EA Giving Tuesday, Dec 3, 2019: Instructions for Donors

by WilliamKiely1 min read24th Nov 201914 comments

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Facebook is matching up to $7 million in donations made on December 3, 2019, and the EA Giving Tuesday team, in collaboration with Rethink Charity, aims to help direct as much of the matching funds as possible toward highly effective charities.

The EA Giving Tuesday team has released detailed instructions for EA donors participating in Facebook's annual Giving Tuesday donation match this year.

We want to emphasize the importance of:

  • Speed. Per our instructions, fill out your donation early so you can calmly finalize your donation with one click by clicking the green "Donate" button within the first second of the start of the match.
    • In 2017, the match lasted 86 seconds; in 2018, it lasted 15 seconds; this year we expect it to run out much faster, plausibly in one second (personal median estimate: ~4 seconds).
  • Preparation. Follow the steps in our instructions by December 2 at the latest. The following are some notable details relevant to US donors (see instructions for other donors).
    • There are important thresholds at $500 ("Confirm Your Donation") (UPDATE: 12/2/2019: Due to a change Facebook made this morning, there is no longer a "Confirm Your Donation" dialog for donors) and $2500 ("Confirm Your Identity") that larger donors should know about and prepare for in advance.
    • $20,000 donors generally should make two consecutive $9,999 donations on different cards to reduce risk of payment decline.
  • Practice. Make a $5 donation (or two, as appropriate) and check the receipt timestamp(s) to verify that the donation(s) actually went through during the second you intended (e.g. the first second of a new minute, :00).

If you plan to participate this year, read our instructions and complete the preparation steps in advance in order to give yourself the best chance of getting your donations matched.

Related Forum posts about Giving Tuesday:

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14 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 6:59 PM
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Thanks to you and the EA Giving Tuesday team for the detailed instructions! I'll just share my experience in testing to donate just now:

I followed all the instructions and was able to practice making a $5 donation, and the time registered was 9:50:03. I clicked the Donate button when I saw the clock hit 9:50:00. Is 3 seconds good enough, or should I aim for the donation to send within 1 or 2 seconds? The practice document says to "Try to donate fast enough that you see receipts with timestamps ending with :02 or :03 at the latest.", but your post says to aim to do it within one second.

I followed all the instructions for the practice donation and the suggestions on preparing your computer, including closing all other apps and tabs, using an incognito Google Chrome tab (to switch off Chrome extensions), putting https://time.is/just side by side with the donation page, and clicking donate as soon as I saw the clock reach the next new minute.

The only instructions I didn't follow were the advice of connecting a mouse and using a wired internet connection. I was fairly confident with my trackpad-clicking skills, and sure enough, I was able to click as the clock hit :00. I don't know if using a wired connection would have made a difference.

Also, when I made the donation, it took a full 8 seconds before Facebook told me my donation was successful. But when I checked my email, the donation said 9:50:03 and not 9:50:08. I think other people will probably experience the same thing.

My Wifi download speed was around 21 Mbps and my upload speed was around 4 Mbps. If anyone was able to donate within 0:01 or 0:02, let me know! I'm from Manila, so that might affect my donation speed too.

Hi Brian. Thanks for the feedback and letting us know about your experience.

So, in our testing from the US this year, we've seen that donations made at :00 on the dot typically generate receipts with :02. It seems plausible that being in Manila is causing longer than expected delays. Though if you've only tried one $5 donation, perhaps you could try a few more of them?

It's also normal for Facebook to take much longer to return a "Thank you for your purchase ... " than it shows up in your receipt. I'll make a note to clarify this in our practice instructions.

When we say "try to donate within the first second," we've left that a bit vague, to avoid being too verbose. However, it seems that this language may be confusing. Do you think maybe a footnote would help? Or do you have other suggestions on how we could make it more clear what we mean?

Thanks for the reply! I'll see if I can try one more test donation.

Regarding donating within the first second, I think that sentence would turn away people who were only able to donate within 2 or more seconds. It also sounds really hard at first to donate within the first second. I think it should be communicated that someone who follows the instructions, which should take only 10-20 minutes of pre-work, should be able to donate within 2-3 seconds. That might encourage more people to try joining in!

Thanks Brian, I updated the 'US, $500 or more' instructions page with a note that "Someone who follows these instructions, which should take only 10-20 minutes of pre-work, should be able to donate within 1-3 seconds."

Thanks! I don't seem to see that note in that link or on the gdoc though?

We updated it again with different language, hopefully incorporating the spirit of your feedback. We didn't want to discourage people who were willing to put in more time (say an hour or more) from putting in that much time by mentioning "10-20 minutes". Many donors would benefit from much more time spent preparing and practicing.

In 2017, the match lasted 86 seconds; in 2018, it lasted 15 seconds; this year we expect it to run out much faster, plausibly in one second.

It seems basically impossible to reliably execute a newly-learned many-step task within one second.

It seems basically impossible to reliably execute a newly-learned many-step task within one second.

Since this also seemed hopeless to me after my test donation took me 20 seconds, I thought I'd reiterate the key part of AviNorowitz's reply even more plainly: What the EA Giving Tuesday team's instructions recommend is that you do all of the steps except the last one prior to 8AM. So you only need to do one step (a single mouse click) in one second.

Hi Mike. Do you think we should be more clear in our language? We're recommending donating within the first second because (a) we want to emphasize the importance of speed and (b) it is plausible the match will actually end in 1 second, even though a few seconds is probably more likely. But we also don't want people to misunderstand the difficulty of this and feel hopeless.

After doing a 5$ practice donation, I re-examined the instructions at https://www.eagivingtuesday.org/instructions/us-500-or-more and understood you are suggesting get to the "confirm donation page" before the 8am start time. But I think if the recommendation to start the donation prior to 8am was in the "In a nutshell" section I would have figured it out sooner. You might consider editing the third sentence in the first bullet of the "In a nutshell" section to something like "We recommended starting the donation process prior to the official match start so that you are able to click the final "Donate" button within the first second after the match start time of December 3rd, 2019, at 08:00:00am EST (05:00:00am PST)."

I think part of my (slight) confusion might be captured in your language "We're recommending donating within the first second"; by "donating" you mean click the final Donate button whereas I naturally interpret this as meaning do the entire donation process.

Thanks for the helpful feedback, Mike! I just updated the website to improve the language based on your recommendation. Here's what I put:

EDIT/UPDATE 12/2/2019:

Facebook eliminated the "Confirm Your Donation" prompt this morning, so we made the following change:

New version:

Last year the matching funds ran out in 15 seconds. We expect it to run out much faster this year. We recommend clicking clicking the green "Donate" button within the first second after the match start time of December 3rd, 2019, at 08:00:00am EST (05:00:00am PST).

Old version:

Last year the matching funds ran out in 15 seconds. We expect it to run out much faster this year. We recommend starting the donation process early and clicking the green "Donate" button on your $500+ donation prior to the official match start, that way you can finalize your donation with one click by clicking the final gray "Donate" button within the first second after the match start time of December 3rd, 2019, at 08:00:00am EST (05:00:00am PST).

Perhaps also edit this EA Forum post to make it clear that it's easier than people might think?

Thanks, done. Updated it to:

  • Speed. Per our instructions, fill out your donation early so you can calmly finalize your donation with one click by clicking the green "Donate" button within the first second of the start of the match.
    • In 2017, the match lasted 86 seconds; in 2018, it lasted 15 seconds; this year we expect it to run out much faster, plausibly in one second (personal median estimate: ~4 seconds).

A $9,999 donation can be finalized in 1 click, so with some preparation and practice, it can be done in 1 second. It's also possible to finalize 2 x $9,999 donations in 1 second, though it requires skill and more practice.

A 1 second match end time is plausible, but it's not the most likely outcome. So probably 2 x $9,999 successful donations in 2 seconds would get matched. The max match amount per donor is $20,000 and this is just $2 short of that.