CEO, Veddis Foundation
High-impact, for simplicity, (they have a very large total number of grants) is set just as the rough status quo of groups on GiveWell, funded by Open Phil, ACE charities etc., FP manage their own list and we >90% are in agreement on what is in that list. None of the largest grants in the list are groups we feel conflicted about.
In an ideal world we would of course evaluate every group their pledgers have counterfactually funded but that's not really tractable. And we try to only use their quantitative outcomes as one of several signals as to how well they're doing (it's very tempting to fall into a rabbit hole of data analysis for a group with such clear and measurable first order outcomes)
FP aren't a straight forward advisory group, they have a pledge and a community, so the $19m is the total to high-impact charities within their pledger community. FP's research team have attempted to estimate which of those donations happened as a result of FP advisory / marketing work, which is hard, and as with any self-reporting, open to becoming a KPI that ends up drifting and becoming misreported. My current view of the FP individuals that did this estimate work though is that they have high intellectual honesty and thoroughness, that they are aware of their own misincentives and when I spot-checked a number of their figures in 2018-19 they were good estimates, perhaps even on the conservative side.
+1. A major factor is also that writing tastefully and responsibly about the things we are concerned about with an organisation would probably more than double or triple the size of all our write-ups. I'd expect the amount of time it took us to carefully think through those write-ups would be much higher than for the main writeup and we would be more likely to make mistakes which resulted in impact destruction.
Where a concern is necessarily part of the narrative for the decision or it feels like it's very important and can easily be shared with confidence, I think we have. But generally it's not necessary for the argument, and we stick to the default policy.
I echo thoughts here re helping yourself generally being the smart thing to do. I personally love that my current work relies so heavily on my mental wellbeing, it means I can't tempt myself with overly self-sacrificial narratives.
This said, I also LOVE that EA isn't about me/us. It's the tool for doing more good with our careers, and lots of the people involved in it make for great like-minded friends, but it isn't, and shouldn't be, our home, or crutch.
I don't think a community full of people who [make EA too much their everything] is as stable or as robust as one full of people with simply a shared mission.
I like that I have a strong instrumental reason, beyond just common sense, not to feel like maybe I am compelled to make EA/utilitarianism/impact my everything.