This is a linkpost for a two-part update on the Founders Pledge Climate Fund (Part 1: Maximize impact, Part 2: Future plans) that I’ve recently published with my fellow fund manager Anu Khan. Note that this is written for the Founders Pledge blog audience so the style is quite different from the EA Forum.
The blogs give some detailed insights into what we have been up to over the past seven months and what we are looking at going forward. We also announce a match fund over USD 1 million which is live until mid-July (or until it is filled, if earlier).
For EAs, I believe there are three key take-aways:
- We believe that the Founders Pledge Climate Fund outperforms giving to the best individual climate charity, what most EAs believe to be CATF, by a significant margin. This is so because of the impact-benefits of reacting quickly to time-sensitive opportunities (example in the post: CATF, Carbon180 funding after the election), of long-run commitments (tbd in a later post), and the ability to incubate early-stage organizations (example in the post: TerraPraxis) that then go on to crowd in significant additional funding. These are options that are not open to most individuals or require significant additional work.
- We thus think EAs concerned with maximizing climate impact should give to the FP Climate Fund rather than to CATF or other high-impact climate charities directly. You can do so via EA Funds as well as every.org.
- That said, we are somewhat unsure how to exactly quantify the impact differential and are curious about ideas; if we conduct further research on this we will publish it here. (Right now, we are operating -- conservatively -- with an impact multiplier of ~2x, i.e. a doubling over the highest-impact charity)
What is covered:
A look into the past with three foci:
- Explaining the reasoning for funding neglected tech advocacy as the current highest-impact bet, while also noting the broader rationale and openness to other approaches.
- The benefits enabled by contributing to a fund.
- The past achievements of the fund.
A look into the future, three things we are currently looking at in terms of research and grantmaking:
- The current US context
- The potential and trade-offs of climate philanthropy in emerging economies
- Catalytic funding incubating or strengthening organizations and how this trades off against carbon lock-in quickly deprecating future climate advocacy.