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Comments

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.

The case for investing to give later

Thanks both! I largely agree and have incorporated an updated estimate into the new model (see above).

The case for investing to give later

Thank you MichaelA; happy to hear this was useful to you. I look forward to reading your post as well.

The case for investing to give later

Thanks! I largely agree with your comment on the risk of loss and have incorporated it into the new model.

The case for investing to give later
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.

Long-term investment fund at Founders Pledge

Thanks Siebe. On (3) the fund as we currently see it would indeed attempt to address both (e.g. via evaluation on both that FP would also do otherwise), but it's a useful distinction to make.

Women's Empowerment: Founders Pledge report and recommendations

Hi Habryka, just wanted to draw your attention to the update above, which is in part referring to some of your comments that have been incorporated in the new version of the report. Thanks for those!

Women's Empowerment: Founders Pledge report and recommendations

Hi Habryka,

This is to thank you (and others) once more for all your comments here, and to let you know they have been useful and we have incorporated some changes to account for them in a new version of the report, which will be published in March or April. They were also useful in our internal discussion on how to frame our research, and we plan to keep improving our communication around this throughout the rest of the year, e.g. by publishing a blog post / brief on cause prioritisation for our members.

I also largely agree with the views you express in your last post above, insofar as they pertain to the contents of this report specifically. However, very importantly, I should stress that your comments do not apply to FP research generally: we generally choose the areas we research through cause prioritisation / in a cause neutral way, and we do try to answer the question 'how can we achieve the most good' in the areas we investigate, not (even) shying away from harder-to-measure impact. In fact, we are moving more and more in the latter direction, and are developing research methodology to do so (see e.g. our recently published methodology brief on policy interventions).

Some of our reports so far have been an exception to these rules for pragmatic (though impact-motivated) reasons, mainly:

  • We quickly needed to build a large enough 'basic' portfolio of relatively high-impact charities, so that we could make good recommendations to our members.
  • There are some causes our members ask lots of questions about / are extra interested in, and we want to be able to say something about those areas, even if we in the end recommend them to focus on other areas instead, when we find better opportunities there.

But there's definitely ways in which we can improve the framing of these exceptions, and the comments you provided have already been helpful in that way.

Women's Empowerment: Founders Pledge report and recommendations

Very quick reply as I don't have much time now: note that this statistic is about intimate partner violence and sexual violence (where there is a clear difference between men and women), not about violence as a whole. This is clear in the body of the report; the statistic was shortened (though still correct) for the executive summary. Of course this doesn't fully change your point, but it does influence it a little bit. (I agree that when looking at violence generally we should compare the two) Note also, as noted in the edit to the main post, that this report was not arrived at through cause prioritization, and that is not what the introduction tries to do; it merely gives an overview of the problems one could solve in this area. The introduction/overview is hence not what should be most interesting to a cause-neutral reader; that should be the charity evaluations, as they can be compared to charities in other areas.

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