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Thank you for writing up your notes and thoughts on this book! I hadn't heard of it before, and have since read it. A lot to think about and research - I'd be interested in sharing notes and may write some posts looking into specific claims he made in the book.

Answer by harald2

Does the organisation you're giving to allow you to set up a regular direct debit with Gift Aid? I'm pretty sure EA Funds does this, so anything you can donate to through there would be as easy administratively as doing the GAYE scheme, and I don't think there's any fee.

The real benefit from the GAYE scheme would come once you're looking at claiming back tax for yourself (i.e. when you start paying more than Basic Rate tax). And even at this point there are other options. When I was giving fixed amounts on a monthly basis a few years ago, I used the live chat on HMRC's Income Tax Page to notify HMRC about my regular donations, and they updated my tax code to take them into account. (my employer didn't support Payroll Giving, otherwise I might have done that instead)

Worth noting (some of these are also mentioned in my other comment, with sources there):

1. If you're male and 16-30 (a significant proportion of EAs), the chance of being asked to donate is more like 1 in 200.

2. I'd say the time cost of registering is closer to 15 minutes than an hour. Personally I filled in the form at work during my lunch break, and spent a few minutes doing the cheek swab at home.

3. It's not clear that not doing a transplant would be cheaper for healthcare systems than doing the transplant. In general, complications for conditions which would require a transplant can be expensive to treat, and healthcare systems like the NHS would treat them. See the linked Guardian article in my other comment which suggests that transplants could actually be saving the NHS money vs treating the symptoms. Also see the other link that suggests UK transplants from UK donors are much cheaper than UK transplants from foreign donors (assuming these transplants would be happening anyway).

4. I do think health concerns to donors need to be taken into consideration. Most people (90%) can donate in a way similar to blood donation, but 10% undergo general anesthesia. This isn't risk-free, though generally the criteria which filter for suitable donors upon registering exclude people who would be at high risk when undergoing general anesthesia.

Thanks for posting about this. I spent some time looking into bone marrow transplants a few years ago when a friend needed one.

I'm on the register, and I would donate if asked to. This is definitely at least partly driven by my personal experiences, but aside from that I suspect that for anyone who's not self-employed or doing direct work (or studying) it probably makes sense to join the register from a cost-effectiveness point of view.

Some useful considerations, at least some of which haven't already been mentioned by other commenters:

  • If you're male and 16-30 your chance of donating at some point is around 1 in 170.
  • In general, around 90% of donations are done though peripheral blood stem cell collection - as per Jorgen_Ljones' experience. This can take a few days to recover from, but isn't too invasive. The other 10% is through direct bone marrow collection, and requires general anesthesia. I think the trade-offs are quite different here for people who are self-employed or doing direct impact vs those working in a non-EA job, or earning to give. Personally I'm on the register and expect that I would be able to get some paid time off from work if I were asked to donate.
  • In general, information sharing between the registers in various countries (e.g. Be The Match in US, Anthony Nolan in UK) is pretty good, and they tend to operate with volunteers who can transport bone marrow across countries when required.
  • Only 60% of transplant recipients receive bone marrow from someone who is a 'perfect match'. Those other 40% lead a much higher risk of complications. So contributing to the register doesn't just lead to more transplants, but also to better transplants.
  • I don't think the opportunity cost of signing up is an hour of productive time, at least in the UK. It's a 10m online form, a cheek swab, and walking past a post box.

Other data points from various sources that would be useful for a cost-effectiveness estimate on this:

I've considered doing a cost-effectiveness estimate on this but haven't made time for it for various reasons; please let me know if you'd be interested in seeing it written up or writing it up. I have more info I can share which was shared with me privately.

Cool! Who would you say is the target audience for this? Is it suitable for people who are very new to EA?

Have you had any updates on this? This topic came up at a recent meetup I was at; I'd be interested in reading/contributing.

Worth keeping an eye on this for potentially relevant projects: http://www.eawork.club/

Do you know if anyone has done a more recent analysis of this kind of thing? He lists quite a few caveats/reservations at the end of this post.

Cool! Are there no extra charges associated with Google Pay or Apple Pay?