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Context

This is our first time officially posting in the EA Forum as an organization, so all feedback (content, structure) and questions are highly appreciated. We intend to provide some historical context on what happened since our foundation through our current stage. 

We appreciate the understanding of our limited capacity to provide real-time replies and commit to answering every comment/question you may have. We are extremely excited to start posting more regularly and to be part of the EA/EG community!

 

TL;DR

  • Founded in 2017, doebem is a registered nonprofit that does cause prioritization research and evaluation of effective organizations in Brazil, recommending the most effective organizations locally and globally;
  • To the best of our knowledge, we are the only organization in the region doing research focused on cost effectiveness of local charities and promoting Effective Giving;
  • Despite its seven years of operating history, doebem was managed entirely by volunteers until 2022 when a new board led an effort to professionalize the organization with the goal of unlocking doebem’s full potential. We are just getting started as an organization with a full-time team!
  • To support this new cycle, the board raised funds from local HNWIs and received a grant from SoGive, which enabled the hiring of a Research Director, a Researcher and an Institutional Manager;
  • Our vision is to (i) identify the most cost-effective charities in Brazil and (ii) direct tens of millions of reais towards them, having an impact that is commensurate with best-in-class effective giving and research organizations;
  • Our short term priorities are (i) finalizing our updated research work, which includes cause prioritization for Brazil and related organization evaluation; (ii) relaunching our brand in Brazil (website, donations platform, social media efforts); and (iii) continuing our institutional fundraising efforts alongside HNWI and foundations to support our operating expenses.
  • The main uncertainties in our path to impact are (i) our ability to effectively influence the destination of a meaningful portion of the annual donations volume in Brazil (USD2.5bn per year) towards effective charities and (ii) the relative cost-effectiveness of the best organizations in Brazil, when compared to globally effective charities.
  • In the upcoming months, we intend to share with the EA community (i) a deeper exploration of our decision to conduct local priority research in Brazil, (ii) an ex-ante estimate of our impact objectives and (iii) our cause prioritization report, including details about our methodology
  • We look forward to engaging with the Global EA community to learn from other organizations doing research & evaluation work as well as promoting effective giving. We also believe donations towards our operational expenses can be highly cost-effective so let us know if you are interested in supporting our work
  • We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from SoGive (Sanjay Joshi and Spencer Ericson). Their 2022 Grant and ongoing feedback has been invaluable.

History

doebem was founded in 2017 by Elisa Mansur and a co-founder, following a summer program at Stanford. 

After learning about EA concepts, they realized then that there was no data-driven, impact-focused organization in Brazil and decided to create it. doebem became the first registered nonprofit that does cause prioritization research and evaluation of effective organization in the region.

To get started, doebem evaluated 20 organizations recommending 3 health-related Brazilian organizations and 3 organizations which, at the time, were top charities by GiveWell. We also set up a website to collect donations and a platform that encourages you to raise donations instead of gifts for your birthday, wedding, etc.

doebem was managed entirely by volunteers through 2022, raising thousands of dollars annually with minimal operating costs. At this point, Elisa, alongside new board members Alexandre Teixeira and Lucas Giannini, realized it was possible to have a significantly larger impact. It was time to professionalize and increase our efforts in Brazil.

We raised c. USD50k from HNWI in Brazil and c. USD43k from sogive (GPB35k), which are currently funding our operations. In late 2022, we hired Luan Paciência as Director of Research, followed by Bruno Sterenberg as Institutional Manager and Vevila Dornelles as Researcher. 

Luan has redesigned our research and evaluation methodology, inspired by organizations that are references to our work, such as GiveWell. Alongside Vevila, they are identifying and evaluating the most promising and effective interventions and organizations in Brazil.

Bruno is focused on Operations and Outreach, redesigning our website, managing our social media and inserting doebem in the local philanthropic ecosystem, as well as in the global EA community.

Next Steps

We are finalizing our cause priority research, to be shared in this forum before the end of 2023. Our commitment is to evaluate at least 12 organizations and recommend the most effective per cause. We will also share our methodology for analyzing the organizations here in the near future. 

Our next step is to map and evaluate the most promising organizations within each prioritized cause to be soon revealed. We are hoping to find effective interventions considering criteria such as cost-effectiveness, room for more funding, institutional capacity and transparency, among others.

Within our marketing workstream, we are developing a brand new website to better communicate our work and methodology to potential donors. This website will be released in the next coming days, leading to a reactivation of all our communication channels (Blog, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Newsletter and EA Forum).

Institutionally, we are working towards raising US$200k to expand our team and fund our operational costs for c. 18 months. We are focusing on HNWI and Foundations that are aligned with our evidence-based approach that might be interested in supporting our work.

Our Ambition and Uncertainties

Our vision is to (i) identify the most cost-effective charities in Brazil and (ii) direct tens of millions of reais towards them, having an impact that is commensurate with best-in-class effective giving and research organizations. 

We estimate we can reach more than US$5mi in annual donations to effective charities. Brazilians make c. US$2.5bn in charitable donations per year and this number has been increasing. Our target implies a 0.25% penetration in this pool, which is similar to Brazil’s current largest initiative to promote philanthropic giving (Portuguese only).

The main uncertainties in our path to impact are: 

  • (i) our ability to effectively influence the destination of a meaningful chunk of the annual donations in Brazil towards effective charities. Our early results and personal experience makes us confident that by promoting EA/EG and showing Brazilians the robustness of our research, we can achieve significant impact.
  • (ii) the relative cost-effectiveness of the best organizations in Brazil, when compared to globally effective charities. This is a material unknown, but we will continue to recommend and support highly effective international organizations to mitigate this risk while we develop a more assertive view on this point.

Engaging with the EA Community

We were really excited to participate in our first EAG Boston alongside so many organizations that we hold as major references to our work. We look forward to further engaging with the Global EA community to learn from other organizations doing research & evaluation work as well as promoting effective giving!

Furthermore, we believe donations towards our operational expenses can be highly cost-effective so let us know if you are interested in supporting us. We are happy to assist anyone that is willing to look further into our work - please feel free to reach us here.

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Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 4:02 AM

Hi Bruno,

I'm also brazilian and getting motivated to spread EA's ideas in our country, with a focus on the amazon region. I'm looking forward to keep up with doebem's work and maybe assist you somehow in the future.

Regards,

Hey @Rafael Mousinho

Awesome to hear of your motivation to grow our community in the Amazon region! There's a big group up and running for EA Brazil on Slack and WhatsApp. Hit me up at bruno@doebem.org.br and I'll be happy to assist you in connecting with existing members all over the country.

Hi Bruno,

I think we briefly saw each other at the Effective Giving meetup in Boston, but didn't get the chance to chat.

Would love to discuss charity evaluation in Brazil with you at greater length, and especially to get a sense from you as to the charities/NGOs working in nutrition policy advocacy in Brazil, as that's an area we've found to be highly cost-effective (https://exploratory-altruism.org/research-findings/), and we're presently evaluating such charities with a view of circulating evaluations/recommendations to our interested grantmaking partners in end-Nov/early-Dec.

Feel free to drop me an email (https://exploratory-altruism.org/contact/) if this sounds interesting to you and you want to continue this discussion!

Regards,
Joel

Hey @Joel Tan (CEARCH), thank you for your comment. Sorry we didn't have the time to meet in person at EAG Boston - it would have been a pleasure!

We would be delighted to discuss charity evaluation in Brazil at greater length. We have a great interest in this cause/area as well and would love to present you our work and hear your insights and thoughts, besides understanding potential opportunities for collaboration.

I'll reach you over email so we can schedule a call and keep the talk going!

Regards,
Bruno

Bruno, it was really great to meet you at EAG!! Thank you for the work you're doing in Brazil :D 

Hey @Calum! Likewise, it was a pleasure to meet you at EAG too! It goes without saying - although it has been said - that GiveWell is a major reference to what we do here in Brazil. Thank you for your work and for commenting. We're just getting started and have a long road ahead. We'll keep in touch! 😄

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