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Where I can practice judging opportunities to lend or donate or invest, for $25 per decision?

by Cienna1 min read12th Jun 20214 comments

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Or, where do aspiring grant reviewers/decision-makers go to practice the basics? 

I want to improve at evaluating leverage, traction, potential impact, meaningfulness. I only have a little money to practice with, so I'm looking for places with low transaction minimums and lots of projects, which provide some kind of feedback within a few months. Kiva and Experiment are the two sandboxes where I currently play. In the past year, I have selected 11 Experiment projects (pledges of $20-$75 each) and 20 Kiva loans ($25 each). I've made a few one-time charity donations of similar amounts too, but I'm more likely to follow up later and check on how my selections went when they are conveniently collected in a list for me. Thank you! 

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3 Answers

Good question. One idea might be going through the EA funds grants and, where possible, make a preciction on a testable outcome of the project. For example whether a workshop will happen and have more than X attendees; or whether a paper will be published by the researcher on that topic within 2 years. Unfortunately the grant reports might be too little information to do meaningful predictions.

I don't have much to add, other than letting you know you're not alone in looking for this. I started doing a similar thing a few weeks ago. A couple more "sandboxes" you could add are GlobalGiving and Kickstarter. It's a bit difficult to find the projects that an EA might be looking for on Kickstarter, but the "evaluation exercise" that you're trying to do could be good practice even there (e.g. trying to determine the potential positive impact of this app that aims to build a habit of not touching your face)

Thank you - exploring GlobalGiving now. I'd love to hear about your experience practicing, if you're willing to share!

Unfortunately I can't think of a service that would help with what you're looking for! A potential alternative way to improve your skills could be to identify promising options, post them on the Forum, and see what feedback you get?