Ervin

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How to improve EA Funds

Looking at the EA Community Fund as an especially tractable example (due to the limited field of charities it could fund):

  • Since its launch in early 2017 it appears to have collected $289,968, and not regranted any of it until a $83k grant to EA Sweden currently in progress. I am basing this on https://app.effectivealtruism.org/funds/ea-community - it may not be precisely right.

  • On the one hand, it's good that some money is being disbursed. On the other hand the only info we have is https://app.effectivealtruism.org/funds/ea-community/payouts/1EjFHdfk3GmIeIaqquWgQI . All we're told about the idea and why it was funded is that it's an "EA community building organization in Sweden" and Will McAskill recommended Nick Beckstead fund it "on the basis of (i) Markus's track record in EA community building at Cambridge and in Sweden and (ii) a conversation he had with Markus." Putting it piquantly (and over-strongly I'm sure, for effect), this sounds concerningly like an old boy's network: Markus > Will > Nick. (For those who don't know, Will and Nick were both involved in creating CEA.) It might not be, but the paucity of information doesn't let us reassure ourselves that it's not.

  • With $200k still unallocated, one would hope that the larger and more reputable EA movement building projects out there would have been funded, or we could at least see that they've been diligently considered. I may be leaving some out, but these would at least include the non-CEA movement building charities: EA Foundation (for their EA outreach projects), Rethink Charity and EA London. As best as I could get an answer from Rethink Charity at http://effective-altruism.com/ea/1ld/announcing_rethink_priorities/dir?context=3 this is not true in their case at least.

  • Meanwhile these charities can't make their case direct to movement building donors whose money has gone to the fund since its creation.

This is concerning, and sounds like it may have done harm.

Cognitive and emotional barriers to EA's growth

Seconded, this is worth sharing more broadly via the facebook groups!

Announcing Rethink Priorities

Huh, given the odd funding splurges (things like a $60k EA Grant for developing a new version of Less Wrong for people to have fun intellectual discussions on, and I believe a similarly luxuriant amount to EA Geneva) I'm surprised an organization which does as much as Rethink Charity isn't already fully funded by the movement building fund. Does anyone know how much money got donated to that and where it's gone?

Announcing Rethink Priorities

Do you/Rethink Charity need funding? I presume the EA Community fund is throwing a healthy amount of money your work?

2017 LEAN Impact Assessment: Qualitative Findings

Lastly, it seems like it would be nice if you could get notifications when a new person is found near you and if people to opt-in to receive messages from other EAs.

This would be a handy feature.

Why You Should Be Public About Your Good Deeds

I'm not a huge fan of cross-posting things here that have appeared on organisational blogs before. Amongst several other problems it makes the EA Forum feel deader, like those subreddits filled only with link promotion. On the other hand I know you're one "little guy" (or perhaps "little outfit") without your own major blog, so need to post somewhere, so this is hardly the worst offence.

CEA is launching a winter fundraising round

I agree that GiveWell could be considered part of EA. Ultimately I see that as a merely semantic question. My and I think AGB's point is that the donors who follow GiveWell aren't self-identified members of the "EA movement", and aren't giving because of EA outreach specifically. It appears that organizations doing EA outreach specifically get much more than 5% of the money donated by members of the "EA movement" who were inspired to give by those organizations.

Impossible EA emotions

Sadly, I don't think there's a way to make it a good 'front facing' pick, because it would seem too 'hardcore' to newcomers.

CEA is launching a winter fundraising round

Perhaps more relevant, even if they don't identify as EA, where the silent donors give is influenced by EA. So I think there's still a good case for including them in the money moved.

Can you explain why you're thinking that they're influenced by EA? It seems at least equally plausible that they're influenced by GiveWell, which is distinct from most EA meta-orgs, and operates using a different model. Are you thinking that there's another influence on them, like 80k or GWWC?

Final Round of the Impact Purchase

It's excellent to see you complete this! Good luck. Do you plan to write-up an evaluation of the project, and your thoughts on the best ways to ensure good EA work gets funded?

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