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Precommitting based on Survey Outcomes for Proposed "Giving Effectively Israel.

(Epistemic Status: Public Statement for Future Reference)

We're planning to field a survey about current giving, and potentially funding a Israeli-tax-deductible organization. The first question is whether there is sufficient demand to make funding the program worthwhile.

Setting this up involves a fair amount of upfront costs for lawyers to ensure that this is entirely above board. It seems worthwhile to try to engage a relatively prestigious / respected firm, to ensure that this is done correctly. There is a risk that we find out that they don't think it's possible to do (subjective estimate: 25%), in which case we would stop the project, hopefully having spent less than the expected full cost.

My upfront claim is that this would be worthwhile to seek funding for if the cost of a lawyer and setting up the nonprofit is less than 25% of the expected tax-saving to EAs over the next 3 years, as inferred from the survey.

Update: The total raised by Israeli EAs from the survey is on the order of 100,000 NIS, or about $30,000 now, which I think could plausibly double or even triple once started, at least in the next couple years. Given that tax rebates in Israel are a flat 35%, the planned organization would save Israeli EAs 35,000 NIS / $10,000 annually now, and 2-3 times as much in the coming few years. If there are very low administrative costs, this is plausibly enough that it is worth having on a utilitarian calculus basis, as outlined in my above pre-commitment, IF there were someone suitable to run it that had enough time and / or was willing to work cheaply enough.

However, given the value of my time working on other things, however, it is not enough for me to think that I should run the organization.

To get this started, I do have ideas I'm happy to share about what needs to be done, and the growth potential makes a strong case for this to be investigated further. AT the same time, I think it's worse for someone ineffective / not aligned to start this than to simply wait until the need is larger, so I am deferring on this.