The holiday season is near, which means we at Charity Science are once again gearing up for our annual Christmas fundraiser. This campaign has become one of our most prolific methods of raising money for effective charities with an over 1000% return on investment, and that’s thanks in part to our inclusion of a counterfactual match guarantee, meaning for every dollar that is raised, another dollar is committed to the cause.
This may at first seem to be a trivial gesture, but a closer look reveals it’s much more than that. We’ve found that donors find motivation in partnership. Take, for example, one of our fundraisers from last year who has noted he would not have run a fundraiser that earned over $25,000 if not for the match guarantee. It’s symbiosis in action.
Our goal at Charity Science is to harness the momentum that can be achieved through a partnership between donors and matchers. Logistically, this means we must have matchers in place to be the motivators. This is the first line in a dialogue that might go something like this:
Matcher: “If you go to the gym, I’ll go with you.”
Donor: “Alright, fine. I’ll go.”
Matcher: “OK, then I’ll go too.”
Everybody else: “What a great idea! Let’s all go.”
As the matcher instigates the process, this is where we must begin. And this is where we call on you.
In order to see the kind of success we’ve seen in the past, we need EAs to pledge a counterfactual match to GiveWell charities for the Charity Science Christmas campaign. If you’d like to do so, simply sign up here. By focusing on global poverty, you’re funneling in money from donors that may otherwise been given to non-EA charities (or no charities at all). Considering the multiplier effect, a strong case can be made that participating in our fundraiser through matching will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
It’s important to note that this is not merely speculation. Our metric for measuring the success of fundraisers is not simply the amount that’s donated, but the amount that wouldn’t have been donated otherwise. And that success has been substantial. So to ensure this continues, we will be asking donors and matchers where their money would have gone.
Consider participating in Charity Science’s Christmas fundraiser. Whether you’re pledging $50 or $50,000, remember that by doing so, your impact is even greater than your contribution.