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.
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.
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:
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 email@example.com :).
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.
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.
Thanks both! I largely agree and have incorporated an updated estimate into the new model (see above).
Thank you MichaelA; happy to hear this was useful to you. I look forward to reading your post as well.
Thanks! I largely agree with your comment on the risk of loss and have incorporated it into the new model.
If (say) the total pool of EA-aligned funds grows by 50% over the next 5 years due to additional donors joining—which seems extremely plausible—it seems like that should make the marginal opportunity much more than 10% less good.
I'm not sure whether it would, considering, for example, the large room for funding GiveWell opportunities have had for multiple years (and will likely keep having) and their seemingly hardly diminishing cost-effectiveness on the margin (though data are obviously noisy here/there are other explanations).
But I do take your point that this is not a very conservative estimate. I'll update them from 1%/2% to 2%/4%, thank you!
but used 7% as your conservative estimate in the spreadsheet and in the bottom-line estimates you reported.
See the rest of the paragraph you refer to: the 5% is my conservative estimate for index investing, the 7% for investing more generally.