TLDR: In this post, we announce additional top charity interventions we want to start through our upcoming February-March 2024 Incubation Program. Applications are now open!
We’ve added two new exciting ideas to the pool of interventions we want to see started through our February 5 - March 31, 2024 Incubation Program. This increases the number of interventions to 6, and we’re really hoping you help us get them founded (by applying or sharing the information with friends and colleagues who they might be a good fit for).
We’re now seeking founders for:
1) An organization focused on bringing new, counterfactual funding into the animal advocacy movement.
2) An organization providing teacher guides and other aspects of structured pedagogy to improve education outcomes in low-income countries.
Before we go into the detailed descriptions, here is a reminder of the previously announced top ideas for this program:
3) Childhood vaccination reminders
4) Mass media to prevent violence against women
5) Influencing EU fish welfare policy through strategic work in Greece
6) Influencing key stakeholders of the emerging insect industry
You can read more about them here.
If you could plausibly see yourself excited to launch one of our top interventions, we encourage you to apply. For most ideas, no particular previous experience is necessary and participants report getting more excited about the ideas while working on them throughout the Incubation Program. In the program, we provide two months of cost-covered training to help you get all the knowledge and skills you need to launch an impact-focus organization. As usual, we provide stipends, funding up to $200,000, operational support in your first months, a co-working space at our CE office in London, ongoing mentorship, and access to a community of alumni, funders, and experts. Learn more on the CE Incubation Program page.
The deadline for applications is September 30, 2023.
To be brief, we have sacrificed nuance, the details of our considerable uncertainties, and the potential risks discussed in the extended reports. Full reports will be published on our website in the upcoming weeks.
Fundraising for animal advocacy
An organization focused on bringing new, counterfactual funding into the animal advocacy movement.
An organization providing teacher guides and other aspects of structured pedagogy to improve education outcomes in low-income countries.
Fundraising for animal issues
Funding is expected to be a key bottleneck in the effective animal advocacy movement going forward. We predict that the pool of available money for animal advocacy is unlikely to grow in the next few years and could even shrink. We’re concerned that funders may neglect more exploratory work and certain regions (e.g., Africa) due to limited resources. A new organization focused on fundraising could work to close this funding gap. There are multiple promising approaches in the space, including a giving pledge (like Giving What We Can) targeted at vegans or influencing high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) in promising geographies like India or the US.
Across many low-income countries, the quality of education is poor. Many children leave school without basic reading, writing, and numeracy skills. A new charity can improve the quality of teaching by providing structured teacher guides alongside training and coaching on their usage. Structured pedagogy is an evidence-based, cost-effective intervention deemed a “great buy” in global development. We estimate this intervention to have a benefit-cost ratio of 30:1.
More Detailed Summaries
Fundraising for animal issues
After many conversations with experts and fund managers, we concluded that funding is expected to be a key bottleneck in the animal advocacy movement going forward. We estimate that the available money dedicated to animal advocacy is unlikely to grow in the next few years and could even shrink. These limited resources will likely mean more exploratory work and certain regions (e.g., Africa) could struggle to receive funding. A new organization focused on fundraising could work to close this future funding gap.
There are multiple promising approaches a new charity operating in this space could take. One potential intervention would be to run a giving pledge for vegans. Similar to Giving What We Can’s model, this organization would get vegans to commit to donating x% of their annual income to recommended animal advocacy organizations. We think this could be a relatively easy way to bring in new money for the movement, as vegans could be easily motivated by the right opportunity to do more good for animals.
A second approach could be an organization targeting high-net-worth individuals (HNWI), especially in India or the US. This target audience is particularly promising in India, where the average person, compared to other countries, generally has a greater concern and care for animals, and the potential audience size is significant given India is one of the top three countries by number of billionaires. Moreover, it is becoming more difficult to get foreign funds into India, so fundraising within India could be promising for the future of animal advocacy. Alternatively or additionally, we think that a focus on HNWIs in the US could be similarly promising. The scale of HNWIs is high, as the US is the top country by the number of billionaires and millionaires, and the public generally has a high awareness of factory farming and animal welfare as an issue and concern.
We hope to do additional research between now and the next Incubation Program to assess in more detail what we think the most promising approach and theory of change would be for this work.
While we believe that there is low-hanging fruit in the space, the co-founders of this new charity would need to ensure that they are bringing in new, counterfactual funding rather than just redirecting existing money. This would require strong prioritization of target populations/individuals and solid monitoring and evaluation.
A new charity should also collaborate with existing actors in the space and consider what populations they are targeting to ensure no overlap.
Particularly helpful co-founder backgrounds
No particular previous experience is necessary to apply for this idea. However, more so than our other animal advocacy recommendations, we believe this idea should have a particularly high bar for founding, given it is a somewhat high-risk area. A wrong move in this space could cause more harm than good by directing funding to less effective interventions or turning off funders from animal advocacy.
We’re optimistic we can find a strong co-founder pair to succeed. Ideally, we’re looking for socially skilled, strong communicators who are well-connected and knowledgeable about the animal and nonprofit landscapes. For the pledge approach, co-founders would benefit from experience with marketing campaigns. For the HNWI fundraising approach, co-founders would benefit from prior fundraising experience, experience engaging HNWI or other high-power/status stakeholders, existing connections, and at least one co-founder from the target country.
The quality of education in many Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) is poor. Over the past decade, progress has been made to improve access to schooling in LMICs. While enrollment rates (especially of girls) and years of schooling received have improved, the quality of education is still very low. According to the World Bank, “In 20 of 29 low-income countries with available data, more than 90 percent of children can’t read or understand a basic text by the end of primary school.”.
Structured pedagogy is an evidenced-based package of interventions designed to improve learning and teaching quality. It typically comprises four areas: student resources, teacher lesson plans, teacher training, and ongoing coaching for teachers. According to the World Bank and the Copenhagen Consensus, it is seen as one of the best buys in education.
Within structured pedagogy, we are most excited by the idea of a new charity focused on three of the four sub-areas: introducing structured teacher guides and training and coaching for teachers on how to use those guides to improve their teaching. We are relatively less excited about the cost-effectiveness of providing student resources.
Teacher guides improve test scores. There is relatively strong evidence that teacher guides improve test scores. Taking the results of two meta-analyses and two other experimental studies into account, we estimate that teacher guides, even the bad ones, can improve test scores by an average of 0.3 standard deviations.
There is also evidence that education improves income later in life. There is strong evidence that receiving an education improves the recipient’s income (although how much income improves is somewhat context-dependent). There is somewhat weaker evidence that education improves economic growth and is not just a zero-sum game (improving the recipient's income at the cost of others’). There is disagreement as to exactly what the returns of education are. Our analysis of the evidence suggests that one standard deviation improvement in test scores can lead to a 10-45% increase in earnings, though we think the lower end of this range is most likely.
There is a lack of precedent for work in this space. Although teacher guides are used by other organizations, they are often one tool or program amongst many. There is a lack of focus on using teacher guides as a primary intervention.
We expect the introduction of teacher guides into schools to be achievable and very cheap; this intervention looks quite cost-effective. Our cost-effectiveness analysis yielded an estimated benefit-cost ratio of 30:1 (a cost-effectiveness equivalent to $50/DALY using GiveWell’s moral weights).
One challenge founders might face is finding areas to work in that are not covered by USAID’s structured pedagogy programs. There are also operational challenges to designing good teacher guides and putting training and accountability mechanisms in place to ensure they are being used.
Particularly helpful co-founder backgrounds
No particular previous experience is necessary to apply for this idea. Introducing teacher guides into schools is not a prohibitively complex area. It should be possible for a talented generalist to work on this issue. Founders would have access to numerous available resources on developing effective teacher guides. Many of the most promising countries are Francophone African countries, so it would be beneficial but by no means necessary for a co-founder to speak French.
How to apply
To apply, fill out the [APPLICATION FORM], which should only take around 30 minutes. We have designed the application process also to give you a better sense of whether you are excited by this career path.
Using the same form, you can also apply to the August-September 2024 Incubation Program that will focus on:
1) The most cost-effective Sustainable Development Goals
2) Organophosphate pesticides and other neurotoxicants
Information about our top ideas in these areas will be announced in Spring 2024.
Application deadline: September 30, 2023
Would you like to explore right now whether this could be a good career fit for you? [TAKE OUR NEW IMPROVED QUIZ]
More information about the application process and a resource list that can help you prepare: https://www.charityentrepreneurship.com/apply
More information about how the program is run: https://www.charityentrepreneurship.com/how-it-works
Any questions about the program: firstname.lastname@example.org