During the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of people have been asking about the best places to donate to reduce biological risk. EA Funds has just added two new organisations:
The Centre for Health Security is a think tank that conducts research and advocacy focused on policies and scientific advances that can help prevent or mitigate the effects of disease outbreaks.
The Nuclear Threat Initiative is a nonpartisan nonprofit that designs and advocates for programs that reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. Their biosecurity program focuses on reducing the risks arising from emerging biotechnology and identifying (and attempting to fill) gaps in global health security capabilities.
We’ve added these organisations in part based on their prior support from the Open Philanthropy Project (which has made grants to both orgs previously), and Founders Pledge (which recommended CHS in their recent COVID-19 post).
The addition of both organisations means that new and existing EA Funds donors can easily make donations via credit card, check, bank transfer, or cryptocurrency, and expands tax-deductibility for both orgs to the UK and the Netherlands. Both orgs can already receive tax-deductible donations in the US, but US donors may find it simpler to donate through EA Funds.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is obviously at the front of people’s minds right now, we’d like to encourage people to also consider other causes alongside COVID-19. In general, we think it’s important to keep less-publicized suffering in mind; when a natural disaster or a pandemic arises, it can seem natural to focus your giving in that area, but other causes could still be more effective as donation targets.
That said, both of the aforementioned organisations represent strong giving opportunities. They have been consistently well-regarded by researchers in the effective altruism community, even prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. More broadly, biosecurity and pandemic preparedness have an important place in the mix of causes represented in effective altruism. There are currently no other organisations on EA Funds that operate in the space of biosecurity, so we think these would be good organisations to add to the platform even if there were no ongoing pandemic.
It’s unclear what the long-term room for more funding will be for both organisations – the field of pandemic preparedness is likely to receive significant attention in the wake of COVID-19. However, previous epidemics have shown a cycle of ‘panic and neglect’, which has led to overall underinvestment in our global response (as the current situation tragically highlights).
To donate to either organisation, you can use this link. Alternatively, you can find them if you click the ‘Choose Funds/Organizations’ button underneath the sliders on the allocation page when making a donation.
: BTC and ETH, donations over $1000 value
: NL donors should choose the ‘UK’ country code on the payment page.
: It’s also possible that many people have family members who are seeking recommendations about where to donate at this time, and a donation to either of these organisations probably represents a good default suggestion.