Posts

EA Giving Tuesday Donation Matching Initiative 2019 Retrospective 2020-07-03T20:09:32.317Z · score: 57 (21 votes)
Some information on the use of fish oil in aquaculture 2019-03-31T22:50:30.918Z · score: 25 (11 votes)
EA Giving Tuesday Donation Matching Initiative 2018 Retrospective 2019-01-06T16:23:57.019Z · score: 85 (30 votes)
EA Giving Tuesday Donation Matching Initiative 2018 2018-11-23T13:44:42.045Z · score: 29 (12 votes)
Cost-effectiveness of The Humane League's corporate campaigns: 2015-2017 2018-03-31T22:17:06.901Z · score: 12 (12 votes)
EA #GivingTuesday Fundraiser Matching Retrospective 2018-01-14T00:48:02.297Z · score: 22 (22 votes)

Comments

Comment by avin on Coronavirus Research Ideas for EAs · 2020-03-27T23:42:46.325Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA · GW

https://pandemic.metaculus.com/ works for me. The link you have is for https://www.pandemic.metaculus.com/ though, which does not work. Maybe that's the problem?

Comment by avin on Fundraising for the Center for Health Security: My personal plan and open questions · 2020-03-27T00:59:36.119Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Because Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security is part of Johns Hopkins University rather than its own US registered nonprofit, it may not be feasible to create a Facebook fundraiser for them.

Comment by avin on The best places to donate for COVID-19 · 2020-03-20T14:10:45.211Z · score: 10 (8 votes) · EA · GW

I think the main potential benefits of GiveDirectly's COVID-19 response are (a) good PR for cash transfers, (b) an experiment to learn from, (c) bringing in more donors, and (d) persuading people to stay home rather than work. In terms of benefits for recipients though, it seems much less cost-effective than cash transfers to the extreme poor.

Comment by avin on Notes on how a recession might impact giving and EA · 2020-03-16T14:32:29.891Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I think Open Philanthropy probably would not reduce it's grantmaking because of a recession. It seems Open Philanthropy is recommending around $200 million in grants per year. Forbes estimates that Dustin Moskovitz has a net worth of around $10 billion. So they're only spending down a mere 2% of Moskovitz's net worth each year. If Moskovitz's net worth declined to $5 billion that would still only be 4% of Moskovitz's net worth. In addition, better funding opportunities for Open Philanthropy may arise during a recession as other large funders pull back.

Comment by avin on Chloramphenicol as intervention in heart attacks · 2020-02-18T05:07:08.700Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · EA · GW

This seems to be based on one study of 21 pigs.

Comment by avin on Comparing Four Cause Areas for Founding New Charities · 2020-01-25T16:01:17.923Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I'd expect some effect from that, but probably orders of magnitude smaller than the effect of increasing prices via taxation.

Comment by avin on What are good options for giving later? · 2019-12-25T21:48:16.166Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Assuming you're in the US: How about a Vanguard Brokerage account and a Google spreadsheet?

In a Vanguard Brokerage account, you can invest in something like Total World Stock Market. Then to donate from the account, you could do any of the following:

  • Donate appreciated shares through a Vanguard DAF. I understand that you can open a DAF and close it after you're done making your donation to avoid annual minimums and fees.
  • Donate appreciated shares directly, which you should do only if the recipient organization can easily accept them.
  • Sell the shares, preferably after holding them for at least 1 year, and then donate cash. This might be worthwhile (a) if you decide to donate to something that is not a 501(c)(3) or (b) to try to get your donations matched by Facebook on Giving Tuesday, if you judge the expected value to be higher than the tax benefits forfeited.

You should also tax loss harvest as needed.

And then you can keep track of your contributions, donations, and other details you want to keep track of in a Google spreadsheet.

Comment by avin on EA Giving Tuesday, Dec 3, 2019: Instructions for Donors · 2019-11-27T02:59:54.725Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Hi Brian. Thanks for the feedback and letting us know about your experience.

So, in our testing from the US this year, we've seen that donations made at :00 on the dot typically generate receipts with :02. It seems plausible that being in Manila is causing longer than expected delays. Though if you've only tried one $5 donation, perhaps you could try a few more of them?

It's also normal for Facebook to take much longer to return a "Thank you for your purchase ... " than it shows up in your receipt. I'll make a note to clarify this in our practice instructions.

When we say "try to donate within the first second," we've left that a bit vague, to avoid being too verbose. However, it seems that this language may be confusing. Do you think maybe a footnote would help? Or do you have other suggestions on how we could make it more clear what we mean?

Comment by avin on EA Giving Tuesday, Dec 3, 2019: Instructions for Donors · 2019-11-26T23:46:18.761Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Hi Mike. Do you think we should be more clear in our language? We're recommending donating within the first second because (a) we want to emphasize the importance of speed and (b) it is plausible the match will actually end in 1 second, even though a few seconds is probably more likely. But we also don't want people to misunderstand the difficulty of this and feel hopeless.

Comment by avin on EA Giving Tuesday, Dec 3, 2019: Instructions for Donors · 2019-11-25T22:44:28.524Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA · GW

A $9,999 donation can be finalized in 1 click, so with some preparation and practice, it can be done in 1 second. It's also possible to finalize 2 x $9,999 donations in 1 second, though it requires skill and more practice.

A 1 second match end time is plausible, but it's not the most likely outcome. So probably 2 x $9,999 successful donations in 2 seconds would get matched. The max match amount per donor is $20,000 and this is just $2 short of that.

Comment by avin on Choosing effective university for donations · 2019-11-14T02:42:20.727Z · score: 8 (7 votes) · EA · GW

The difference in effectiveness between even EA-aligned organizations may differ by a large factor, much larger than 3x. For instance:

  • This 80,000 Hours survey found that a sample of EA leaders believe that the cost-effectiveness of donating to different EA Funds (representing different cause areas) may differ by up to 33x.
  • GiveWell estimates that the cost effectiveness of their top charities may differ by up to 9x.

So I'd exercise caution before making donation decisions based on a 3x matching opportunity. You could end up donating to something that's much less than 1/3 effective.

Comment by avin on Should CEA buy ea.org? · 2019-10-05T00:46:33.445Z · score: 10 (7 votes) · EA · GW

This all sounds correct to me. Just to add: the organization had a revenue of $31 million in 2017, so they're not going to sell their domain for cheap.

https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-2751173

Comment by avin on Best thing at EAG SF 2019? · 2019-06-26T16:24:13.111Z · score: 9 (7 votes) · EA · GW

I attended only 1 talk aside from the opening and closing session. I filled up most of my time with (a) meetings and office hours with specific goals, (b) conversations with random people, and (c) time to myself. This strategy worked well for me and I'll probably make it a point to attend 0 talks next year.

Through the planned meetings I had, I learned more about (a) career decisions, specifically infosec careers in GCR (b) how to run EA Giving Tuesday better, and (c) prioritizing causes better.

Comment by avin on Amazon Smile · 2019-06-16T01:08:48.853Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

They can now be found as "GiveWell" in San Francisco, CA. I think they changed their legal name at some point.

Comment by avin on What new EA project or org would you like to see created in the next 3 years? · 2019-06-14T23:44:55.717Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

You can share one login and password among multiple people if you trust your team members enough.

Comment by avin on What new EA project or org would you like to see created in the next 3 years? · 2019-06-14T04:44:23.455Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

You can do this for free with Rebrandly, though only the admin account can create links.

Comment by avin on [Link] MacKenzie Bezos signs the Giving Pledge · 2019-06-01T14:32:32.403Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

(I'm not arguing any particular position here. Just mentioning some considerations.)

I think tweeting to Jeff Bezos seems fine, though I'd hope that someone's first response would be "I should make sure Effective Giving saw this" rather than "I should tweet my favorite EA charity at him".

Maybe? Although I think there were some advantages to tweeting him directly:

  • He was asking for tweets, not for organizations to reach out to him via some other way.
  • I imagine it's going to be very, very difficult for organizations to get a hold of Bezos, and I don't think his tweet changed that.
  • A grassroots EA tweeting effort could generate maybe 100 tweets from different individuals which was 0.2% of the overall 47k tweets. That seems to have provided a nontrivial chance of getting his attention, which seems net positive if the tweeters are careful about content.

Still, it might be the case that the best course of action would have been to run it by Effective Giving, either beforehand or in addition.

I don't read Ricky Gervais as being entirely unserious, so responding to him might be reasonable.

I think he was partially serious too, but he didn't explicitly ask for suggestions like Bezos did.

Some considerations I'd make before tweeting at him:
* What's his history in this area? Does he have a record of supporting animal charities? Does he Tweet about bacon all the time, making this an obvious joke?

He's very pro-animals.

* Do the PR people at the animal charities I support know about this Tweet? Should they be the ones to send something, if anyone does?

I think they found out about it from my post, or possibly via some other method. There are a number of tweets there by Animal Charity Evaluators, The Humane League, Vegan Outreach, the Nonhuman Rights Project, etc, or from their employees.

* Are people already deluging him with charity suggestions? If so, how can I make my Tweet stand out, if I plan to send one at all?

As noted above, merely increasing the ratio of EA to non-EA tweet replies would likely increase the probability that it gets his attention. There is of course the possibility that the attention is counterproductive if looks like charity spam.

Comment by avin on [Link] MacKenzie Bezos signs the Giving Pledge · 2019-05-29T13:21:35.676Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for sharing your views on this. I'm now updating towards the view of "don't tweet wealthy people about EA unless they explicitly ask for donation suggestions."

Here are some past examples of EAs tweeting wealthy people with donation advice:

  • Jeff Bezos: In this case he's asking for advice, so tweets that are consistent with what he's asking for seem appropriate. For instance, I think I suggested GiveDirectly to him. Do you share this view?
  • Ricky Gervais: This seems like the kind of tweet that EAs should not reply to in your view, since it's a (half-joking?) mention of his intention to donate to help animals, without asking for suggestions. Does that capture your view on this? (Disclaimer: I crossposted this to the Facebook EAA group and may be indirectly responsible for most of the tweets from EAs here. Maybe that was a mistake.)
Comment by avin on Why isn't GV psychedelics grantmaking housed under Open Phil? · 2019-05-28T00:05:09.538Z · score: 11 (5 votes) · EA · GW

It's Dustin and Cari's money, so it's their decision what to do with it.

Comment by avin on Stories and altruism · 2019-05-20T13:05:58.175Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

The movie Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) caused me to reflect on how people -- including myself -- might rationalize their contributions to harm, or their lack of responsibility for preventing it.

Comment by avin on What is the Impact of Beyond Meat? · 2019-05-05T01:46:15.041Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I think it's bad for Beyond Meat's brand to sell low quality products though as they've done in the past.

Comment by avin on What is the Impact of Beyond Meat? · 2019-05-05T01:43:38.186Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Their approach seems like the right move to me:

I CAN’T FIND BEYOND CHICKEN STRIPS IN MY GROCERY STORE. ARE THEY DISCONTINUED?
At Beyond Meat, we’re constantly innovating and renovating our products based on consumer feedback. Unfortunately, our Chicken Strips weren’t delivering the same plant-based meat experience as some of our more popular products, like the Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage. But, there’s good news. We have a team of chefs and scientists who are working on getting an even better, tastier version of Beyond Chicken Strips back on retail shelves and restaurant menus as soon as possible. Until then, we hope you enjoy the Beyond Burger, Beyond Sausage, and Beyond Beef Crumbles, and some new products we have in the works for 2019!
Comment by avin on What is the Impact of Beyond Meat? · 2019-05-04T14:41:16.473Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I believe sausages typically contain pork, so Beyond Sausages might make the numbers look a little better.

Beyond Meat also had a disappointing chicken product, but it looks like they've discontinued sales, and are working on a better chicken product.

Comment by avin on Reasons to eat meat · 2019-04-28T13:07:34.863Z · score: 12 (6 votes) · EA · GW

The Charity Entrepreneurship report doesn't seem to mention that beef cattle spend around half their lives on pasture. They are also including some dairy cattle considerations that don't apply to beef cattle, e.g. tie stalls. I think this might be skewing their report to a more negative estimate than appropriate.

Comment by avin on Reasons to eat meat · 2019-04-23T12:59:16.795Z · score: 15 (7 votes) · EA · GW

I think creating distinctions between directly causing harm vs allowing harm to be caused is likely to reduce a person's effectiveness at doing good in the world. I think causing harm in an abstract way that doesn't violate social norms is basically OK if it leads to something more good. For instance, if I advocate to a funder to cut funding to a less effective program and use that funding for a more effective program, I am causing harm to the recipients of the program that got cut. I think that's fine and a good thing to do.

Comment by avin on [Question] Pros/Cons of Donor-Advised Fund · 2019-04-23T01:31:58.266Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

A knowledgable EA friend of mine has suggested using DAFs for the limited purpose of donating appreciated stock to organizations that do not routinely handle such requests. He said at Vanguard, you can open a DAF, donate your appreciated stock to the DAF, instruct the DAF to donate the appreciated stock to the organization(s), and then close the DAF.

You can find some more reliable information here, though not from an EA perspective.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Donor_advised_fund

Comment by avin on kbog did an oopsie! (new meat eater problem numbers) · 2019-04-14T21:23:00.934Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for following up on this and posting a correction. I'd suggest updating your original post to include your updated fish consumption estimates. Or if that's too much work, a correction on that post with a link to this new one would be helpful. As it stands now, it still says: "I also excluded fish because there is no significant correlation between income and fish consumption in African countries." I think people are likely to find your original post when researching the meat eater problem, especially since the corresponding EA Concepts page cites it.

Comment by avin on Why animal charities are much more effective than human ones · 2019-04-13T13:04:09.481Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Since there are less than 1 million elephants alive today, even if each elephant has modestly more moral value than each human, elephant welfare is still very unlikely to meet the importance criteria.

Comment by avin on Some information on the use of fish oil in aquaculture · 2019-04-03T01:47:55.451Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for the feedback! Yes, I agree that many of the considerations for fishmeal and fish oil are similar. I originally wrote this post a long time ago which is why I did not reference your report in it, but I've now included it under "Some useful sources."

A few comments on your report:

  • Your report says: "These days, any of the fish that are farmed more intensively around the world are carnivorous ... " This was confusing on a first read, but I assume that was a typo and you meant many? As far as I know, the vast majority of farmed fish are omnivorous or herbivorous.
  • I don't think it's correct to say that the fishmeal industry is on the decline. This World Bank report projects low growth through 2030. The current numbers are very high as well. Amongst vertebrates used by humans, feed fish are near the top in number of individuals.
  • You mention cultured meat as a possibility. A major obstacle to the competitiveness of cultured meat is the need for very low-cost culture media. See Open Phil's report. To me it seems the approach of growing proteins and fatty acids in yeast, plants, etc. is likely to be relatively more feasible. As you note, companies are working on this already.
  • As of last month, fishmeal prices seem to be far more expensive than the number you mention, at $1470 per metric ton. Soybean meal prices have increased too though, at $353 per metric ton.
Comment by avin on EA Forum Prize: Winners for February 2019 · 2019-04-01T00:28:32.224Z · score: 36 (17 votes) · EA · GW

I'm surprised that "After one year of applying for EA jobs: It is really, really hard to get hired by an EA organisation" did not win, given that:

  • It started an important conversation, likely valuable for people seeking EA jobs, people providing EA career advice, and people hiring for EA jobs.
  • It generated 259 upvotes and 177 comments, which is more than I remember ever seeing.
  • It must have been unusually difficult for the author to write.
Comment by avin on Sharing my experience on the EA forum · 2019-03-19T13:24:26.130Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Perhaps a prompt to give optional anonymous, private, and/or brief constructive feedback after each upvote/downvote could help posters learn what was good/bad about the post while avoiding most of the costs of posting a lengthy comment.

Comment by avin on Potential funding opportunity for woman-led EA organization · 2019-03-14T14:40:43.794Z · score: 14 (7 votes) · EA · GW

The eligibility criteria seems to rule out nearly all EA-aligned organizations:

  • "Nominees must meet the following requirements to be eligible ... "
  • "Legal residents of one (1) of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or Canada (excluding Quebec) (“Territory”)"
  • "A creator or founder of a social impact organization (“Organization”) that ... Has a primary objective related to improving health, education, or esteem or to leadership development and serves low- and middle-income women and/or children in the Territory. (The Organization may have tangential operations outside of the Territory, but, to be eligible for this contest, its core mission and programming must be directed within the Territory.)
Comment by avin on Bounty: Guide To Switching From Farmed Fish To Wild-Caught Fish · 2019-02-23T17:38:55.642Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · EA · GW

I agree with Jim's comment above. As the graph here suggests, the supply of wild fish appears to have been flat since the 90s, and the increase in demand has been met by the supply of farmed fish. So I think it's likely that consumption of wild fish will just cause someone else to consume farmed fish instead.

With regard to fish oil: Most of it originates from small wild fish such as anchovies. There's an entire industry dedicated to harvesting fish oil and fishmeal, and most of it is used as feed for carnivorous farmed fish like salmon. Fish oil seems to be mostly supply constrained as well, and the aquaculture industry is responding by feeding carnivorous fish more plant oils. I've written about this here and here, and should probably move these to the EA Forum now that less polished posts are encouraged.

Comment by avin on Rodents farmed for pet snake food · 2019-02-21T13:42:50.284Z · score: 11 (7 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for working on this! I'm impressed by this and your other work on identifying and investigating groups of farmed animals that exist in large numbers but have been overlooked by other EAs, researchers, advocates, etc.

Comment by avin on My new article on EA and the systemic change objection · 2019-02-15T22:32:41.923Z · score: 9 (6 votes) · EA · GW

There is also a discussion of the paper on Facebook.

Comment by avin on The Narrowing Circle (Gwern) · 2019-02-13T00:54:54.022Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Government social safety nets for elderly people (such as Social Security in the US) reduce the need for young adults to provide direct care to their elderly parents. This seems likely related.

To me this seems more of an expansion in moral circles though. Most of us in the developed world now seem to think that we're responsible for everyone's elderly parents rather than just our own.

Comment by avin on EA Giving Tuesday Donation Matching Initiative 2018 Retrospective · 2019-02-10T16:24:54.996Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

An update: We've sent follow-up e-mails to all organizations expected to receive a nontrivial amount of donations and/or matches informing them the amounts they should be receiving. Some organizations have helpfully reported to us the donated, matched, and/or total amounts that either (a) Facebook informed them they'll be receiving or (b) they've already received. For the organizations that have reported at least some of this information, the table under "Estimated from Fundraisers vs. Reported by Organizations" on our "Donated and Matched Data" page shows the amounts we've estimated from fundraiser page data vs. the amounts reported to us by the organizations.

Comment by avin on Hit Based Giving for Global Development · 2019-02-07T20:38:10.235Z · score: 13 (9 votes) · EA · GW

This announcement today on GiveWell's blog looks relevant. It seems GiveWell is beginning to look at interventions consistent with a hits-based giving approach.

Comment by avin on EAs Should Invest All Year, then Give only on Giving Tuesday · 2019-01-23T02:27:41.032Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Yes, this was a problem in both 2017 and 2018, and our 2018 match percent would have been higher than 65% without these problems. I think Cullen's estimates account for this though.

In 2018 we conducted a survey try to to understand this better. We should be able to use some of the results to make better recommendations in 2019.

Comment by AviN on [deleted post] 2019-01-22T22:56:40.000Z

I don't think Facebook permits automated donations, so I don't think this will be feasible.

Comment by avin on RC Forward - Canada's Effective Giving Experiment: Results & Plans for 2019 · 2019-01-21T14:06:25.725Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for all this work on this! A few comments and questions:

1. I think there's another important benefit that I didn't see mentioned: There's a risk that people's donations may be influenced towards less effective organizations just for the tax deduction. Permitting people to get tax deductions when donating to a wide variety of effective organizations can help mitigate this risk. My guess is that this is a more important consideration than tax deductions providing incentives to donate more.

2. Do Canadian donors already have a way to get tax deductions for donating to EA Funds? It seems like it could be worthwhile to give Canadian donors this option, though the benefits would need to be weighed against any administrative overhead it would create for RC and CEA.

3. Have you thought about permitting something like an optional 5% "tip" when people make their donations to help fund your operations? Perhaps opt-in by default? I have seen this option Crowdfunding websites, for instance. GiveWell also has an optional 10% "tip," though they're opt-out by default, and their value-add is different.

Comment by avin on EAs Should Invest All Year, then Give only on Giving Tuesday · 2019-01-15T16:11:12.824Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA · GW

It's also notable that PayPal announced that they were doing a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $500k in donations through the PayPal Giving Fund on Giving Tuesday, separately from the Facebook match.

That post was made on Giving Tuesday itself and the details there are very limited, but I found this post by an organization with a date of Nov 23, along with the match start and end time. I'm going to dig into this some more. Maybe we can ask some EA-aligned organizations signed up for the PayPal Giving Fund if they can keep an eye out for this and give us an early tipoff.

Comment by avin on EAs Should Invest All Year, then Give only on Giving Tuesday · 2019-01-12T19:29:25.180Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · EA · GW

A number of people got $20k matched out of $20k donations. This required 8 donations of $2500 each.

Comment by avin on EA Giving Tuesday Donation Matching Initiative 2018 Retrospective · 2019-01-09T03:53:22.000Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I think improving recruitment could help. I did recruit people in late September 2018 after Facebook dropped a hint that they would do a repeat, but in retrospect it may have helped to focus on recruiting individuals who would be able to commit to 80 hours (or whatever) if necessary.

This might not be so easy though, since I suspect most people with the skills to do this well are already working on other things and would have difficulty sparing that many hours. Perhaps compensation (e.g. through a grant) could help, but I'm not sure.

I also don't think having large numbers of people each working 10 hours would help, because managing, training, and delegating tasks to that many people would be impractical.

Comment by avin on EA Giving Tuesday Donation Matching Initiative 2018 Retrospective · 2019-01-07T13:06:44.979Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for the suggestion. I already had EA Grants in mind as an option, but it's interesting to know that the EA Meta Fund lists a fundraising project as an example. As William noted, we were more time constrained rather than funding constrained this year. However, I'll keep this in mind as an option for future years if our circumstances change, or if we can come up with effective ways to convert funding into time.

One other complication with applying for a grant is that we wont know whether there's a worthwhile opportunity until a month or so in advance. After that, if there is a worthwhile opportunity, then we'd need to start working immediately. So we'd probably need to apply for a grant early and, if a worthwhile opportunity doesn't materialize, then we'd need to (a) use the grant to work on something else or (b) return it.

Comment by avin on Why I'm focusing on invertebrate sentience · 2019-01-06T18:01:30.146Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Based on Georgia Ray's estimates, it looks like there are > 100x more neurons in soil arthropods than in humans.

Soil arthropods:

Using this, we get 1E22-1E23 neurons from large arthropods and 6E22 neurons from smaller arthropods, for a total of 6E22-2E23 neurons in soil arthropods.

Humans:

[...] we get 6.29E20 neurons in humans [...]
Comment by avin on How Effective Altruists Can Be Welcoming To Conservatives · 2018-12-24T16:07:12.793Z · score: 4 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Presumably, GWWC did not want to exclude EA cause areas outside of global poverty. Since animal welfare is an EA cause area, presumably it did not want to exclude it.

1-3 applies to nearly all EA cause areas to varying degrees, including global poverty. The difference, of course, is that EA cause areas (including animal welfare) are supported by evidence and reason, while religious outreach is not.

Specifically, "animal cruelty is bad" is a well argued position, making it very different from a religious belief. See Animal Liberation by Peter Singer.

Comment by avin on How Effective Altruists Can Be Welcoming To Conservatives · 2018-12-24T13:57:43.996Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · EA · GW
“If you’re religious, then the most effectively altruist thing is to convert everyone because of the infinite utility of Heaven” is not nearly as clever as you think it is. Every religious effective altruist has heard this argument from a hundred different atheists, including ones whose religion does not actually include a concept of Heaven. No religious effective altruist is doing this. Stop bringing it up.

I don't believe this is representative of Christians involved in EA, but the Pay It Forward Foundation advocated applying EA principles to "saving souls" in addition to recommending GiveWell top charities.

The website now redirects to effectivegive.org, but it's not clear to me whether they've stopped trying to "save souls" or if they're just more subtle about it. For instance, if I click through the donate section, I still see an option to donate to the "Save a Soul Program."

Comment by avin on Earning to Save (Give 1%, Save 10%) · 2018-11-29T01:58:17.957Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

It's common and fully legal in the US for wealthy people to create their own 501(c)(3) private foundations. I don't think this is an issue.

Even for a 501(c)(3) public charity, a wealthy person should be able to donate enough to support 2/3 of its budget without any legal problems, as long as the remaining 1/3 fits the IRS criteria of "public support." And even if that doesn't work out, it just means the 501(c)(3) may have to turn into a private foundation.

I don't know what the laws are in other countries.

Comment by avin on Outreach to Farmers · 2018-11-25T15:07:06.941Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

In the podcast, Leah makes the case the economic case for farmers starting at 39:00. Farmers aren't going to be listen to Our Hen House, but presumably Compassion in World Farming USA is making arguments appropriate for each audience.

Also, this very popular clip with John Oliver is heavily focused on the bad economics of chicken contract farming for the farmers. This was likely influenced by Compassion in World Farming USA's work.