All of JSWinchell's Comments + Replies

Some clarifications on the Future Fund's approach to grantmaking

Just a quick thank you to the FTX team for working so hard at such a difficult task!

I am taking a break from the EA community. Here are a few words about why.

Hi there - I wanted to offer to be another person for you to talk to if you've already spoken to all the other nice people that have left comments. I'm no expert, but I will listen! (You can message me on here)

Opinion: Digital marketing is under-utilized in EA

$4 per graduated EA fellow is absolutely incredible!  

If anyone knows someone at CEA who would be interested in hearing about this please reach out. 

Yeah. I think a lot of EA fellowships though are facilitator-constrained, not participant-constrained. Possibly ads could still be used to increase the quality of the participant pool, but the value of that is less clear. I know people at CEA, and 2 of our student groups will write a fellowship retrospective soon. We'll include this bit formally there, and I can link that to CEA or publicize that to other community builders. This is so that groups that are participant-constrained can use ads more.
Opinion: Digital marketing is under-utilized in EA

For me, the takeaway is that the actual cost of generating interest in EA (Brian's $4 cost per graduated EA fellow from below) is significantly below our little group's estimates of what an engaged EA is worth ($3K -$30K as noted above).

I think everyone would agree an engaged EA is worth more than $4. 

If someone is reading this who would know how to scale FB ads for EA university fellowships that seems like an extremely high impact thing to do. 

Opinion: Digital marketing is under-utilized in EA

I have domain expertise in digital marketing and would love to help EA organizations. I'm not qualified to weigh in on the questions of messaging or how far-reaching the campaign should be, but once those things are figured out I can tell you the best way to use YouTube and Google Search to accomplish your goals. 

Opinion: Digital marketing is under-utilized in EA

Agreed - I am guessing it would be incredibly cost-effective. I'm hoping to test this with a few student groups this upcoming fall, we'll see if it works. 

Possibly the 1 minute video would be better than the 6 second. The good news is it's easily testable :)

This sounds like a great idea and potentially something that CEA etc should be doing to help new groups to start. One of the biggest challenges is getting the required initial awareness and critical mass and word of mouth/Facebook posting only gets you so far.
Opinion: Digital marketing is under-utilized in EA

Unfortunately the $40K/month program has been deprecated, but thanks for sharing!

Opinion: Digital marketing is under-utilized in EA

Thanks Brian! I'd love to hear what your cost per signup was, feel free to send me a direct message if you prefer :)

I wrote about it in the forum post I linked: 

Our cost per attendee using FB ads was around $1-5 per person, depending on the event. Generally, we liked the type of people who came to our events - they were friendly and open-minded. However, only a few of them would be truly interested in EA and be willing to get more engaged in it. In 2020, we still expect to use FB ads, but we know to expect that only a handful of them will be the ones that will truly be engaged and interested in EA.

What's not in that article is how we used FB ads to recruit fellows ... (read more)

Opinion: Digital marketing is under-utilized in EA

Thanks so much for your thoughts Robert!

"What would you think of the concern that these types of ads would be a "low fidelity" way of spreading EA that could risk misinforming people about EA?   I think from my experience community building, it's really useful to be able to describe and discuss EA ideas in detail, and that there are risks to giving someone an incorrect view of EA. These risks include someone being critical of what they believe EA is, and spreading this critique, as well as discouraging them from getting involved when they may ha... (read more)

I didn't know Google/YouTube ads could be that specific. Reaching 1,000 students for $10 seems really cost-effective. Though I think a 6 second video of a student talking about their EA group doesn't seem like the best idea to get people to join the EA group. Maybe a one-minute video (with a good 6-second hook) would be better, in case some people find the ad intriguing enough to watch the whole length.
Opportunity to increase EA org funding by ~$200K/year if a couple hundred EAs take 1 minute on Giving Tuesday

Thanks so much for your question Cienna!

The honest answer is that we are not approaching this project anticipating that it will end in a negotiation with VISA. My assumption (could very well be flawed as this is our first social media campaign) was that VISA would either change the fee or not, without negotiating externally. You may very well be right though so thank you for offering these tips, it's greatly appreciated!

The aim in targeting one processor was to maximize the pressure on a single company vs spreading ourselves thin across multiple. 

Thanks again!

Opportunity to increase EA org funding by ~$200K/year if a couple hundred EAs take 1 minute on Giving Tuesday

Thanks for your support William it's much appreciated! Please do repost on Giving Tuesday :)

(a) You're correct that they may not. We could multiply by a probability to get an expected value but IMO given it's a perpetuity it's definitely worth 1 minute. 

I estimate the probability to be ~40%. This may seem high but through my job I work with large companies and have seen them make changes because of a handful of people posting on social media. 

(b) When calculating the return my assumptions were (quick calculation here):

  • Small EA donors donate
... (read more)
Thanks for the reply! Sharing a couple other relevant thoughts just because I took the time to think them, but no reply is necessary. (This is probably the sort of scenario where I should just spend the minute to tweet at VISA rather than spend several minutes trying to more precisely estimate the expected impact, but I only consciously thought of this after already spending a few more minutes thinking about the expected impact and writing out the following so I'm posting my thoughts anyway.) Re: (a) Naively I'd estimate that the counterfactual effect of 200 additional marginal EAs retweeting/sharing the relevant posts on Tuesday on the probability that VISA eliminates fees for nonprofits in the next year is roughly ~5% (and possibly much lower if I thought about it longer). I'd be shocked if this one push increased the probability by 40%, even though I do agree that sometimes (often?) large companies make changes because of a small number of people posting on social media. (b) Adjusting your estimate with different more conservative assumptions -- a 2% average credit card fee, only donors <$10,000/year (rather than <$100,000/year) use credit cards to donate (i.e. $15.4% of the $16.1M/year rather than 43%), and assuming only the impact from VISA changing their fees -- then the direct impact would be closer to $24,800/year = (Your $207,690 estimate)(2%/3%) (15.4%/43%)*(0.5). The main direct impact this ignores is the fact that presumably many people who do not respond to the EA Survey donate to EA charities using VISA credit cards. The EA Survey VISA donors may represent a minority of VISA donors to EA charities.
A Request for Funding from The Giving Game Project

I'll be allotting a portion of my giving to funding GGs because, in my experience, the negative impact of some money going to ineffective charities is far outweighed by the positive impact of people noticeably changing their minds on the importance of effectiveness in giving.

Thanks JS! Really appreciate your support!!! You and McGill EA have done a great job utilizing Giving Games in creative and high leverage ways. Your help will let us scale that success to new locations!