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Ben Todd suggested last year that small donors might help organizations diversify their funding:

It’s also not healthy for an organisation to depend 100% on a single foundation for its funding. This means that until we have 3+ large foundations covering each organisation, small donors play a role in diversifying the funding base of large organisations. (Though note that you’re only providing this benefit if your grantmaking process is independent from the large donors.)

So... which organizations are looking for funding from small donors?

Open Philanthropy used to publish its suggestions, but their latest is from 2020. I imagine the funding landscape has changed since then.

(Also related: How should large donors coordinate with small donors?)




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We try to keep a page with information (including room for funding numbers) for the organisations that get founded through Charity Entrepreneurship. Many of them are in a situation where marginal, small donors could make an impact.

Thank you so much for asking this question, @smountjoy!

Wanted to put in a pitch for Legal Impact for Chickens.

Legal Impact for Chickens would be extremely honored and excited if any  donor were to consider us for a gift of any size! And I believe the money would go a long way in terms of expected value to reduce suffering.

We're an EA-aligned litigation start-up dedicated to making factory-farm cruelty a liability. 

LIC filed our first lawsuit a few months ago: A widely publicized shareholder-derivative case against Costco's executives for neglecting chickens. Costco breeds and kills 100 million chickens each year. And of course, in the US alone, companies kill 9 billion chickens a year. If we can improve these animals' lives, that could reduce a huge amount of suffering.

 We have room for more funding. We want to grow to become a 6-person organization by 2024. Right now, we have two full-time staff: (1) me and (2) our amazing new litigator hire, Denise Morris, who starts on Monday.

My name is Alene. I'm the founder and I'm very friendly! If anyone is at all interested in potentially donating, please reach out to me, because I'd love to speak with you, get to know you, and tell you all about our organization! I think most of our donors are EAs. Thank you!!

And thank you to all the EA Forum readers who already support Legal Impact for Chickens! You rock!!

And thank you to the rest of the readers of this forum for everything you do to make the world better as effectively as possible!



PS I very much agree with @smountjoy about the importance of smaller donors. 

First, that's where a lot of money comes from! 

Second, that's where a lot of money SHOULD come from, according to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If you're a US charity, then you'll probably want to get "public charity" status from the IRS so that you can receive tax-exempt donations and spend them on your own programs. For this status, you need to prove that a certain percentage of your support comes from SMALL donors, not just big foundations! So there's a special legal reason to court individual donors. But even besides the legal reason, I think the IRS has a point: It's more democratic for our charities to receive support from a large number of donors than just a few. It helps you know that your charity is listening to many opinions and being open to feedback. 

So individual donors matter a lot, both for the money they provide and for the way they "vote" with their money.

LIC is proud to have a total of 213 unique donors. And the number of donors matters to us as well as the quantity of donations—because each donor represents a kind person trying to help our mission and believing that we can be entrusted with their money.

I'd guess that a lot of non-longtermist, non-EA-meta charities are more more likely to be funding constrained and less likely to be topped up by FTX. I also suspect FTX isn't taking up all the opportunities for organizations to spend money, even for the ones it supports.

I suspect organizations with a research focus, such as Sentience Institute, ALLFED, and other answers on this post, are often happy to hire more researcher time with marginal donations.

Organizations that do marketing probably have room to spend more there, such as 80,000 Hours and Giving What We Can. GWWC wrote earlier this year that they were looking for funding (I'm not sure what the status of that is).

I believe the Center for Election Science is looking for more funding since approval voting has a lot of room to grow in the US - it sounds like their goal is to scale campaigns with more funding.

I'm not sure how much room they have, but probably Effective Institutions Project

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I'd also like to see a list of orgs that could use funding. I imagine there are many but I don't think they are collated anywhere. Maybe big funders could release lists of organizations they didn't fund for whatever reason and other smaller funders can fund them if they think it correct.


Separately, small note: you stated that Ben Todd mentioned this in 2019, but the post you link to is from 2021.

Oops, thank you! Not sure what I was thinking. Fixed now.

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