[ Question ]

Promoting EA to billionaires?

by LouiseB1 min read24th Jan 20219 comments

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Promoting effective altruism
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How effective would it be to donate to a program that tries to convince billionaires (and other super rich people) to become effective altruists?

Does such a program exist?

Thank you for your answers!

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4 Answers

There are only a limited number of billionaires, so such an org could be very effective, or very detrimental, depending on whether it successfully attracts billionaires without putting off others permanently. At least three orgs are working near this space: Longview Philanthropy, Generation Pledge, and Founders Pledge

I'd also add Open Philanthropy to this, since their long-term goal is to advise other philanthropists besides Dustin and Cari (and they've already done some of this).

There are also several individuals who do this, such as Will MacAskill.

Another organization working near this space: legacies.now

Thank you for your answers! I will check these organisations out.

There's also Effective Giving Netherlands

I'm puzzled by the lack of push to convert Patrick Collision. Paul Graham once tweeted that Stripe would be the next google, so if Patrick Collision doesn't qualify as a billionaire yet, it might be a good bet that he will someday (I'm not strictly basing that on PG's authority, I'm also basing that on my personal opinion that Stripe seems like world domination material). He cowrote this piece "We need a science of progress" and from what I heard in this interview, signs point to a very EA-sympathetic person. 

Donor engagement isn't part of my job, so I can't be sure about this, but I think it's quite likely that EA-affiliated people have many conversations with wealthy and successful people, and those conversations just happen quietly. I wouldn't be so sure that Patrick Collison hasn't had these conversations; most people keep their giving relatively private, and I don't see why he would be an exception.

I also don't advise using the word "convert" to describe situations where someone is thinking of changing where they donate; the word has religious connotations... (read more)