EA Angel Group: Applications Open for Personal/Project Funding

by Brendon_Wong2 min read19th Mar 201931 comments


Community ProjectsCommunity

Applying for a Grant

The EA Angel Group is a group of individual donors in EA that are interested in providing funding for early-stage high-impact activities. We accept applications across all cause areas. We do not have a strict cutoff for the size of the project that is applying or the amount of money requested, although each donor generally has the ability to make one or more grants a year in the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars range, so grants in that range are most likely to be funded. Multiple angels can work together to fund a larger grant request, and applicants can choose to have their application shared with other EA funding organizations.

Apply here: https://goo.gl/forms/kW3g8THA7fVUrr4h2

Our Applicant-Friendly and Funder-Friendly Grant System

Our grant application system attempts to address three main problems in the early-stage EA funding landscape: funders hiding opportunities from other funders, not letting people apply for funding during certain times of the year, and not providing applicants with updates or feedback on their application.

Sharing Opportunities with Funders

Venture capitalists in the for-profit sector hide investment opportunities from others for personal monetary gain. EA grantmakers have no such reason for hiding funding opportunities from other experienced funders. Therefore, I believe that EA grantmakers such as EA Grants, BERI Grants, and the EAF Fund should all use a shared central application so that each funder can discover and fund promising opportunities that they otherwise may not have encountered.

To improve opportunity discovery among funders, our application system is designed to support easy sharing of our applications with external funders. We use an opt-out system to encourage applicants to agree to have their application shared and we will proactively reach out to EA funders to encourage application sharing. We hope this is a first step towards greater application sharing and perhaps a central application among funders.

Rolling Applications

Similarly to the problem of not sharing opportunities with other funders, we believe EA funders should not have application rounds that close, sometimes for large parts of the year and sometimes with great uncertainty about when they will open again. This causes funders to potentially miss out on promising opportunities. Our grant application will remain open year round and our angels will review grant applications year round so that we can discover, evaluate, and fund as many high-impact opportunities as possible.

To make sure funding opportunities are up to date and increase awareness of our grant application, we are considering the concept of having grant windows. Grant windows may correspond to each quarter of the year (January–March, April–June, July–September, October–December). Applications during more recent grant windows would be considered more up to date and as such would receive more attention. We could announce new grant windows so that awareness of our grant application remains high throughout the year.

Providing Updates and Feedback to Grant Applications

Feedback can be highly valuable to grant applicants because it helps them understand potential issues with their proposal and how to address those issues in the eyes of evaluators. The EA Angel Group has historically provided all applicants with updates on their application and feedback on their proposal by summarizing and anonymizing the main points of angel discussion (if there is any, in some cases angels might rapidly evaluate a project without writing up their thoughts).

Additional Opportunities

Become an angel: We are seeking effective altruists that are prepared to spend significant time and money to evaluate and fund early-stage grants. If this sounds like you or someone you know, please direct yourself or your contacts to this angel application form: https://goo.gl/forms/WCt7hC9IuMJJT3qZ2

Provide high impact projects with funding without evaluating grants yourself: If you are interested in providing funding for promising early-stage projects in EA and have our angels/evaluators do the work of sourcing, evaluating, and providing post-grant support to projects, please get in touch with us about donating. Also, please let us know if you’re interested in supporting our internal initiatives such as promoting a common application among funders and making personal and project grants tax deductible.

Volunteer for us: We may have opportunities available for volunteers that would like to help with sourcing and evaluating grant opportunities. Please get in touch if you’re interested!