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The case for investing to give later

Hi Imma, thanks for your comments, and happy to hear this post has been useful for you! The research project behind it actually resulted in this report, which also tackles some of your follow-up suggestions :). I'll make sure this is edited in at the top of the post, so people can more easily find it.

Announcing the Patient Philanthropy Fund

Thanks for raising this Peter; I agree it would be great to have tax-deductible donation options from other countries as well, and we'd love for local EA groups to pick this up. It's unfortunately not something we as Founders Pledge can prioritize, as we'd expect the total size of these donations to be relatively small compared to those of our members (who can use the Founders Pledge Donor-Advised Funds) and of non-members living in the three geographies you mention.

Announcing the Patient Philanthropy Fund

Thanks Kyle!

The growth targets will of course always be somewhat arbitrary, but they are based on a number of considerations:

  • $1m was based on what we thought was achievable (based on "market research"/early conversations) + is large enough for people to feel good about making $100k+ contributions post-launch, which is the ballpark we're aiming for among FP members + is a nice round target of course
  • $10m came from discussions in the FP investment committee on what is roughly a size at which you can start making private equity investments from a transaction costs, risk management and access perspective
  • $100m is based on all investment options being open at that point + a size at which a Fund could reasonably fund itself + a size at which the Fund is too much of a responsibility for the FP board to want to carry + a size at which it's too large a part of FP's overall product for it to make sense to stay within FP. The trigger for spin-out is either $100m or 10 years with minimum $10m at that point, because we wanted to be really clear about committing to spinning out the Fund at some point.

On the Fund's balance: we'll be sharing regular and milestone updates with the Fund's funders, on our blog and on the Fund webpage. I like the idea of having a (near-)live counter on the Fund's page at some point, and will raise this with our tech team to see if we can implement it.

Event-driven mission correlated investing and the 2020 US election

Thanks for this post jh. It's an interesting idea that indeed seems worth exploring more. As an aside/Just musing, I wonder whether there are opportunities to correlate things that we'd like to be correlated with each other beyond philanthropy, e.g. in our careers or personal lives.

Where are you donating in 2020 and why?

Hi George, thanks for sharing this! You wrote in your blog that you were considering investing your money, but that this was difficult in the UK. If you are referring to investing to give rather than just postponing for a year, FYI we'll likely have a Long-Term Investment Fund at Founders Pledge by the end of next year, which we might open up to the public and will likely be accessible from the UK. Do let me know if this would interest you, as knowing there is non-member interest might inform our decisions around opening it up.

Investing to Give: FP Research Report

Good question! There certainly is a strong case for funding global priorities research now, but there are multiple reasons why investing to give could still be better:

  • Certain insights make other insights easier to have: there might be a certain order in which insights need to be had, or at least a certain order might make things easier, and this could take time.
  • Funding to achieve these insights might be done by someone else in the counterfactual, and this other person or institution might not otherwise give to (as) high-impact stuff. Note that I'm not just talking about "targeted" global priorities research here: new insights might also come from or be aided by work by non-EA institutions.
  • Money isn't directly fungible with research results/it takes time to build the field of global priorities research: just throwing more money at e.g. the Global Priorities Institute will hit strong diminishing returns, and it takes time for enough talented researchers to be trained so that the field can absorb more funding.
The case for investing to give later

We certainly do, though we normally receive our funding from a small group of closely-connected funders rather than collecting donations publicly. But if you're interested in making a donation, please do reach out to info@founderspledge.com :).

Investing to Give: FP Research Report

Thanks for your comment. Please note though that most types of "flow-through effects" (including those in your example, if I understand you correctly) are included in the analysis.

Investment-like giving opportunities (as defined in the report) are only a very small subset of interventions with substantial flow-through effects, namely those whose gains are reprioritised towards the highest-impact opportunities at a later point in time. Giving to them is similar to investing to give in that both can benefit from exogenous learning.

The case for investing to give later
That is to say: if there's a sufficient compounding effect from movement building that we can't replace with money, then maybe we should spend a lot now on movement building.

I agree in principle, though it seems harder to ensure for other categories of movement-building that they will lead to prolonged compounding: encouraging investment seems the most straightforward way to make that happen, but not necessarily the only way.

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