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Should EAs participate in the Double Up Drive?

by Andy_Schultz24th Dec 20181 comment

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The Double Up Drive is an opportunity to have donations to many effective charities matched. In the past, posts have been written on the GiveWell blog and the EA forum (e.g. here and here) discussing problems with donation matching. However, the Double Up Drive seems to allay the majority of these concerns with their statement that the matching funds will only be donated when others donate, and the large number of charities that they will match. On balance, is it best to participate in the drive to put the matching funds to good use, or not to participate in order to avoid some of the remaining problems with donation matches?

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This question has been answered to some extent by Aaron Gertler, regarding the 2018 version of Double Up Drive, here.

This year, it seems like the Drive turned out to be counterfactual for all money raised after $2.4 million, but not necessarily before (we don’t actually know).

Elsewhere on this forum, Aaron also said:

[...] finding out whether a match is actually counterfactual can be a really big deal for the community; I wish I'd worked harder to confirm with the Double Up Drive team whether their match was counterfactual (I think the answer turned out to be "yes", in which case I should have done more promotion, but I'm not actually sure).

I also asked an organiser (Dan Smith) about it directly, on Twitter. He said:

I do the best I can to make Double up Drive a true match. I personally only donate my funds to these causes when the drive fills out. I also think for donors that getting to choose which fund gets matched is impactful relative to other ways to donate.