As New Harvest approaches 20 years since our founding, we are in a funding crisis. With five months of runway to survive and experts recommending companies extend runway by 18-24 months, we urgently need at least $2 million by July 31 to fulfill our budget for the year and make it through giving season while keeping impact high. 

I am no longer confident that New Harvest will raise our budgeted total for the year. We have $1,056,228 in the bank and will spend $201,209 every month if we stick to our budgeted expenses. Unless something changes, New Harvest will run out of money October 31, 2022. 

I am usually very optimistic, coming into this field a decade ago when cultured meat was barely more than science fiction. Optimism and a long game approach has pushed our work forward  and enabled New Harvest to literally build the field of cellular agriculture from scratch. But this recent economic downturn has forced our hand. The time has come to shift from a growth mindset to survival mode.

Over the next few weeks, I will have to make several challenging decisions about the future of New Harvest. Unfortunately, staff cuts are unavoidable in order to prioritize impact, supporting our research grantees, and extending our runway beyond October. 

I am hosting an open town hall during our upcoming conference on June 10th at 3:30pm EST to answer questions as best I can and discuss the future of New Harvest. If you can't attend in-person, you can tune in and participate via livestream by registering here
 

A bit about New Harvest: 

Like I said, we've literally build the field of cellular agriculture from scratch. New Harvest founded the first companies, funded the first PhDs, laid the groundwork for the National Institute for Cell Ag, and has had our work cited by the world's leading climate scientists in the latest IPCC report. Heck, we coined the term cellular agriculture

I am posting here because after sending out an emergency email yesterday, I received a flood of responses asking: What about OPP? Is New Harvest getting any EA funding? 

New Harvest's first supporters were EA and our founder, Jason Matheny, continues to be active in the EA world. Despite being recommended by Animal Charity Evaluators as a standout charity and our donor base swinging EA, we haven't seen enough support come through to really sustain us.

Here's how you can help: 

  • Every dollar counts to make it through Giving Season. You can donate here.
  • Attend our town hall on June 10 at 3:30pm EST (taking place on day two of our upcoming conference in Brooklyn). You can tune in and participate virtually by registering here
  • If you're interested in making a major gift, get in touch at stephanie.b@new-harvest.org.
  • Send intros and connections. Impact investors far outnumber those willing to philanthropically support an org building the root system and ecosystem that allow companies in the private sector to flourish. If you have suggestions for how to tap into the investment $$ sloshing around in alt protein, get in touch at isha@new-harvest.org.
  • We’re on the search for new funders and grant opportunities (ideally grants with quick turnaround that we can apply for with an agile and skeleton team).  If you have any leads, please let me know (again: isha@new-harvest.org)


I sincerely believe this will be just one short part of the much longer New Harvest story. New Harvest isn't going anywhere, but we have to make rapid and drastic changes to survive.  

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I work in the alt protein industry and am a supporter of New Harvest (NH). I previously worked at their chief "competitor" the Good Food Institute (GFI). I donate to NH because they provide an essential counterpart and counterbalance to GFI. NH also seems more nimble and oftentimes more risk-tolerant or creative, though less operationally excellent and globalized. Their budget is routinely small compared to GFI and yet constantly find ways to add value to the industry. It is hard to imagine the cellular agriculture movement, or alt proteins, without NH. I would urge others in this community to support New Harvest. 

Thanks so much Nate. Couldn't have put it better myself! Really appreciate your support. 

Hi, sorry to hear this. Have you gotten in touch with the people at FTX? Their climate fund would probably make a grant (https://www.ftx-climate.com/) considering they support Good Food Institute and one of their values is competition/diversity of EA organizations in the same space.

Not yet! Would you be able to intro us to someone there? Happy to cold email, but an intro always helps speed things along. 

I don’t know anyone at FTX so if someone else reading this on the forum does, please reach out to Isha. That being said, I might be able to help with an intro for an intro :) Look out for an email from me

The funding paradox: The more we trust EA fund-managers to make good decisions, the less inclined we are to think anyone publicly asking for money is worth giving money to. After all, the wise fund-managers would have funded them already if they were good.

It's related to the Expert's Paradox: An expert who's able to discern other experts should (on first-order) be more inclined to update on their signals because they have justified confidence in their signals being good. But if experts start updating strongly on each others' signals, now suddenly the signals are worse quality due to information cascades and proportionally watering down the total influence technical evidence (as opposed to testimonial evidence) has on their collective beliefs. Hence the paradox: the more experts are inclined to trust each other (first-order), the less they should be inclined to trust each other (second-order). The more efficient the market is, the more people are going to update on how efficient it is, which leads to the market becoming less efficient.

Additionally, if fund-managers tend to update on each others' signals, it creates perverse incentives for charities to not ask for money. The best a charity can hope for in a world where everyone believes and updates on the efficient market hypothesis is that a fund-manager accidentally receives private information about their funding situation.

The point is that fund-managers should be very reluctant to update on each others' decisions. The harm caused by reinforcing perverse incentives and watering down the epistemic commons just isn't worth it.

What is your budget spent on? I want to help you be run more efficiently.