353Joined Jan 2022


I work as Software Tester and donate a part of my income.

I got into EA in 2012.


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Answer by ImmaSep 24, 2022171

This is a really great question. Strong upvoted.

Regret 1: not donating more in 2014-2017

I donated small amounts to early longtermist organizations 2014-2017, before Open Philanthropy Project entered the space. Some of these organizations were funding constrained at the time, but aren't anymore. And I regret not donating more.

Most notably, I donated to the "Global Priorities Project" at CEA in 2015, and they were funding constrained enought that they were willing to spend the time to have a fundraising call with me, even though my budget was small. This project might have contributed to the Global Priorities Institute in later years. I could have donated 3x as much.

I prioritized building up financial runway so that I could live off my savings in case I ended up unemployed. This is very understandable. I was early in my career, and having some runway is important for your financial (and mental) health, but I could have afforded more risk. (I might be hindsight biased here because I stayed employed all the time).

Regret 2: not providing low-friction funding to early stage projects

There are some voices saying that individual donors' comparative advantage is that they have local knowledge. An individual can spot promising early stage projects in their network and fund them. This can help getting these projects started in the first place.

I have been hestitant doing this. I don't trust my own judgement very much. I may be biased funding friends and projects I contributed directly to - and I may have overcorrected for this bias by not donating at all.

I like this post.

Question to fundraisers: what do you think of this? To what extent does this match your experience?

I don't fully understand your point - can you elaborate on it more? Do you mean that - until the donor transfers the money or signs a binding contract - it remains uncertain whether the donee actually receives money. The donee will have to plan with this risk?

Counter question: if important, how can a donor redue this risk, in your opinion?

I am grateful to the organizers of EAGxVirtual that they are going to make this event happen.

I am excited about this event in particular, because it is accessible to people who live far away from EA hotspots, and to people who - for whatever reason - cannot travel easily (financially, work related, health, family, etc.).

There were people from Israel at EAGx Prague. There were also people from further away.

There is an EAGx Virtual. This EAGx happens online.

I hope they are friendly for the less western timezones as well!

This comment (seen on Kerry Vaughan's Twitter) hit me hard:

I clicked through to the source. I feel this person. They made a significant commitment because they wanted to help others, and they followed through on it.

This is the type of person I would love to meet. But not at EAG, because I do not want to go to EAG. I don't fit there, and there are other events (e.g. EAGx or online events) that fit me better.

CEA is not funding constrained. I wonder where the EtG/direct work trade-off lies in more funding constrained or less talent constrained cause areas.

So excited so see an EAGx in my birth city! Looking forward to meeting you there.

I could not imagine this when we were planning to start the first EA group in the Netherlands and meeting the co-initiators in person for the first time in - of all places - Rotterdam. This was back in December 2013.

I've heard of a projects that creates a place for sharing anki decks on github, so that others can improve them like open source software. Unfortunately I can't find the project very quickly.

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