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Optimal level of hierarchy for effective altruism

The environmental movement seems to be the closest analogy. It would be strange to find this movement having even the levels of (implicit, claimed) hierarchy that EA does. This should be cause for concern.

The Effective Altruism Newsletter & Open Thread - 15 December 2015

Speaking solely for myself, I've down voted fundraising announcements when I felt people were asking for money inappropriately, without a good, straightforward case for why I shouldn't give to AMF instead (to take the example I currently give to). I try not to down vote solely because I disagree with someone.

Theory of Change feedback

I'd enjoy reading your reasons for this in a top-level forum post. I expect others would do, and there are certainly plenty who think like you do who could participate in a comment thread discussion of this, which your post could trigger.

Effective Giving vs. Effective Altruism

What evidence would you (or the other involved in outreach via mass readership articles) cite for it working, besides the Facebook comment you mentioned?

CEA is launching a winter fundraising round

Thank you, my top two suggestions would be:

  • Break down which activities have led to which members in as much detail as possible.

  • Justify the "Counter-factual donation rate" more deeply. Use a graduate volunteer's time to dig into it and present multiple explorations of it, some of which don't rely on people's subjective estimates of it when asked by GWWC at the time they're pledging to it. Include some in-depth exploration of the counter-factual rate for a few members.

CEA is launching a winter fundraising round

Thanks, this is helpful (though as you predict not by itself not enough to resolve the issue). Fundraising seems a good reference class - not too broad (like 'all businesses' would be) and not too narrow. One comment/question, at least for now:

The activity that GWWC is engaging in is not fundraising for itself, but encouraging people to give (and give effectively). Compared to charities fundraising for themselves, there is less competition, and the approach is also more novel: both of these could support more of the low-hanging fruit still being available. Moreover it may be easier to persuade people to give when there is no obvious conflict-of-interest of the charity receiving funds being the same as the people trying to persuade you.

This seems the main reason that could account for your fundraising being so much more profitable than normal. The lack of conflict of interest could help, and I've read Charity Science use the same argument somewhere. But it has very limited strength, there are many independent people who fundraise for charities they're passionate about, and it's hard to see why it'd drive up fundraising profitability that much. That would take a novel approach in an enviroment of low hanging fruit (because low competetition). What exactly is GWWC's approach of this sort? I'm still not clear what you will do with the staff time our money buys to churn out a hundred dollars per dollar.

CEA is launching a winter fundraising round

Amid many critical comments I should give props for going above and beyond the original request by clearly presenting this historical data.

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