get as many people in my field on board as possible.’
“Even further down the line, we could grow a massive snowball here, because athletes have huge audiences. If I can get people on board who really understand the idea of giving effectively, and they can convince their audiences, even if it’s just one per cent of their audience… that’s a huge number. That was the conception of this idea.”
Daniell's goal for 2021 is to channel more than $1,000,000 in donations to the most effective charities in the world by the end of the year. "The amount of real-world impact this would have is absolutely staggering and I think it is more than possible," he said,"
Charities And Causes
High Impact Athletes focusses on two main areas: environmental impact and extreme poverty.
Some of the charities HIA aligns with in the environmental impact area include The Clean Air Task Force, The Humane League and The Good Food Institute. Extreme poverty-related charities HIA supports include the Against Malaria Foundation, Living Goods and Seva.
“For athletes like us it is necessary to not only lead by example with values like a hard-work attitude and fairness in our sport,” Struff said. “We also have the responsibility and influence to help make this world better. High Impact Athletes looks for the most effective ways to do this.”
Daniell has been heartened by the positive response from many players he has spoken to.
"The response so far from the players has been amazing. Really, really positive," Daniell said. "That for me is particularly positive because this was just an idea in my head six months ago, and now in the first couple weeks I feel like it’s been validated as a concept."
Since HIA's inception on 30 November 2020, 11 athletes have pledged one per cent or more of their annual winnings, seven of whom have pledged two per cent or more.
- More than $81,300 influenced total, more than $56,800 to environmental causes.
- More than 443,800 animals spared from factory farms.