@Aaron Bergman says 

I wish there was (and there should be) more discussion of “which singular organization is most deserving of money rn” Individual donors should make their best guess public and indicate openness to critique


So let's guess. What is your suggestion?




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In the AI governance space (specifically research; I'm not familiar with advocacy), I think GovAI and RP's AI Governance & Strategy [edit: now IAPS] team convert marginal money into research very well. I think this mostly because I like their teams and track records and (last I checked) they say they want to hire more but are funding-constrained.

But I wouldn't be surprised if some alignment or advocacy thing is predictably better.

I wouldn't be shocked to find it's a scrappy piece of anti AI advocacy like the AI pause work. Like maybe they get a big win and then it's been a few $k and very large impact. 


Yes - if your timelines are short, then everything starts to look like it flows through a bottleneck of there actually still being a world in 2030 (2028, 2025..), which requires a global moratorium on AGI (as there is not enough time left for Alignment to be solved otherwise). There are a few people/orgs now working on this. Not sure which is the absolute best in terms of bang for buck though.

All of these are new (post-GPT-4): Centre for AI Policy, Artificial Intelligence Policy Institute, PauseAI, Stop AGI, Campaign for AI Safety, Holly Elmore, Safer AI, ... (read more)

Family Empowerment Media seems more cost-effective than GiveWell. They look especially promising from a cluster thinking approach.

  • Having control of their pregnancies also helps women according to a capabilities approach to welfare
  • Preventing unwanted pregnancies is a great opportunity in terms of animal welfare, the opposite of the meat eater problem
  • Is ~2x more cost effective as GiveWell's top charities according to Founders Pledge, possibly even higher according to Rethink Priorities
  • (speculative) There's a small possibility GiveWell might not want to fund them no matter their cost-effectiveness. GiveWell's mission seems to be to move as much money as possible to effective charities, not to donate the marginal dollar to the most cost-effective opportunity.
    GiveWell might worry that funding family planning would make it harder for them to get contributions from some very large donors, and hence hurt their mission. (This is very speculative and unlikely, but GiveWell has been in talks with FEM for more than a year, and hasn't published anything more than this, despite FEM having a clear funding gap. And I get the impression that many UHNWI are extremely pro-life and worried about declining fertility rates)

If you agree you can donate.


Thanks for this comment. We are interested in potentially funding family planning programs, including Family Empowerment Media. Our research and grant decisions are independent of our outreach and fundraising plans. To clarify and add detail on some of the points above:

GiveWell recommended a $500,000 grant to Family Empowerment Media in March 2023. This funding would support a planned randomized controlled trial (RCT) of its program. We haven't yet published about this grant, but we plan to soon. (Our grant page publication often lags our funding decisions considerably, though this is something we're working to improve!)

We believe that FEM or other types of family planning–related programs may be very cost-effective—our current rough estimate for FEM's program (not the RCT of the program) puts it at 18-28 times as cost-effective as unconditional cash transfers—but we have a high degree of uncertainty about some of our inputs and expect that the results of FEM's RCT would help us address some of our uncertainties. We are also continuing to assess how to prioritize family planning programs among the many other promising programs we're investigating.

I hope that's helpful!

Miranda Kaplan
GiveWell Communications Associate

Hi Miranda, and apologies for writing semi-anonymously. That was very helpful and wonderful to hear! I am also very glad to hear that you keep your grant decisions independent of your outreach and fundraising plans, despite potential strong misaligned incentives, and I am relieved and immensely grateful that I was wrong to suspect otherwise. I'm confused as to why GiveWell is not filling the current funding gap of FEM's program, given that you estimate it to be more cost-effective than the programs you are currently funding, which are 13x cash. I imagine that's because you're less uncertain about the estimates for those programs? [I'm also curious as to why someone disagree-voted the above, if the voter is reading this I would find an explanation helpful.]
I’m glad you found this response helpful! We expect to wait until the results of FEM’s RCT are available before deciding whether to recommend funding for the program itself; we do have some remaining uncertainties, and it's possible that additional work could lead to significant changes in our cost-effectiveness estimate. We also plan to continue our own research on family planning programs in general, which may affect our funding decisions in this area. As our investigations progress, we’ll share updates on our website. Please feel free to reach out directly if you have questions in the meantime! Best, Roman Guglielmo Donor Relations Associate GiveWell
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"Deserving" feels off-- how about something like "which org turns marginal $ into the most EV"?

Maybe this is a bad question to ask - it sort of implies that our inside view is good and useful. But maybe it isn't. I don't know.

Genuinely makes me feel a bit queasy thinking about this which seems like a bad sign.