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· 4mo ago · 1m read


I think this is a very good summary.

Given the shortage of funding for existing EA organisations,  there is clearly not a lot of money at the moment. But I think if there is a new $1m/yr+ movement building project with exceptional risk adjusted expected impact  it could probably get funding from non-op sources, but that will be at least partially at the expense of existing projects. 

Hi Will,

Thanks for the post. I think the below statement is inaccurate

  • A single funder (Open Philanthropy, “OP”) allocates the large majority (around 70%[2])  of funding that goes to EA movement-building. If you want to do an EA movement-building project with a large budget ($1m/yr or more), you probably need funding from OP, for the time  being at least. Vaidehi Agarwalla’s outstandingly helpful recent post gives more information.

Whilst I agree OP is the large majority as you mention and the concentration of decision making within that could be a problem, you could have movement building project with budget over $1m a year not having funding from OP - Longview is an example.

On Vaidehi’s post, I went back to my record and my donation alone is more than 3x the total in other donors category in her post. If other donors are included it could be out by more than 15x. I am working with Vaidehi to get a more accurate total.

I do agree that it is important to diversify the donor base and the many effective giving initiatives are important in that regard.

Thanks Vaidehi. I will take a look when I get a chance and let you know.

Thanks for compiling this. I have asked for access to the spreadsheet. Amongst others  I like to check how much of SFF funding is EA community building vs funding AI and ex-risk research. Also there is a lot of funding from Jane Street donors in addition in Matt Wage just want to make sure they are counted. These are particularly significant in the earlier period.

Yes I think the above is correct. Thanks for that. It is possible GWWC moved to cause neutrality before the review. I think perhaps the point I want to make is that there was a lot of strategic thinking at that time which led to a number of actions including those mentioned in the post.

I am not sure if anything was published officially but I remember being ‘interviewed’ at the time and views were sought from a number of EAs and there were dedicated resources from CEA, a bit like the governance review being conducted at the moment but on strategic focus.

The review’s remit was perhaps more on the future strategy of CEA but given the role played by CEA at the time which included 80,000 hours and GWWC, and other meta organisations were still quite young, quite significant. It led to the reorganisation of CEA and the rephrasing of GWWC pledge from health and poverty to more cause neutral as we have today. Others involved at the time will have more information.

One observation is that the first transition from 1st to 2nd wave was deliberate in that it was after a strategic review conducted by CEA, whilst the second transition was imposed by events. Perhaps the consequence of the first transition also has a influence (not sure how strong) on the trajectory of the second transition which is still unfolding.

Thanks so much for a great post Luke. I have been a strategic supporter of EA from the early days, both meta and longtermism organisations. As you elude to I remember the strategic review in EA in 2015/2016 which led to the pivot and emphasis on career contribution and longtermism. Whilst I agree that existential risks and longtermism are very important and should be empathised, I wholeheartedly agree with your thinking that it should be as well as rather than instead of giving. There is no reason imho that the two should be exclusive, but rather they are synergistic. I know of many in high impact positions working on existential risks that came through GWWC, and they voiced concerns about the health of the EA community on the overemphasis of existential risks at the exclusion of others. I think the value of GWWC goes way beyond just the money given, it is also extremely valuable in ourteach - that is why GWWC is often quoted as an example in all kinds of contexts when promoting EA because it is is a very tangible example of a group of people acting on their EA principles, and I experience this first hand at UHNW outreach. I am so glad when GWWC was given new emphasis and you joning as ED.

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