9 karmaJoined May 2018


Might there be sweet spots to be found somewhere along the continuum of "quality" of giving (the effectiveness of each dollar given) stopping short of, say, GiveWell recommend charities or even EA approved causes?

Most ordinary people don't give because they generally feel charitable and want to do something, anything, so long as it's charitable. The are compelled to give by an event or a narrative that tugs on them. Most EA instruments don't really do this, of course. At least not in the initial consumer interaction. Say someone was compelled to give by the recent family separation crisis in the US. The cause wouldn't ever land on an EA list but I imagine that within it there are some charities 10x or maybe 100x more effective than others. It would be valuable to help people chose those charities, given that there's essentially a 0% chance that the money in question will be funneled to bed nets or the long term future.

In short, I'm interested in whether there are ways to bring a watered down version of EA to a mass audience, with a net positive effect on effective dollars given.

[I hope it's not bad form to comment on a post from 2016 -- here it goes!]

Michael -- I'm a newcomer to EA. I find it very compelling but I've been troubled by the assumption that saving (or even generating) current (and future) lives is more valuable than improving existing lives. So I was excited to stumble upon your work. It has given me some intellectual basis for what was previously mostly intuition. What I have not been able to find is this: for someone who more or less shares your priorities / worldview, what should we be doing with our time and money? Can you point me to any resources on this? I imagine they exist but I'm having trouble finding them. The EA community has done an amazing job of evangelizing its favorite causes in a really accessible way (GiveWell etc); is anyone doing the same for causes that rank highly for those with alternative flavors?