EA experimentation is fantastic, but it’s really difficult to set up an official nonprofit for each experiment. Therefore if we want to help fund experimentation, it’s good to do so at earlier stages than official nonprofit registration.
A few of us at .impact have started experimenting with Gratipay to put money the hands of EAs. Gratipay works by providing a system for some people to make weekly donations to individuals or projects. The founders of Gratipay are themselves paid for on Gratipay, so there they take no financial cut (they do charge around 3% for credit card fees). So far it does not support charity deductions, but it’s not meant for that. It’s meant to share money with people.
We’ve started an ‘Effective Altruist’ community of 30 people with profiles and donations. While there haven’t been many donors yet, there have been several people who posted profiles of what they are up to and they intend to continue doing. There are larger groups such as Charity Science , new ones like Effective Altruism Berkeley, and many individuals like Diego Caleiro, Tom Ash, and Justin Shovelain. A few professionals are there who don’t request funding, but still appreciate tokens of appreciation.
If you’re interested in helping funding some EA groups or people, it’s super easy to get started. If you have a project and want funding, it’s super easy to make a page. If you’re just curious what’s going on, there are many profiles to look through.
There are some limitations. Gratipay is not great for one-time payments, group ‘Kickstarter’ payments, or incentivized ‘unlock’ payments, registered charity payments, and I’m sure a long list of other things. That said, Gratipay is a really simple way for us to get started.