5Joined Feb 2016


Hi Denis, thanks for sharing. I looked briefly at the page, and have filed for review; I reached out to GiveWell twice: a couple years ago, and then recently after they visited Twitter, where one collaborator is working. Their response both times was "busy working on their research", so I'm not going to reach out to them anymore. But as I understand it, over time and more recently they have evolved from a more "minimal" model to one encompassing more breadth; I can't remember the specifics, but anyway they're evolving. So it's interesting to learn about some of the dynamics.

I guess most recently it's felt like the approaches, especially around impact ratings, probably deserve to be in a completely open and transparent framework, in part to allow input and innovation to help them be more impactful. In terms of the specific issue of people hesitating to support a cause because of waiting for social signals (not me first), that wouldn't be a problem for the RGB Exchange, because it's at the other end of the spectrum, in terms of the size of the donations.

Without having read every word, sounds like you were trying to think of ways of balancing and democratizing uptake, and I agree with that. To me, I have less interest in trying to pre-define the perfect way of doing things, but to go in, try, and then be 100% open to feedback. I guess I'm approach-neutral -- to me, whatever results in the most impact is best.

So thanks again for mentioning, and please do consider pulling away from what you're doing, your skills are super valuable and hard to find, and I urge you to devote more time to impact projects (perhaps that's what you're doing, hats off). Otherwise, RGB Foundation is 501c3 and could certainly use financial support. Feel free to email if you'd like to try the demo. You're also invited to join the email list at (as is anyone)

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Thanks Josh, very helpful, serendipity not surprising, I've seen increasing evidence of portfolio-based giving. Agora looks pretty nice, looks like they have big backing - I'm open to feedback, and I think there are differentiators, including the market-based extension, but for the sake of debate, do you think that given Agora's existence, I should just defer the experiment to them and close up shop? The tone I'm taking is: serious, and humble.

I don't have strong feelings, except I think that the market-based extension is important, and some other things I'm planning on doing.

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Hi Brendon, thanks for thoughts. I got your email separately and appreciate the conversation.

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Hi Robert, in Phase 1 it would be more like a donation platform. Robert would go to the RGB Exchange, add desired non-profits to your portfolio, and then donate. The main value as I see it with that model it to help people manage ongoing giving in a single place, and to make it as easy and fun as possible. The natural extension of this we're talking about experimenting with is creating pre-established portfolios that might include a desired selection of non-profits, so by investing in one, it is supporting a sector, for example. And the "meta" extension would be to set it up so anyone could make and publish a suggested portfolio for others, such as any user, an independent analyst, company or organization. The last bit is intended to help foster an ecosystem.

I feel like it's more solid to start with donations and then to extend into a market based system. The market-based extension would be to assign a virtual share to each donation, not signifying financial ownership, but symbolically representing the impact of that donation. And it's meant not to be definitive or perfect, but a starting point - one novel approach is to develop impact ratings, and have those affect the virtual share price through an algorithm, to harness market forces in alerting people to impact, so that the user Robert could go in, look at a non-profit, and look at the virtual share price and it's performance, and see how it's been doing, and then also look at the impact ratings. So this extension would be like the first - you go and choose non-profits to invest in, but there's more inputs and experiments to reflect impact, and the main experiment is "virtual shares".

How does that strike you? If you'd like to look at the demo you can email me at

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