Devon Fritz

70410967 Berlin, GermanyJoined Apr 2017

Bio

Co-Founder of High Impact Professionals. We enable working professionals to maximize their positive impact by supporting them in donating their time, skills and resources effectively.

Ex-CTO and MD of Germany for Founders Pledge. Big on promoting Effective Giving.

Originally from New York, living in Berlin.

Comments
75

I am for more debate, but don't like this suggestion due to specific names, like Timnit, who just seems so hostile I can't imagine a fruitful conversation. 

I think what we really need are more funding pillars in addition to EA Funds and Open Phil. And continue to let EA Funds deploy as they see fit, but have other streams that do the same and maybe take a different position on risk appetite, methodology, etc.

I'm curious to hear the perceived downsides about this. All I can think of is logistical overhead, which doesn't seem like that much.

If something is called the "Coordination Forum" and previously called the "Leaders Forum" and there is a "leaders" slack where further coordination that affects the community takes place, it seems fair that people should at least know who is attending them. The community prides itself on transparency and knowing the leaders of your movement seems like one of the obvious first steps of transparency. 

Hey Vasco, thanks for the well thought out response. I love the compromise - I think having more grantmakers (with different, but still strong EA perspectives)  is a great way to go.

I've heard grantmakers in the LT space say that "everything that is above the bar is getting funded and what we need are more talented people filling roles or new orgs to start up." So it seems that any marginal donation going to the EA Funds LTFF is currently being underutilized/not used at all and doesn't even funge well. So that makes me lean more neartermist, even if you accept that LT interventions are ultimately more impactful. 

Apologies if that is addressed in the video above - don't have time to view it now, but from your description it looks like it is more geared around general effectiveness and not on-the-current-margin giving right now.

Curious if you have any thoughts on that.

I actually strongly disagree with this - I think too many people defer to the EA Funds on the margin. Don't get me wrong, I think they do great work, but if FTX showed us anything it is that EA needs MORE funding diversity and I think this often shakes out as lots of people making many different decisions on where to give, so that e.g. and org doesn't need to rely on its existence from whether or not its gets a grant from EA Funds/OP. 

In light of FTX, I am updating a bit away from giving to meta stuff, as some media made clear that a (legitimate) concern is EA orgs donating to each other and keeping the money internal to them. I don't think EAs do this on purpose for any bad reason, in fact I think meta is high leverage, but concern does give one pause to think about why we are doing this and also how this is perceived from the outside.

Answer by Devon FritzNov 29, 20226
🌟3

This year, I am giving $10K to Charity Entrepreneurship's incubated charities at their discretion as they know where it will best be placed after all counterfactuals have been calculated. I am giving here for a lot of reasons (CoI: I like them so much I am on the board):

  • I think there is a lot of counterfactual value in supporting new EA startups with higher risk profiles, especially within CE, where there is a good rate of growth to GW Top Charity status.
  • I like to fund stuff that isn't getting funded through the normal means to create more diversified funding in the EA space, which I believe is extremely important and more important than ever given the FTX situation.
  • It is FUN to read project proposals and be a bit more involved early stage - feels more like venture capital than e.g. giving to AMF (although I wouldn't begrudge anyone giving to AMF by any means!)

I also gave smaller sums to other organizations this year - numbers rough as I don't have the donation receipt yet and am too lazy to look it up: $2500 to a mix of the following charities:

  • Effektiv Spenden - they have a crazy multiplier on money in -> money raised so I think this is a great, leveraged way to donate.
  • CATF
  • AMF

I gave to CATF and AMF as well mostly to hedge on myself being too meta. I think there is a tough tradeoff between leverage in meta stuff and meta 1) being less clearly linked to actual impact and 2) the fear that donating to meta orgs, where I've been more at home over the past 6 years is more giving to my friends and keeping the money "in the family" than doing actual good. I think meta is still worth it, as evidenced by my donations, but I think this is a concern to take seriously.

Finally, I suppose I donate to my own org, High Impact Professionals, by taking a lower salary than I otherwise would as that makes more sense than taking a salary, getting taxed, and then donating back to my own org, at least if you think, as I do, that our org can do more good than the marginal dollar to the German/US government. I am a little bit biased on that one though.

Hi Simon, love the initiative and have been working on an illustrated philosophy book for kids as well (and by 'working on' I mean 'made it 5 years ago and have to get back to it when I find the time with an outstanding promise to finish it before my daughter turns 6').

Will definitely sign up for the beta and provide feedback. Looking forward to reading it! 

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