You can now apply to the Incubation Program 2021!

Charity Entrepreneurship’s 2021 Incubation Program will be held online from June 28 to August 27. Depending on the Covid situation, we may also organize part of the course offline for those who can travel to London. Successful applicants will get a free 2-month intensive training in management, fundraising, impact analysis - everything you need to start a charity! Finish the program with a co-founder and a high-impact charity startup, and can apply for a seed grant of up to $100,000. The deadline for first round applications is January 15, 2021. Apply from any country using the form below:


Application process 

Application deadline: January 15, 2021
Program date: June 28⎼August 27, 2021
Costs: All costs covered 

The application process comprises five stages (read more>>). Our entire process typically takes less than 10 hours and ~1 month to complete. We actively try to make the questions asked helpful not only for assessing someone’s fit for CE, but also for the applicant to get a sense of their other options and pathways to impact. 
Successful applicants will be informed whether they have been selected in February 2021 (for the first application round) or April 2021 (second application round). We expect to accept between ten and twenty attendees in 2021. We are only able to contact applicants who are moving forward to the second stage of the recruitment process due to the high number of applications. 

We encourage everyone to apply. Since we only accept applicants with a strong chance (given training) of starting a high-impact charity, the application process is the best indicator of possible fit. We also recommend checking out resources like our past blog content, videos, and reading list to prepare.

The program

Our Incubation Program generally requires full-time commitment from 28 June to 27 August 2021 (stipends are provided to those in need). This year we’re also incorporating a preparation stage into the program so you can hit the ground running over the summer.

Here is the overview of the program: 

First application round: 15 December 2020 - 15 January 2021
Second application round: March 2021
Pre-program: Starting in May, you’ll read the Charity Entrepreneurship handbook (second edition) and attend weekly 1-hour virtual meetups to discuss content, ask questions, and get to know potential co-founders. You’ll also take a test on pre-program content in early June.
Online program: 28 June to 27 August 2021 (plus offline meetups if the situation allows)
First 6 weeks: You’ll work with other participants on partner projects that will be evaluated and scored by CE team members, to help you choose a co-founder and begin to build your charity.
Final 3 weeks: You and your co-founder will create a funding proposal to compete for Charity Entrepreneurship seed grants of $25,000-$100,000 per co-founding team. (In 2020, half of participants received seed funding from CE. The remaining half raised funds outside CE, received job offers within the CE network, or pursued other high-impact careers.)
Post-program: Weekly mentorship calls for up to 1 year, access to the CE network, office space in London at discount rates, and social events.

What you will learn

Our Incubation Program is a great opportunity to build cross-applicable skills for a range of high-impact careers. So you can not only start an effective non-profit but also build career capital by mastering the fundamental principles of managing high-impact organizations, including: ​

  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Measurement and evaluation
  • Fundraising
  • Strategic decision-making

You will also learn other relevant skills such as: 

  1. Financial planning, charity registration, forming a board
  2. Hiring, firing, how to deal with conflict, basics of self-care
  3. Communications: giving feedback, pitching ideas, public speaking, and more.

You’ll practice these skills in real-world partner projects. All information will also be presented in the CE handbook with ready-made templates.

Since the early beginnings of Charity Entrepreneurship we have helped to launch twelve effective organizations. So far they have received multiple grants from GiveWell, ACE, EA Fund, and D-Prize, as well as support from individual donors around the world. One of our Directors co-founded New Incentives, now a GiveWell Top Charity, and Fortify Health (a charity we helped to start in 2017) is predicted to have a 25% chance to become one. 

What charity should I start?

After extensive research CE has selected the following top ideas for the 2021 Incubation Program: 
1) Shrimp welfare  - improving the welfare of farmed shrimp, e.g. through collaborating with Vietnamese farmers to better oxygenate the water and thereby reduce chronic suffering for shrimp. Full report >>

2) Feed fortification - fortifying feed with micronutrients to combat deficiencies and improve the health of laying hens. Full report >>

3) Alcohol regulation - advocating for increased alcohol taxation to mitigate the harmful effects of consumption. Full report >>

4) Postpartum family planning - Providing family planning guidance to women at pivotal moments for their health and fertility, such as after giving birth. Full report >>

5) EA Meta charity ideas coming soon (check our next newsletter, sign up here).

If you’re open to starting a charity based on our research but still want to send us your idea, we are happy to look at your research and reasoning (send it via the standard application form). However, to be accepted to the program you must be able to make a good case that it is similarly high-impact to our recommended charities list. Examples of our incubated projects not started based on CE’s ideas include the Happier Lives Institute and Giving Green.

Should I start a charity now or later?

One of the most important benchmarks of impact is counterfactual speed-up. This concept refers to the degree to which you’ve caused something good to happen sooner than it otherwise would have, thereby positively impacting a greater number of lives. By starting a charity earlier, you help more people/animals more quickly.

Additionally, some of the interventions we have researched are more time sensitive than others – they represent a chance to influence key decisions and steer specific events in a more positive direction. If we don’t find the right people to implement these interventions, these windows of opportunity may close.

It’s also a uniquely good time to start charities in the context of working in the effective altruism community. The community has funding available, our Incubation Program is currently running strong, and there’s a network of skilled alumni and mentors who are eager to help. 

For a charity entrepreneur experience is helpful but not necessary. GiveWell, the Against Malaria Foundation, and many other high-impact organizations were started by people with no formal background in the field. We train people with doctorates and people with over a decade of experience alongside those with little to no work experience or formal education. The most important factor in starting a charity is not necessarily domain-specific training or experience, but rather the willingness to be flexible and follow the evidence where it leads – even if you have no personal incentive to do so. The base traits that make a good charity entrepreneur include grit, intelligence, resourcefulness, the ability to self-motivate, and risk tolerance.

We encourage you to watch our videos to learn more about participants of the 2019 and 2020 Incubation Program. Why did they apply, what have they accomplished so far? 

When in doubt - contact us

You can find a lot of useful resources about the Incubation Program including FAQs on our website. However, if you’re still uncertain about applying or can’t find the answers to your questions, get in touch via our website chat or contact form.

We look forward to reading your applications. Best of luck!


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