Update: This project has been funded by an EA Funds grant. I am actively working on it-if you are interested in helping out, send me a message.
I am considering setting up a charity. Its goals are:
- To help effective altruists in financial need by giving back part of their donations
- To promote large donations to EA-related causes by providing donors with a safety net, minimizing risk
- To foster a healthy EA community
To achieve these goals, the charity will maintain an emergency fund. If effective altruists encounter financial trouble, they can apply to recoup up to 50% of their EA-related donations from this fund.
To prevent fraud, donors will have to get their charity to state to us that they will never return any funds to the donor, and we will need see their donation receipts.
The recoupment process will be similar to filing an insurance claim, but less strict. If someone requests a fraction of what they have donated to EA-related charities, they will usually get their money back without difficulty. We will not have to worry about fraud nearly as much as insurers, because donors can only recoup up to half of what they originally donated.
As far as I know, this type of charity does not exist yet, and there are a lot of things that still need to be figured out. More extensive discussion can be found here (me) and here (Alicorn). Note that both linked essays discuss a fund that only offers support to contributors (excluding direct donors). I no longer think that is desirable, and it will be very difficult to convince governments to grant such a construction tax-exempt status.