Product Manager @ Centre for Effective Altruism
Working (6-15 years of experience)
1202London, UKJoined Sep 2014


I'm (Ben) Clifford. I work as a Product Manager for the Centre for Effective Altruism.

I first got involved in EA in 2011 when I started the GWWC chapter at the University of Warwick. Since I worked for GWWC, was a software developer, an early employee at Founders Pledge and started a workplace giving startup.

How others can help me

  • Give me feedback on
  • Tell me how you got involved in EA and how you use the forum
  • If you're a Product Manager I'd like to meet (and likely I can learn from you)

How I can help others

I can likely connect you to people or talk about my experience community building and pitching EA at Founders Pledge, running a very early stage employee giving startup at Tyve and doing Product Management.


Sorry I meant it as two separate things.

1. I'm not sure tech will help you fundraise more at work.
I spoke to one traditional payroll-giving fundraiser and he raised more for charity in a day than I did in several months. His method was to go round each table in an office, pitch them for 5 mins on the tax benefits of signing up and ask them to sign up on a piece of paper to give to a charity close to their hearts. 

2. I'm not sure EA will help you fundraise more at work.
As in the above example, people are happy to give to charity regardless of the EA pitch. I think the EA pitch can help inspire some people and the fact that a chunk of people chose our recommended charities is encouraging but I don't think it's a gamechanger in the volume of donations.

Thanks Craig - I'm glad to hear it. Like I said in the piece, I'm sure there are some opportunities and angles here but I think that's a decent summary.

Glad to hear Jan.

That's right re: PMF. We were very open about what causes people could support but I think you could be right that leaning into e.g. climate change could have helped. My sense was that companies in the UK preferred other ways to contribute to these causes because:
1. Donating money feels less direct than interventions like recycling, not using plastic, vegetarian catering
2. HR didn't want to be seen to ask people to give their money away (this felt awkward for some)
3. There are activities which are more visible, feel-good and cheaper to signal support (e.g. charity fundraisers).

Thanks Henrith!

It would take me some time to get good numbers for these. Here are some thoughts off the top of my head in the meantime.

1. Rate of enrollment at companies.

I think this averaged 25%. We had a couple of enthusiastic companies of around 50 people where we got 35-40% . But it wasn't uncommon to have more like 6%.

2. Average donation amount.
The £15,000 number includes company matches. The average monthly donation is £75 and the average company contribution is £25. Some companies offer very generous matching e.g. topping up donations by £50 regardless of donation size. Also bear in mind a small number of people are donating 10x more than the average.

I don't think it was lower when we were operating as a for-profit.

3. Dropoff rates
Dropoff rates are very low (less than 5% a year if you exclude people who leave the company). This is one of the biggest advantages of payroll giving.

Would be great to hear your account of the Swedish charity startup.

Thanks Yonatan. I like your version of "should exist vs people want this to exist". I've also seen and been tempted by proposals for "lists".

Out of curiosity, what would the post be about?

Wow. I hadn't realised Jaan Tallinn was a billionaire.

Thanks Dewi!

Yes, if you click "New Post" - you can turn this off in the normal way by unticking the checkbox: "This post may appear on the frontpage". 

New Threads will only appear in the subforum.

Pre-commitent: I will reply on this thread with where I decide to donate by New Years Day. 

I’m planning to meet up with a friend and decide where to give my donations on New Years Eve. I often find I put my giving off so I'm using this post as a commitment device.

1. If anyone wants to join me, feel free to comment with the date you plan to donate by.
2. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to structure your thinking on where to donate? I’m planning to spend a couple of hours on this with a friend.

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