aliwoodman

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Update on Effective Altruism Funds

Hi Bernadette,

We’re sorry that our communication on this has not been clear enough. We were waiting on some technical details so that we could infor Trust users of the exact changes and what they needed to do in advance but now I’ll communicate what we can today while Larissa Hesketh-Rowe is also going to email Giving What We Can members to make sure everyone is included.

In terms of the Trust we are moving all of the functionality the Trust had over to EA Funds which we believe will ultimately be a much better platform both for users and for us in terms of managing the administration.

You can leave a legacy in a similar way via EA Funds; as you mentioned you can allocate it to the Funds or to specific charities. However, you can also allocate it to GiveWell’s recommended charities as they stand at the time of granting your bequest. In practice this should be similar to how bequests were made to the Trust - keeping the Giving What We Can Trust running would still mean using GiveWell’s recommendation as Giving What We Can no longer conduct our own research. In our update to members at the end of July we explained that the restructure with CEA meant that while we would continue to run the core aspects of Giving What We Can like the pledge we felt that our research was not offering sufficient value over and above GiveWell’s and that we would therefore move to making our list of recommended charities follow GiveWell’s recommendations. We are still establishing what the Trust’s options are for handling and transferring bequests, to see whether it is necessary to ask donors to change their wills, or whether we can transfer them, along with their instructions and allocations, to CEA. We’ll look to communicate this as soon as we have more information.

It seems we’ve not communicated these changes clearly enough to members and so we’ll be seeking to address this over the next couple of weeks. Do please post any other questions you have or clarifications you’d like as we can use that to help inform what else we email to members.

Best wishes, Alison

CEA Update: September 2016

Hi Rohin, great question! Since Giving What We Can outreach is now managed by the wider Community and Outreach team at CEA it might make sense to speak in terms of our team as a whole.

Based on the figures we have, it seems reasonable that CEA activities were at least partially responsible for something like 70% of new pledges in September. We experimented with a number of new strategies to get additional pledges in September, including optimising our email and social media campaigns and running a Facebook retargeting campaign. We also tried to reduce the amount of time between following up with people who had expressed some interest in the pledge, either at 80,000 Hours workshops, EA Global or through engagement with websites we run (effectivealtruism.org etc).

More specifically, we looked at our Google Analytics to see how members are reaching the join page on the GWWC site. Out of the 106 who joined in September, 15 came from Facebook, both through our posts and through ads we ran. 12 came from the new effectivealtruism.org site, 3 of whom arrived after viewing the cause prioritisation flowchart (originally created by GPP). 11 were directed from emails; these were mostly people we followed up with who had previously started filling out signup forms but hadn’t completed them. 6 were directed from an article on giving and happiness which was written several years ago by a former staff member, Andreas Mogensen, for the GWWC blog. In terms of the wider CEA, 17 came from 80000hours.org, 9 from www.effectivealtruism.com (which is currently the Doing Good Better book website), and 4 from Sam Harris’s podcast where he interviewed Will MacAskill.

Thanks for the writeup! Really interesting to get a better picture of this.

Just to add some extra info about the effects of EA Global and 'Doing Good Better' and Singer's TED talk on GWWC member growth. It's true EA Global last year didn't lead to new members straight away, but 2 people joined later in the year citing EA Global as a way they first heard about Giving What We Can. In addition, after following up with participants individually, 7 took the pledge.

'Doing Good Better' has had a much bigger effect. 72 of the members who have signed up since July 2015 (11%) mentioned 'Doing Good Better' in response to the pledge form question of 'How did you first heard about Giving What We Can?', making up 6.5% of the overall responses to the question (people can select multiple options). The distribution of join dates for these members is fairly even, with higher numbers in January and February.

In total Peter Singer's TED talk accounts for 10% of the responses to the 'How did you first hear..?' question. Again the proportion of members influenced by this seems pretty steady over time.

(In case unclear, I work at Giving What We Can :) )

Giving What We Can's 6 monthly update

Hi Peter,

Thanks for all of your thoughts on this! I can speak a little to the question about metrics:

I'm curious if you've given any thought to dollar-weighted attrition, where you look at the total amount of money donated in year N divided by the total amount of money pledged in year N-1 for year N. (It's possible this number could be above 100% if people underestimate how much they'll donate.)

This isn't something we've used in our impact evaluations since we're missing donation data from around two fifths of our members (though in future we do hope to fill in some of these gaps by making it easier for members to record their donations at the point of donation). This calculation would therefore give us an estimated lower bound % of pledged money that was donated in a given year, but wouldn't give us information about the expected contributions of members for whom we lack data. For what it's worth, I've had a quick look, and, for 2014, 65% of the donations pledged for the year were recorded in My Giving.

It'd be good to hear more about your ideas for a survival analysis. If you have the time feel free to get in touch (alison[dot]woodman[at]givingwhatwecan.org)

Giving What We Can's 6 monthly update

Hi Peter,

Thanks for all of your thoughts on this! I can speak a little to the question about metrics:

I'm curious if you've given any thought to dollar-weighted attrition, where you look at the total amount of money donated in year N divided by the total amount of money pledged in year N-1 for year N. (It's possible this number could be above 100% if people underestimate how much they'll donate.)

This isn't something we've used in our impact evaluations, since we are missing donation data from around two fifths of our members. This calculation would give us a lower bound % of pledged money that was donated in a given year, but wouldn't give us information about the missing data. For what it's worth, I've had a quick look, and for the year 2014, 65% of the donations pledged for the year were recorded in My Giving.

It'd be good to hear more about your ideas for a survival analysis. If you have the time feel free to get in touch (alison[dot]woodman[at]givingwhatwecan.org)

Giving What We Can's 6 monthly update

Hi! Thanks for those ideas. I wasn't quite sure what you meant about insights into sign-up rates? Around 55% of members have recorded at least some information in My Giving, but were you interested in some other question?

  1. Sorry to hear there was a bug. Could you email me details if you still remember what the issue was? (alison.woodman[at]givingwhatwecan.org) Having some easy way for users to feedback seems very sensible - we'll look into adding this
  2. This could be good, though I imagine it would be somewhat trickier. Will add it to our list of potential web improvements. I doubt you'd be the only person who finds this useful, since I know there are other people who keep track in spreadsheets too. Thanks again :)
Giving What We Can needs your help this Christmas!

Hi again! I've now had a look at this - for the cohorts who joined before 2013 it looks like 30% of those who reported meeting their pledge in 2014 had not reported meeting their pledge in 2013. So this shows that just because someone didn't report their donations in 2013 doesn't mean they didn't the following year. I have added a breakdown of this in the 2014 cohort document. (NB I also made some very small corrections to the 2013 cohort info, which slightly increased the numbers for 'people who recorded some income and donation data' and changed the median %'s donated)

Giving What We Can needs your help this Christmas!

Hi Peter, I don't yet but am working on it: I'll post them here when they're done :)

Giving What We Can needs your help this Christmas!

Hi, Just to add to this, here is a link to a document I made with the sort of data you suggested sharing in the conversation earlier this year about cohort data. (Some of this is already contained in the Giving Review but I've presented it by cohort to hopefully make it easy to read). I agree that it's useful to collect and share, so thank you for the prompt!

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