All of AmritSidhu-Brar's Comments + Replies

AMA: We Work in Operations at EA-aligned organizations. Ask Us Anything.

Yeah it definitely seems accurate that the need for operations folk is significantly less than in 2018. That said, I've seen plenty of operations job postings in the last year or so, and it looks like e.g. CEA and OpenPhil currently have roles on the 80k job board. Combining that with the fact that EA organisations seem to generally be growing, it seems like there's still a need for more ops people in EA orgs overall. I guess the harder question is similar to your second one, namely whether such roles are currently easily filled with  the in-EA people... (read more)

AMA: We Work in Operations at EA-aligned organizations. Ask Us Anything.

+1 to Martin's suggestion of reaching out to EA orgs and asking whether they need any short-term/contractor (or possibly volunteer) work doing.  

Orgs will rarely run full hiring rounds for these, but my impression is that a fair amount of this kind of work exists. (Not saying that I think this strategy is anywhere near certain to work, but I would recommend it.) I never managed to make myself proactively ask people for roles like these, but the roles in this category that I got (which I think happened to me through chance really) mostly ended up being really useful for skill-building.

AMA: We Work in Operations at EA-aligned organizations. Ask Us Anything.

For point #2, one speculative thing that comes to mind is the legal and governance structure of an incorporated organisation, i.e. being incorporated, and having a board – whether a board of directors/trustees who have legal responsibility for the organisation and whom the team ultimately report to, or an advisory board.  

I know that plenty of larger EA groups, particularly national ones, have these kinds of things already, and I wonder whether it would be beneficial for more large EA groups to do so. (I don't know what the answer to this question is.... (read more)

AMA: We Work in Operations at EA-aligned organizations. Ask Us Anything.

I'll have a go at adding some more ideas for #2. (Similarly to Martin, I don't feel like this is my area of expertise and I'm sure there are others in the EA community who've thought about thisway more than me, but here goes for a try: )

In an organisation that has paid staff one important thing for commitment would be making sure people are compensated well. While volunteers are unpaid and to a large extent doing it for the impact of the role, I wonder whether there are easy-ish ways to optimise the non-money benefits  that volunteers are getting out ... (read more)

Long-Term Future Fund: Ask Us Anything!

That's really interesting to read, thanks very much! (Both for this answer and for the whole AMA exercise)

Why you should give to a donor lottery this Giving Season

Are lottery winners subject to  conflict of interest restrictions similar to EA Funds? E.g. could a winner end up choosing to donate to an organisation they run or work at, or fund themselves or a connected party to do independent work? 

( I am currently undecided as to whether I'm going to donate to the lottery, but this question isn't a factor in that – just asking out of interest as the question occurred to me, seemed like it might be important, and I don't think I know what I would want the answer to be as a donor, so would be curious to hear the answer!)

3Jonas Vollmer9moWe currently don't implement any measures to prevent people from making donations to their employer, whether through the donor lottery or as ordinary donations through the EA Funds website. The due diligence process for grants to individuals is much more thorough; if there was a potential COI we would investigate that carefully before making a grant. Most likely, we wouldn't allow people to fund themselves.
3So-Low Growth9moDoes this help (from the FAQs? "The lottery is administered by the Centre for Effective Altruism [https://www.centreforeffectivealtruism.org/] (CEA). The Centre for Effective Altruism is a registered charity in England and Wales (Charity Number 1149828) and a registered 501(c)(3) Exempt Organization in the USA (EIN 47-1988398). An entry to the lottery is a donation to CEA; CEA will regrant the lottery money, based on the recommendation of the lottery winner. All grants made are at CEA’s sole discretion.This is a condition of CEA’s status as a tax-deductible non-profit (both in the UK and the US). Of course, CEA will make a good faith effort to act on the recommendation of the winning donor, but it is important to understand that this does not constitute a binding contract, and the final decision rests with CEA. There are cases where it may not be possible to follow the winner’s recommendation. In particular, CEA is limited to making grants within its charitable objects (and in the US, within the scope of what the IRS would deem an 'appropriate organization' to regrant to). Judgements about whether a potential grantee is within this scope will be made on a case-by-case basis by CEA. If CEA determines that it cannot follow a recommendation, the donor will be contacted to discuss and be given the opportunity to provide a revised recommendation. Broadly speaking, CEA should be able to regrant to any fund or organization on listed on Effective Altruism Funds [https://app.effectivealtruism.org/donations/new/organizations], as well as nearly all other registered non-profit organizations in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Europe, and possibly other jurisdictions (assuming their organizational purposes don’t contravene CEA’s charitable objects, and we can verify their non-profit status). CEA may also be able to make grants to organizations that are not registered non-profits, or projects that are run by unincorporated individuals. These requests will be assessed on a
Long-Term Future Fund: Ask Us Anything!

A related question: are there categories of things you'd be excited to fund, but haven't received any applications for so far?

I think the long-termist and EA communities seem too narrow on several important dimensions:

  • Methodologically there are several relevant approaches that seem poorly represented in the community. A concrete example would be having more people with a history background, which seems critical for understanding long-term trends. In general I think we could do better interfacing with the social sciences and other intellectual movements.

    I do think there are challenges here. Most fields are not designed to answer long-term questions. For example, history is ofte

... (read more)
What is a good donor advised fund for small UK donors?

Okay, I called CAF to ask about this, as I was interested too. Apparently the Charity Account's 4% fee is a one-off at the time of donation, rather than annually recurring. You can hold the money indefinitely after it's put into the account for no fee. The fee is 4% on the first £22.5k donated per year, after that it reduces to 1%. (They linked me to a PDF detailing this here.) So this seems like it could well be worth it, in cases where you have more than a few £000 to donate to registered charities, if it would be more efficient to be... (read more)

3Halstead1yCredit to you for getting in touch with them! It still looks like it's not worth it to use either CAF account. The charity account - the tax benefits won't be worth the lost investment returns. The CAF charitable trust - The annual fees will make it not worth it vs normal investing. Again, the tax benefits won't be large enough
What is a good donor advised fund for small UK donors?

My impression from CAF's webpage on their Charity Accounts was that the 4% fee was a one-off when you contribute money to the account, rather than an annual fee on the balance. However it's not very clear and the other interpretation definitely makes sense too. Is anyone's knowledge from a source other than the website?

You have more than one goal, and that's fine

Thanks so much for writing this! I feel like I end up trying to express this idea quite frequently and I'm really glad for the resource on it. I’d also love to see talking about our non-altruistic goals and motivations become more normalised within EA, so yes, thanks 🙂

Personally I identify with the approach you're expressing very strongly – I find it hard to understand the thought that I might care for my friends only because it ultimately helps me help the world more; I think of them in different categories. But then I know others who find it v... (read more)

Altruistic Motivations

Thank you very much for sharing this; I think it's a really powerful idea and piece of writing!

I feel similarly to you, however I also strongly identify with the opportunity framing myself – I think this is beause I've always seen it a little differently to how you're expressing it:

For me the "excitement" in the opportunity framing isn't in finding out that there are people in a very bad situation whom I have an opportunity to help; it comes in finding out that something can be done about problems that I, if in a non-specific... (read more)

Should you have your own blog?

Thanks for posting this, this is really helpful to me!

I don’t currently have a blog (well, I do, but not at all related to EA), so unfortunately I can’t answer your first three closing questions. However I’ve been planning on starting an EA blog for the last month or so and have been thinking about some of this stuff – particularly about just having my own blog vs. just posting to the forum vs. occasional cross-posting – so reading your thoughts from your place of much more experience was useful, thank you.

Are you considering exporting your posts to the
... (read more)
Why are you here? An origin stories thread.

I think this is a great idea, and I was really interested, and also touched, by the stories people have already posted, so thank you all! Holly, I love the sentiment of “an extra dose of empathy and mutual appreciation” – I feel like to some extent EA culture, or at least that of its online spaces like this one, is very good at hiding the many meaningful personal relationships that I know the community has fostered.

I found EA in late 2012, just after I’d started my first degree in Oxford. At the first meeting of the science fiction society (which I then ne... (read more)