Five New EA Charities with High Potential for Impact

post by Joey · 2020-10-14T12:15:26.666Z · score: 127 (64 votes) · EA · GW · 10 comments

Contents

  LEAD EXPOSURE ELIMINATION PROJECT (LEEP)
  ​ANIMAL ASK
  FAMILY EMPOWERMENT MEDIA (FEM)
  ​GIVING GREEN
  CANOPIE
None
10 comments

Cross-posted from Charity Entrepreneurship blog.

Hundreds of ideas researched, thousands of applications considered, and a two-month intensive Incubation Program culminated in five new charities being founded. Each of these charities has the potential to have a large impact on the world and to become one of the most cost-effective in their field. 

We’re delighted to announce the five new charities who have just launched through our 2020 Incubation Program: 

LEAD EXPOSURE ELIMINATION PROJECT (LEEP)

​Co-founders: Lucia Coulter, Jack Rafferty 
Website: leadelimination.org
Contact: contact@leadelimination.org
CE Incubation Grant: $60,000
Room for more funding: $25,000
Donation page: leadelimination.org/donate/

Description of the intervention: 
LEEP advocates for lead paint regulation to reduce lead poisoning and improve the health, well-being, and potential of children worldwide.

Background of the intervention: 
One in three children has dangerous levels of lead in their bloodstream. This lead acts as a powerful toxin that causes irreversible harm to their brains and vital organs. It results in reduced intelligence, lower educational attainment, behavioral disorders, increased tendencies for violent crime, cardiovascular disease, and reduced lifetime earnings. 

The impact on cognitive development is responsible for an estimated $1 trillion of income loss per year in LMICs alone, while the health effects cause 1 million deaths and 22.4 million DALYs per year, accounting for 1% of the global burden of disease. A primary cause of lead exposure is lead paint, which is widespread and unregulated in over 100 countries.

LEEP advocates for regulation of lead paint in countries with large and growing burdens of lead poisoning from paint, where no-one else is working on the issue. Their approach is to identify these countries, create incentives through awareness, and support governments to develop and introduce lead paint laws.

For more details on LEEP, read their introductory post [EA · GW] on the EA forum. To hear about their progress, sign up for their newsletter

Near-term plans:
LEEP’s first priority is country selection to ensure they target tractable, high-burden, and neglected countries. They have so far identified Malawi as their most promising country on this basis. Over the next two months, LEEP will be testing the levels of lead in new paints on the market in Malawi and building relationships with stakeholders and decision-makers. Depending on findings and progress from this stage, they will either pilot their advocacy campaign in Malawi to introduce lead paint regulation, or pivot to another promising country.

​ANIMAL ASK

​Co-founders: George Bridgwater, Amy Odene
Website: www.animalask.org
Contact: info@animalask.org
CE Incubation Grant: $100,000
Room for more funding: In early 2021 when we have evaluated our organizational worth to the movement, we may seek additional funding. 

Description of the intervention:
Animal Ask was founded with the express aim to assist animal advocacy organizations in their efforts to reduce farmed animal suffering by providing research to help optimize and prioritize future asks.

Background of the intervention: 
Billions of animals suffer on factory farms every year. The animal advocacy movement has so far done great work to help alleviate animal suffering, building up expertise in both public and corporate campaigns and spending a significant amount of resources on these methods. The foundation of these campaigns is what is referred to as an ask. This is the specific request for industry, food companies, or government to improve the welfare of animals in their care. These animal welfare asks are implemented over a set period of time and if successful, can change the lives of millions of animals. 

There are a huge number of potential asks we could make with a large range in the effect on animal welfare, price increase, and probability of success.
There is currently limited capacity and resources for this specialized work. Therefore, Animal Ask will be uniquely placed as the only research organization entirely committed to the comparison and formation of impactful farmed animal asks.

Charity Entrepreneurship estimates that the difference in value between the best and worst ask, already being reasonably considered, could be as great as three times as much impact. If Animal Ask’s research supports organizations to determine this optimal ask they would have a huge counterfactual impact.

Near-term plans:
Animal Ask’s short-term focus is to establish high-priority relationships with mission-aligned organizations, supporting them with their current strategic agendas and priorities and conducting research to assist with their most pressing considerations.

They are currently in their pilot phase and are now focusing on developing proof of concept for the organization. They are looking to support an organization in their decision-making considerations for an upcoming ask. This will help to increase the impact of the ask that is ultimately used while simultaneously helping test their model. They will use the findings to iterate on their research process and integrate any feedback from the organization into their future plans. Any organization wishing to utilize this additional research resource should get in touch for more information. 

They are also currently looking for advisory board members to support them in their mission and would welcome individuals with an interest in their work to get in touch.

They will publicly launch their charity in November, and would love you to engage with their work and share their various platforms amongst your networks to ensure that Animal Ask has the greatest overall impact for animals.

FAMILY EMPOWERMENT MEDIA (FEM)

Co-founders: Ken Scheffler, Anna Christina Thorsheim
Website: familyempowermentmedia.org
Contact: contact form or contact@familyempowermentmedia.org
CE Incubation Grant: $75,000
Room for more funding: $35,000
Donation page: https://www.familyempowermentmedia.org/donate

Short description of intervention: 
Family Empowerment Media (FEM) is an evidence-based nonprofit that aims to enable informed family planning and birth spacing decisions through clear, compelling, and accurate radio-based communication. FEM will produce and distribute public service announcements and interactive programs to increase awareness and knowledge of modern forms of contraception. 

Landscape
Currently, 270 million sexually active women want to avoid pregnancies but are not using contraception. The reason is often not lack of availability of contraceptives. Rather, lack of awareness and misplaced fears about side effects are frequently the main barriers.

In countries with developing health systems, unintended pregnancies can have severe health consequences. Unintended pregnancies lead to an estimated 96 thousand deaths per year due to unsafe abortions and other complications. Obstetric fistula, anemia, and depression are just a few of the other health burdens resulting from unintended pregnancies. On the other hand, access to contraception has been shown to improve maternal health and employment prospects, and help girls and women stay in school longer.

Radio can be an especially powerful tool in disseminating information about family planning. In many countries, radio is the most widely trusted and consumed form of media, reaching communities with high need. Studies have demonstrated that information provided through radio campaigns can be highly cost-effective in helping families realize their family planning intentions. 

Near term plans: 
FEM has started to launch in Nigeria, one of the most dangerous countries in the world to give birth. Over the next few months, FEM will hire a local Research and Communications Manager, conduct formative research, and establish partnerships with a media production agency and radio stations. By August 2021, FEM will have completed a one-week proof of concept with one radio station and a three-month pilot with two radio stations, reaching hundreds of thousands of individuals and couples with our messages. 

​GIVING GREEN

Co-founders: Dan Stein, Nicholas Parker
Website: idinsight.org/givinggreen
Contact: nicholas.parker@idinsight.org
CE Incubation Grant: $60,000
Room for more funding: Currently looking to fundraise $1 million over the next 12 months.
Donations: contact Nicholas Parker at nicholas.parker@idinsight.org

Description of the intervention:
Giving Green is a new initiative at IDinsight incubated by Charity Entrepreneurship that aims to direct dollars towards evidence-backed projects that combat the climate crisis. 

Background of the intervention:
We are in a climate crisis. Public and private actors are investing billions of dollars in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Unfortunately, the evidence on whether these projects are effective is limited, unclear, or inaccessible. Millions of people around the world want to fight climate change, but they do not know where to start. Who should they donate to? Where should they volunteer? What can they realistically do to fight climate change? 

Giving Green wants to answer these questions. The organization is producing an actionable and dynamically updated set of recommendations for how to support projects that are demonstrably reducing atmospheric GHG. Their product is a public good that is uniquely scientific, transparent, and independent. Their site launched late last year and is very much in beta/proof of concept mode but it has been generating excitement with their recommendations being picked up by Vox and the New York Times. Follow their founders on Twitter to see recommendations as they come out in real time: @DanStein_econ and @nickwolfparker

Near-term plans: 
Giving Green will be launching a new website with much more research and new recommendations in November. They are currently focused on several research workstreams and doing due diligence on some of their likely recommendations.

CANOPIE

Co-founders: Ann Don Bosco, Anne Wanlund
Website: www.canopie.org
Contact: awanlund@canopie.org
CE Incubation Grant: $50,000
Room for more funding: $76,000
Donations: https://give.cornerstone.cc/canopie

Description of the intervention: 
Meeting a highly neglected and widespread gap within the global burden of disease, Canopie is addressing mental health for pre- and postpartum women through guided cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Guided CBT is cost-effective, scalable, and evidence-based. We are developing and testing a program to treat pregnancy-related mental health issues in the United States and plan to scale to a low or middle income country in 2022. 

Background of the intervention:
Combined, depression and anxiety are the largest contributor to the global burden of disease. Pregnancy-related mood disorders are extremely common, affecting up to 35 million new mothers globally every year, yet most cases go undiagnosed and untreated. Anxiety and depression have long-term consequences for mothers, who frequently go on to experience chronic depression. Children of untreated mothers are more likely to have behavioral issues, lower educational attainment, and are at greater risk of malnutrition. 

In the U.S., most health-care providers feel ill-equipped to address mental health issues in their patients. There are very few evidence-based, scalable solutions that exist as resources for providers to screen, care for, and refer patients – particularly new mothers. Yet, guided CBT can be delivered in a way that does not burden existing providers, and is as effective as face-to-face treatment. 

We will be integrating guided CBT with existing health services to ensure women have access to critical support. 


The early stages of a nonprofit is a crucial time for its future success.
​Please consider whether you can give these charities support through your advice, time, or donations.

You can also sign up for our newsletter to be notified about the 2021 Incubation Program
​and to learn more about the progress of our charities.

10 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Dan Stein (daniel.stein@idinsight.org) · 2020-10-14T16:38:47.485Z · score: 15 (11 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Hi Everyone, Dan from Giving Green here. Just a note that we'll be doing a big re-launch of our website and product (with recommendations for the 2020 giving season!) in about a month's time. We're looking forward to sharing more details of our strategy in a post here around that time. In the meantime, happy to answer questions here or chat with interested parties.

comment by Maria Shakhova · 2020-10-18T09:12:27.012Z · score: 11 (5 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

One of recommended carbon offsets is BURN. If I understand correctly, BURN provides households with more efficient stoves, which allows them to use less wood or charcoal for cooking. So carbon that would otherwise be in the atmosphere as CO2 remains in the form of trees. On the other hand, Giving Green does not recommend forestry offsets:

Of particular concern is “permanence”, which refers to the fact that in order to keep CO2 out of the atmosphere, trees must stay alive for many years. This adds an additional layer of uncertainty to any forestry project that is nearly impossible to resolve. To make things more complicated, the relationship between forests and global warming is complicated, and there is some controversy in the scientific community as to how much changing forest cover affects the temperature of the planet.

https://www.idinsight.org/reports-2/giving-green-beta-forestry-analysis

This seems inconsistent to me. Am I missing something?

comment by Dan Stein (daniel.stein@idinsight.org) · 2020-10-23T23:37:45.681Z · score: 8 (5 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Hi Maria, thanks for the note. I understand the point you're making, but I think the case of forestry and cookstoves are really quite different.  The difference is that with clean cookstove (or really any project that improves energy efficiency), you permanently remove demand for energy, which is not reversible. 

Let's take a classic impermanence example around forestry offsets. A project works for a year to conserve a hectare of forest that would have been counterfactually cut down . They are issued X carbon credits for this conservation, and sell these credits as offsets in the market. The next year, the projects shuts down (due to lack of funding, political reasons, whatever). The the trees are simply cut down the next year. So although people bought "offsets" for X tons of carbon, really their purchase only went towards delaying those emissions for one year. And that's if you're lucky- maybe two acres get cut down the next year to make up for lost time, feeding pent-up demand for forest products.

Now let's take the example of stoves. A project distributes clean cookstoves to a bunch of households. After a year they verify that these cookstoves are still in  use, and they are issued X carbon credits for fuel that would have been counterfactually consumed. No matter what happens in the future, the demand for fuel the previous year has been erased, and is not coming back. Now, I understand what you are saying- that fuel that has not been burned in the stove in theory flows back up the supply chain and results in fewer trees being cut down. But the demand pressure to cut the tree down has been permanently removed.  

I know this isn't perfect. For instance, if the forest that produces the charcoal burns down, then all the efforts we make to reduce fuel usage go up in smoke. Also, reduced charcoal demand could cause prices to go down causing a rebound effect. But I do think it's fundamentally better than just temporarily preventing a patch of forest from being cut down without addressing any of the demand issues. 

Also, it's not that we think forestry projects are fundamentally bad. We just think there are so many things that could go wrong that they are fiendishly hard to verify effectiveness. We're definitely keeping our eyes open for forestry offsets that can address all the issues, and hope to re-open this search next year. (Note that permanence is only one issues. Forestry offsets also suffer from hard-to-validate counterfactuals, and "leakage" in which trees are just cut down in other areas.)

Finally, in the end I don't want to spend too much time defending any particular offset, even the ones we recommend. I think that fundamentally, the idea that you can buy an offset and causally undo emissions with certainty is simply flawed. The world is too complex, and this level of certainty doesn't exist. We view "good" offset projects as ones that are doing good work and verifiably reducing emissions, but reject the idea that offsets can or should be used to wash away one's carbon sins. 

comment by brettvthompson · 2020-10-14T12:40:27.642Z · score: 9 (5 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Can we give directly to Jack's hair?

comment by Michal_Trzesimiech · 2020-10-14T14:19:22.534Z · score: 8 (6 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Exciting! Congratulations and all the best, everyone!

comment by aaronhamlin · 2020-10-15T05:42:32.550Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for sharing, and I like the easy-to-read format of this post! As a reminder for those considering giving that under the CARES Act (this year only) if you're in the US and don't itemize, you can make up to a $300 above-the-line deduction for cash-only charitable donations.

I'm liking LEEP & Giving Green in particular, but I'm always excited by the charities that Charity Entrepreneurship puts out.

Resources for those thinking of giving below:

CARES Act Details: https://medium.com/@aaronhamlin/a-donors-guide-to-the-cares-act-d07c7db6a5d9

Tax Efficiency & Giving:  https://medium.com/@aaronhamlin/your-guide-to-charitable-giving-and-taxes-a7c0f44c922

comment by meerpirat · 2020-10-17T06:58:07.349Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

That's really cool, thanks to all participants and those who made this happen!

In countries with developing health systems, unintended pregnancies can have severe health consequences. Unintended pregnancies lead to an estimated 96 million deaths due to unsafe abortions and other complications.

What does the 96 million mean? Over all of the past? I expected a yearly estimate that would inform us about the situation today and was confused by this huge number.

comment by Ken_Scheffler · 2020-10-20T15:47:43.510Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thank you for pointing out the copying error. It should read 96 thousand deaths per year. The number has been updated in the original post.

comment by Milan_Griffes · 2020-10-17T19:36:45.205Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

This is awesome!

Has Charity Entrepreneurship looked into Wren? https://projectwren.com

(Monthly subscription service for counterfactually-adjusted carbon offsets via reforestation etc.)

comment by Dan Stein (daniel.stein@idinsight.org) · 2020-10-23T23:53:53.375Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Hi Milan,

I can't speak for CE, but we at Giving Green have looked a bit into Wren.

Some thing I like about Wren:

  1. They seem to have put some thought and extra effort into picking offsets they think are better than normal. 
  2. They have a nice interface and good publicity, so hopefully that will crowd some money into funding good projects. 

Some things I don't like about Wren:

  1. I fundamentally disagree with the idea that measuring a 'carbon footprint' and then offsetting this footprint is a meaningful and productive way to fight climate change. People should be doing what they can to reduce their own emissions, and using their donations in the most effective ways possible. Why should the amount of carbon an individual emits be a meaningful marker for how much  one should contribute to the fight? This logic only works if offsets are seen as a way to give someone permission to undo the damage of a high-carbon lifestyle. That's a dangerous perspective, as we need to reduce emissions from all angles, not just increase on one hand and offset on the others. Plus, no offsets are certain enough to really undo a person's damage.  Giving Green recommends that individuals and organizations view offsets simply as a philanthropic contribution to a pro-climate project with an evidence-based approach to reducing emissions, rather than a way to eliminate their contribution to climate change.
  2. Their selection of recommended offsets seems a bit ad-hoc. Sometimes I get the logic of why a certain project is special in the great sea of offset projects, but other times I don't really see it. There isn't much information on their selection process or criteria- it all feels relatively non-transparent to me. Maybe someone would lob the same criticisms at Giving Green, but we've tried to be as transparent as possible, and when we re-launch our website in a couple of weeks there will be a bunch more documentation on our process and selection criteria.