An elderly relative of mine is selling a property and wants to donate a substantial amount of money ($500,000 AUD = $340,000 USD) to “basic science”, by which they mean something industry or academia probably would be reticent to fund otherwise. They are aware of my interests in Effective Altruism and my training as a scientist and thus want me to take care of it entirely. However, I am very junior and have very little experience applying for grants let alone allocating money. Any recommendations for how I should go about most efficiently getting this money into the hands of some scientists doing potentially high-impact basic science? Bonus points for doing it in a manner that would be tax-deductible in Australia.
Particularly good recommendations are likely to have a substantial impact on how this money gets allocated, so if you think you have a good idea I’d very much appreciate it. I can’t just give the money to AMF or the EA Funds, it has to be at least indirectly allocated to basic science research. I’m not sure who to ask – I’d speak to my PI, but it seems extremely awkward to go “hey, so I have this big potential source of funding that I can influence but it’s not necessarily for us, any advice on how to give it away to others?” I’d be happy to direct the money to be thrown into a bigger pile if there’s another group I haven’t heard of that either solely funds basic science or will let me allocate the money to that end.