Frequently Asked Questions

Why not just donate directly?

WealthForTheWorld invests donations and only donates in the future, but then a higher amount than originally invested. What is better? Donate directly or donate a larger amount later?

By accumulating assets, charitable causes can be supported in the long term with more money than through direct donations, because the return on capital invested in the capital market in the long term is greater than its loss in value (through inflation).

Between 1970 and 2020, the global stock market grew by an average of 7.5% per year. If you subtract the average inflation of 2.5% per year, you are left with a real annual return of 5%. This means that anyone who invested €100 in 1970 to donate the money 50 years later could donate more than €1,100 in 2020.

But, the long-term positive return on investment of charitable assets is not sufficient for argumentation purposes to prefer this type of giving to direct giving. The decisive factor is the comparison of social returns: Is the overall social benefit of charitable assets greater than the social benefit of directly donated money?

Social returns are much more difficult to calculate and compare than returns on capital. On the one hand, there is a lack of reliable data on the long-term social effects of public welfare-oriented interventions from which a social return could be derived. On the other hand, it is disputed with which methods and on the basis of which key figures reliable and comparable social returns should be calculated. The discourse on what is meant in detail by the terms "common good", "social", "good" or "bad" is also open. So it is not even clear from what a social return should be achieved. A conclusive answer to the question of whether direct donations or long-term asset investments do more good is therefore not possible at present.

However, regardless of the difficulty of calculating social returns, there are good reasons to donate directly (immediate impact, low risk of losing donations, potentially high social return) and good reasons to invest donations (long-term positive return on investment and thus higher donations, potentially high social return).

That is why we are convinced that both paths should be followed. For the second way - donating via long-term assets - WealthForTheWorld offers a simple, transparent and non-profit platform. If you prefer to donate directly to effective non-profit organisations, we recommend that you check out .

Further information

Phil Trammell of the Global Priorities Institute (University of Oxford) has done research on patient philanthropy.

A lecture by Trammell on this topic can be found at. here.
A podcast with Trammell is available here.

Who do you donate to and specifically why there?

We are neither experts in development economics, nor do we have the know-how to make serious scientific assessments of the work of charitable organizations. We cannot and do not want to audit and evaluate effective organizations. We therefore trust the regular and extensive research of GiveWell's independent experts.

Detailed information on the selection criteria of our partners.

What happens to the WealthForTheWorld assets in the long term?

Our goal is to contribute as much as possible to solving pressing global problems.

To achieve this goal, we support organisations that work as effectively as possible on solutions to these problems with monetary donations.
The following applies: the greater the WealthForTheWorld assets, the greater the future donations, the greater the chance of overcoming problems such as extreme poverty, the pandemics, climate crises and so on.

Every euro invested in the WealthForTheWorld assets generates future donation payouts greater than the invested euro. Accordingly, there is no amount above which it would make sense to cap the WealthForTheWorld assets.

The WealthForTheWorld assets are dissolved when

  1. there is an organisation that can use the assets more effectively in the sense of our goals than WealthForTheWorld.
  2. there is a point in the future when it clearly makes more sense to donate parts or all of the assets rather than the return on the assets. This would be the case, for example, if an event that threatens the earth can only be prevented if a lot of capital is spent in the short term.
  3. problems such as extreme poverty, pandemics, climate crises, etc. no longer exist and it is foreseeable that they can no longer occur in the long term.
Side-effect of a large WealthForTheWorld fortune.

The larger the WealthForTheWorld assets and the resulting donations, the more attention (media perception) our commitment to effectively altruistic positions gets.

What are the costs incurred by the association?

The association faces monthly costs of approximately 15€

Overview of expenses
Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) ~6€
Hosting of the website and domain ~4€
Transaction fees on the purchase and sale of shares/ETFs ~5€
Expenditures per month ~15€

WFTW is exempt from capital gains tax as a German nonprofit association. The calculation of the return, the design of the website, the newsletter and other activities of the association are provided on a voluntary basis and free of charge.

The specific annual income and costs of the association can be found in our current updated annual report.

Low costs equals:


of the money donated to WealthForTheWorld is invested WFTW's assets

Active versus passive portfolio management?

WealthForTheWorld is manages its assets like a passive investment fund. The performance of the portfolio follows the performance of the global equity markets. We do not make active investment decisions in selecting stocks and in terms of an optimal time to buy/sell stocks.

Whether actively managed funds generate higher returns than passive funds is a controversial question. For example, in a comprehensive 2010 study, Nobel Prize-winning economist Eugene Fama states that, in principle, actively managed funds do not generate higher returns compared to the market.

Explanation of terms:
Active funds make timing (optimal buy/sell) and selection decisions to optimize the return of a portfolio.
Passive funds follow the performance of an index (e.g. the performance of the DAX).

Why do you invest in the MSCI World?

The MSCI World Index is considered the most important benchmark index of global economic development. Composed of approximately 1650 individual positions from 23 countries, the MSCI World reliably tracks the development of the economies of the most important industrialized nations and thus the global economy. In addition, the MSCI World is one of the broadest investment products and thus allows to participate in the development of the entire economy instead of only one specific sector. In addition, the MSCI World is considered extremely reliable in terms of its long-term performance. Since 1970, it has been able to achieve an average annual return of around 7 percent. Even several substantial crises could not jeopardize the return of the index in the long run.

For these reasons, the MSCI World is well suited for our purpose of long-term passive investment. The WFTW fund is intended to enable people without capital in particular to participate in the long-term upward trend of the global economy.

But with the MSCI World, you are also invested in Amazon, Google, etc.? Why don't you invest in more sustainable companies?

The aim of WFTW's investment strategy is to passively participate in the growth of the global economy. To achieve this goal, we are also invested in companies that do not operate sustainably via the MSCI World ETFs.

Unfortunately, it is not straightforward to exclude these companies. Of course, we could invest in other ETFs. However, this is not an optimal solution:
One one hand, there are not many similarly diversified ETFs. This means that with alternative investment products with less diversification comes a risk and possibly a performance premium. We would end up moving closer to an active fund management strategy. This is something we do not want.
On the other hand, we want people in the global south to benefit from the positive economic development of the industrialized nations. The further we would adapt the investment strategy, the further we would also move away from this idea.

Who "owns" WealthForTheWorld's assets?

WFTW is a registered and nonprofit association. As such, it is an independent legal entity and can accumulate assets.

In this sense, the WealthForTheWorld association owns the money donated to it. However, it may only use the money in accordance with its charitable statutes:

The executive committee of the association (selected over the annual meeting of the members of the WFTW registered association) represents the association and takes all important decisions, also with regards to the assets of the association. The work of the executive committee is controlled and examined through two ways: Firstly, via the general meeting, before which the board must declare itself annually and which can dismiss the board. On the other hand, the tax authorities regularly audit whether the activities of the association comply with the charitable purposes.

The assets of the WealthForTheWorld are legally bound exclusively to the statutory purposes such as development cooperation. Should the e.V. be dissolved, the assets flow - in accordance with the statutes - to 100% into charitable projects.

What happens to money donated to WealthForTheWorld?

Donations to WealthForTheWorld are being collected until there is at least €10,000 in the fundraising account. Then, the donations are invested in the WealthForTheWorld (WFTW) portfolio. This way we ensure that transaction costs are low. Donors have no claim to repayment of the initial donation or its returns.

Every euro donated is used 100% for charitable purposes. Should the WealthForTheWorld project be discontinued, the entire capital will flow to charitable organizations.

When do you calculate and donate the return on assets?

We do not try to find the perfect time1 to buy or sell, but always calculate return and donation amount for the same time period:
Annually between the first of Novemver and October 31.2

WealthForTheWorld is a nonprofit project and not a professional investment fund. Our goal is not to be better than the market, but to passively follow its long-term upward trend.

Furthermore, this procedure creates transparency. It becomes comprehensible and verifiable at any time how the WealthForTheWorld donations have come about.

[ 1 ] The perfect time!?

Many investors try to match the perfect moment to buy securities as cheaply as possible and sell them expensively. Whether this approach - even in terms of professional fund managers - in the long term yields better returns, is controversial.
. For example, in a comprehensive study from 2010, Nobel Prize-winning economist Eugene Fama notes that, in principle, actively managed funds do not produce higher returns compared with market returns.

Is WealthForTheWorld a registered non-profit?

Yes, WealthForTheWorld is recognised as a non-profit organisation in Germany. The non-profit status of the organisation is regularly reviewed by the German tax authorities. In order to ensure that GeldFürDieWelt does not lose this status in the long term, we have had our work and donation practices extensively audited by lawyers.