Rachel Weinberg

689 karmaJoined Medford, MA, USA


(This is ultimately up to retro funders, and they each might handle cases like this differently.)

In my opinion, by that definition of true value which is accounting for other opportunities and limited resources, they should just pay $100 for it. If LTFF is well-calibrated, they do not pay any more (in expectation) in the impact market than they do with regular grantmaking, because 99% of project like this will fail, and LTFF will pay nothing for those. So there is still the same amount of total surplus, but LTFF is only paying for the projects that actually succeeded.

I think irl, the “true value” thing you’re talking about is still dependent on real wages, because it’s sensitive to the other opportunities that LTFF has which are funding people’s real wages.

There's a different type of "true value", which is like how much would the free market pay for AI safety researchers if it could correctly account for existential risk reduction which is an intergenerational public good. If they tried to base valuations on that, they'd pay more in the impact market than they would with grants.

I think there is still surplus-according-to-the-funders-values in this impact market specifically, just as much as there is with regular grants. Retro funders were not asked to assign valuations based on their "true values" where maybe 1 year of good AI safety research is worth in the 7 figures (though what this "true value" thing would even mean I do not quite understand). Instead, they were asked to "operate on a model where they treat retrospective awards the same as prospective awards, multiplied by a probability of success." So they get the same surplus as usual, just with more complete information when deciding how much to pay.

Thanks for the feedback! Geographic diversity in particular does seem pretty important for getting the most out of regranting—much dissatisfaction about the current funding situation comes from how much harder it is to get funded if you're not well-connected in the Bay Area community.

I'm disappointed that we currently don't even have much UK representation, since that's the other EA hub. This is largely because we are based in the SF so are better connected here. As Austin said, happy to hear suggestions for people connected in other areas who could better surface new opportunities!

Tbh I see myself as a person who build infrastructure, but also as said in my other comment, being a regrantor helps me do that much better. And yes we told our primary donor we were doing this in advance.

First want to say that I was also pretty uncomfortable about this, and initially told Austin I didn't want to do it—you’re right that I am not qualified to be a grant maker, at least in the sense that I would not be hired as one in another context. I don’t deserve whatever status that role happens to bestow upon me, and I don’t particularly want the power.

That said, me being a regrantor has made the UX much better, since I’m basically the sole person pushing code and dogfooding is so powerful: it’s changed the prompting questions on write-ups, the way projects in need of more funding are displayed, the way funding targets are specified, and lots of other tiny things that were a bit uglier or higher friction or simply broken before. Less concretely, my model of what it feels like to write a publicly visible grant writeup, to search for giving opportunities, to select grant amounts, etc. has become more vivid, which I expect to be strategically useful going forward. And it's only been a few weeks so far.

So, I agree it’s bad optically (I agree-voted your comment), but ultimately think this was a good call. Especially because the counterfactual of having not given me the $50k is not that it would be going to some better-evaluated grants than the ones I’ve made, but that it would be sitting in a bank account, and (obviously) I think the grants I’ve made are better than that.

stay tuned 🙃....

We've implemented something to allow everyone to participate now! Non-accredited investors can still put money into Manifund, grow their portfolio by investing in impact certs, and ultimately donate any money in their account to charity. They just can't withdraw. It works a lot like mana on Manifold, except that when you add money it counts as a tax-deductible donation.

Yeah, that's where I took most of my data from. They did a great job of collecting the data which I'm super grateful for, but their UI doesn't make it easy to find stuff, which is why I made this site.

Yeah that's the hard part that I'm going to be thinking about a lot this week. My guess is some funders will be easy to automatically update because they release their grants in a CSV and I already have scripts for reading them (EA funds, Open Phil), but others need to be done very manually which seems super annoying (ACX). I would probably only add the donations of major funds and not scrape people's blogs or whatever Vipul/Issa did to add a lot of smaller donations, excepting maybe connecting with Giving What We Can from individuals' donation data.

Anyway, I probably don't want to spent more than ~3 hours once per month updating the data, but I'll try to be as efficient as possible with that time!

Thanks for letting me know, should be fixed now.

The data mostly comes from Vipul's donations site. On top of that we added last years EAF, Open Phil, and SFF grants, and removed some Bill and Melinda Gates/Vitalik Buterin donations that dominated the data but weren't very EA. 

Are there any funders we're missing that you'd want to be added?

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