Posts

Rethink Grants: an evaluation of Donational’s Corporate Ambassador Program 2019-07-23T23:53:20.274Z · score: 54 (19 votes)
RC Forward - Canada's Effective Giving Experiment: Results & Plans for 2019 2018-12-28T19:28:41.041Z · score: 43 (23 votes)
Please Take the 2018 Effective Altruism Survey! 2018-04-25T17:48:07.796Z · score: 22 (24 votes)
EA Survey 2017 Series: How do People Get Into EA? 2017-11-17T04:44:05.688Z · score: 6 (6 votes)
SHIC Workshop Experiment and Revised Impact Strategy 2018 2017-10-31T18:45:27.551Z · score: 14 (16 votes)
EA Survey 2017 Series: Have EA Priorities Changed Over Time? 2017-10-06T15:51:49.329Z · score: 12 (13 votes)
EA Survey 2017 Series: Qualitative Comments Summary 2017-09-21T01:36:50.004Z · score: 3 (5 votes)
EA Survey 2017 Series: Demographics II 2017-09-18T15:51:47.118Z · score: 9 (9 votes)
EA Survey 2017 Series: Donation Data 2017-09-12T01:29:56.716Z · score: 11 (6 votes)
EA Survey 2017 Series: Cause Area Preferences 2017-09-01T14:55:27.596Z · score: 10 (14 votes)
EA Survey 2017 Series: Community Demographics & Beliefs 2017-08-29T18:36:16.146Z · score: 15 (17 votes)
EA Survey 2017 Series: Distribution and Analysis Methodology 2017-08-29T18:31:51.850Z · score: 6 (6 votes)
.impact is now Rethink Charity 2017-05-30T20:45:01.645Z · score: 28 (22 votes)

Comments

Comment by tee on EA could benefit from a general-purpose nonprofit entity that offers donor-advised funds and fiscal sponsorship · 2020-06-29T09:40:18.993Z · score: 25 (8 votes) · EA · GW

Hey Brendon, in 2020 Rethink Charity pivoted to provide fiscal sponsorships to select value-aligned projects in EA and adjacent communities. As many might know, we helped kickstart Rethink Priorities with a more in-house FS arrangement. We've just completed our first external FS arrangement with Dao Foods. For you or anyone who has seen this post, please do let me know if you know of any projects who could use this service!

Comment by tee on Introducing Animal Advocacy Careers · 2020-02-11T11:54:20.008Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Lauren, I'd like to echo Niel's sentiment here. Concerted efforts at cultivating EA-aligned talent (via training and launching projects) has always been something Rethink Charity has advocated for. Great to see you taking real strides in addressing this. Please reach out if RC and I can be of any help

Comment by tee on EA Leaders Forum: Survey on EA priorities (data and analysis) · 2019-12-04T23:43:10.763Z · score: 28 (8 votes) · EA · GW

FYI Rethink Charity and associated projects were also not invited, including Rethink Priorities and LEAN. We were also invited to forums in previous years

Comment by tee on Rethink Grants: an evaluation of Donational’s Corporate Ambassador Program · 2019-08-26T17:18:55.284Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW
It’s great to see more efforts to evaluate and promote top giving opportunities. Rethink Grants seems promising and I’m interested in seeing where it goes.

Hey Eric, we appreciate the kind words and thank you for taking the time to bring some of these things to our attention.

How do donors know if they are fully funded?

Great question - were RG to continue on, the idea was for us to be quite involved in the fundraising process for recommended projects. If Donational were interested in continuing with the CAP, we would likely engage in a joint fundraising effort where we would take special care to keep key funders and the wider public in the loop regarding fundraising milestones and progress. This could even take the form of a public fundraising campaign in certain cases.

Have you seen the write-ups of ImpactMatters?

We have! In fact, Luisa Rodriguez, one of the Rethink Priorities analysts on this report, is a former ImpactMatters research analyst. ImpactMatters was also among the organizations that we drew inspiration from for Our Process.

To address this, one idea would be to put a lot of the details from the main body into an appendix.

This could certainly be helpful. I think a lot more could be done to better highlight key reasoning within future potential evaluations, including detailed notes on criteria that were important in the VOI, for example.

If I’m understanding correctly that Rethink Grants is also doing things to try to make the underlying organizations better, then it might be great to have more details on that.

That’s correct, and now that you mention it, future reports could expand more on all the possible intervention points that RG would consider for improving the overall quality of projects.I cover quite a bit of that in this reply in a different thread. As an example from this report, in the Potential Issues section, we mention pretty large plan changes from presenting the founder with a BOTEC that we came up with based on a handful of parameters that we considered crucial. Having this all mapped out onto one place would certainly be better.

Comment by tee on Rethink Grants: an evaluation of Donational’s Corporate Ambassador Program · 2019-08-07T17:02:53.067Z · score: 10 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Hey Jonas, apologies about the delay in replying here. Much will depend on whether we move forward with the program based on our own internal assessment of its potential and feedback we received from the community, especially those with an interest in grant making and community building via funding projects.

We loosely outline our remit and purpose in the introduction section and our current plan is to help potentially promising projects that would clearly benefit from the “early-stage planning, facilitating networking opportunities, and other as-needed efforts traditionally subsumed under project incubation” that we want to provide. Projects can often use assistance of this sort, and similar to some VC models, we hope that conducting a thorough and transparent evaluation of their program will be helpful to show others for getting funding traction. A perennial issue for existing grant makers is a lack of projects or research that are prepared to execute for one reason or another, and RG would hope to put time and resources into making a project ready and fundable. This role is meant to compliment the existing landscape.

As we mention in the OP, we do not currently fund projects ourselves - our goal is to help improve and recommend worthy projects to existing funders at this point. Given that many of the methods in this report are widely applicable, RG could also investigate and evaluate projects on behalf of existing grant makers or individual funders in cases where our interests align. In this case, were a potential funder interested in looking into a “shovel-ready” or existing project, we could be contracted assess it more thoroughly.

As for sourcing applications, we mention in the Our Process section that Rethink Grants will begin with an in-network approach to sourcing projects, relying on trusted referrals to help us reach out to promising individuals and organizations. If RG continues to conduct evaluations, we then consider projects on a rolling basis. A project that seems potentially cost-effective, run by a high-quality team, and has room for more funding moves forward through our evaluation process. We decided to look into Donational because it appeared to be a high potential project that satisfied these requirements.

Comment by tee on Rethink Grants: an evaluation of Donational’s Corporate Ambassador Program · 2019-07-29T19:02:33.599Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Hey Oli, thanks for taking the time to come up with these points, and going out of your way to say, “...I think evaluations like this are quite important and a core part of what I think of as EA’s value proposition...and would like to see more people trying similar things in the future.” This is exactly the type of attitude toward agency and attempting to do good that I’d like to have encouraged more in EA.

Point-by-point, I think Derek covered a lot. I also mention in a comment how I was thinking about this evaluation in terms of a contribution to grant evaluation and the EA project space more broadly.

We might have done better to distill cruxes within our qualitative reasoning, though I do think a fair amount of this is presented in various sections. Agreed that swapping advanced mathematical models for BOTECs is often advisable, but at certain points in the future, I would imagine that evaluators could make good use of methods like these.

Comment by tee on Rethink Grants: an evaluation of Donational’s Corporate Ambassador Program · 2019-07-26T19:46:51.802Z · score: 16 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Thank you to those who had a look at this report. Our team put a lot into this as you might imagine. I’ve been anticipating some commentary in this evaluation along the lines of “this is far too complex/quantitative for a $40,000 grant recommendation.” We’d agree. We gesture at this in the “The future of Rethink Grants” section at the end of the Executive Summary.

This could have perhaps been communicated better, but my hope is that readers will come to interpret this report, and the methods employed therein, as additional tools to consider when evaluating grants. There may be occasions where evaluators might find it useful to boost their repertoire by using these methods (or something similar) to potentially make better decisions. Project leads may also get some mileage out of how much we’ve put on display here.

There are certain instances where key reasoning (see Team Strength section), or quick deferral to experts, or even a simple back-of-the-envelope (BOTEC) calculation will suffice. But as with charity evaluation, we might agree, there are circumstances where intuition and BOTECs are not enough. An example from this report that Derek mentions, the VOI calculation and CEE lead us to a more nuanced conclusion that funding decent-sized pilot was very much worth doing in our opinion, rather than fully funding it from the outset or passing over this opportunity. Our conclusions from just a BOTEC might have been different.

I think we have good reason to believe that the level of rigor displayed in this evaluation is warranted at times. And when those situations arise, we hope others will reach for this report if they’ve found it useful.

Comment by tee on After one year of applying for EA jobs: It is really, really hard to get hired by an EA organisation · 2019-03-03T20:14:56.197Z · score: 8 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Same for Rethink. Definitely appreciate this post and tried to make the application process swift and yet as informative as possible on both ends

Comment by tee on List of possible EA meta-charities and projects · 2019-01-11T16:27:22.480Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Hey Jonas, RC might be interested in touching base with you about this soon!

Comment by tee on EA Meta Fund AMA: 20th Dec 2018 · 2018-12-20T18:33:23.908Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · EA · GW
I do also think that it's very valuable for some pots of funding to not be very public as there are some bad incentives and restrictions caused by public work.

Yep, I think that's right. We (entities within the community) can improve from historical examples of simply not declaring anything on this front or the reasoning behind it.

E.g., I'm (currently) quite happy currently that EA Grants doesn't have to justify each grant publicly.

+1 though our post-decision feedback could be better in some ways.

Comment by tee on EA Meta Fund AMA: 20th Dec 2018 · 2018-12-20T16:26:29.522Z · score: 14 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Will things like Donation Data trends play into the committees decision-making?

(e.g. CEA received ~4x the donations of any other charity due to an individual donor, yet they received a sizable grant from this group. I realize that this fact doesn't automatically disqualify them as a valuable donation target.)

Manifold reasons for full disclosure - I contract for CEA, run a meta org that is a candidate for funding from the fund, have received funding from some individual members of the committee, biased toward resourcing valuable smaller projects etc.

Comment by tee on EA Meta Fund AMA: 20th Dec 2018 · 2018-12-19T23:18:39.803Z · score: 13 (7 votes) · EA · GW

Hey Alex, as I wrote to Jamie with the AWF AMA, I don't have a directed question but I deeply appreciate this level of transparency and hope it exerts pressure to raise the water level on grant making transparency more broadly

Comment by tee on EA Meta Fund AMA: 20th Dec 2018 · 2018-12-19T21:52:35.224Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · EA · GW

I would imagine this should play into it: "£13.3m boost for Future of Humanity Institute" https://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/grant-announcement/

Comment by tee on Animal Welfare Fund AMA · 2018-12-19T16:53:07.422Z · score: 14 (7 votes) · EA · GW

Hey Jamie, I don't have a directed question on AWF per say, but I deeply appreciate this level of transparency and hope it exerts pressure to raise the water level on grant making transparency more broadly

Comment by tee on Why Groups Should Consider Direct Work · 2018-05-31T03:38:27.798Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · EA · GW

An example is that EA Yale will likely be helping Rethink with reporting on the EA survey. Also see a lot of what EA NTNU has been up to. Richenda will have to forgive me because my memory is fuzzy on this, but I remember hearing of a university group that pressured a college make their annual donations to effective charities. All of these seem high-value to me and are not mutually exclusive with pledges, career changes etc.

Comment by tee on EA Survey: Sexual Harassment Questions - Feedback Requested · 2018-03-15T15:39:03.036Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · EA · GW

In response to the comment that was deleted below, we do not intend to ignore this issue.

Comment by tee on EA Survey: Sexual Harassment Questions - Feedback Requested · 2018-03-14T16:38:41.439Z · score: 18 (20 votes) · EA · GW

I interested Tee Barnett and Peter Hurford in adding sexual violence questions to the survey. Therefore sexual violence definitions need to be created.

Thanks for your dedication to this issue. I'm compelled to point out that that briefly speaking about a particular issue in an informal manner should not be seen as an endorsement on behalf of myself or Rethink Charity.

Comment by tee on Announcing Rethink Priorities · 2018-03-12T19:54:59.302Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Ben West asked this question in the EA Facebook group late last year, and I believe EA Funds has updated since then: https://www.facebook.com/groups/effective.altruists/permalink/1606722932717391/

It's not clear what the optimal amount of funding for resurrecting LW should be, but according to the EA survey (run by Rethink), LW had been a top source for introducing people to EA until recently: http://effective-altruism.com/ea/1h5/ea_survey_2017_series_how_do_people_get_into_ea/

Qualifying this by clarifying that I'm the ED of Development for Rethink Charity – I would say the lineup of projects offered by Rethink (SHIC, LEAN, RC Forward and Rethink Priorities, EA Survey) should be among the most competitive funding options for community building, especially considering our reach and impact on a comparatively low budget: https://rtcharity.org/monthly-donor-briefing-03-2018/

Comment by tee on Announcing Rethink Priorities · 2018-03-07T17:38:24.847Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for asking Ervin. Were we to scale this project according to our estimates, we would need additional funding. There are also some small gaps in Rethink Charity operations that we'd like to fill. Talks are ongoing with CEA about additional funding either through their Grants or Funds programs

Comment by tee on 2017 LEAN Impact Assessment: Qualitative Findings · 2018-01-04T20:12:24.347Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Absolutely - but re-Richenda's point about deliberations at a higher level, the Hub is one of many resources we provide, and we want to make sure every donation we receive is most impactful.

Even an earmarked donation for this purpose is not a straightforward proposition. Take the decision to potentially integrate with the CEA platform as a hypothetical. If we were to spend $300 - $1k tweaking the Hub, and then had to double back (likely to change the coding language) once we decided that linking up with the CEA platform is most effective for the community, we may have wasted considerable resources.

Comment by tee on 2017 LEAN Impact Assessment: Quantitative Findings · 2017-12-09T19:25:10.644Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Richenda will have more insight on this than me, but my understanding is that when the qualitative report comes out, we will see that some of those who do have a website find it incredibly useful and it would absolutely be a disservice to pull the plug on that.

We're erring on the side of a 'targeted revision' of what we provide so that our services only go to those who are most effectively using them

Comment by tee on EA Survey 2017 Series: How do People Get Into EA? · 2017-11-17T17:13:09.573Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I agree, this is something we acknowledge multiple times in the post, and many times throughout the series. The level of rigor it would take to bypass this issue is difficult to reach.

This is also why the section where we see some overlap with Julia's survey is helpful.

Comment by tee on The Hidden Cost of Shifting Away from Poverty · 2017-10-10T17:26:09.520Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Additional data on EA shifts in cause area preference: http://effective-altruism.com/ea/1fi/have_ea_priorities_changed_over_time/

Comment by tee on EA Survey 2017 Series: Cause Area Preferences · 2017-09-05T12:54:51.164Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I've also updated the relevant passage to reflect the Bay Area as an outlier in terms of support for AI, not AI an outlier as a cause area

Comment by tee on EA Survey 2017 Series: Cause Area Preferences · 2017-09-05T12:40:16.366Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Hey Michelle, I authored that particular part and I think what you've said is a fair point. As you said, the point was to identify the Bay as an outlier in terms of the amount of support for AI, not declare AI as an outlier as a cause area.

The article in general seems to put quite a bit of emphasis on the fact that poverty came out as the most favoured cause.

I don't know that this is necessarily true beyond reporting what is actually there. When poverty is favored by more than double the number of people who favor the next most popular cause area (graph #1), favored by more people than a handful of other causes combined, and disliked the least, those facts need to be put into perspective.

If anything, I'd say we put a fair amount of emphasis on how EAs are coming around on AI, and how resistance toward putting resources toward AI has dropped significantly.

We could speculate about how future-oriented certain cause areas may be, and how to aggregate or disaggregate them in future surveys. We've made a note to consider that for 2018.

Comment by tee on EA Survey 2017 Series: Cause Area Preferences · 2017-09-05T12:19:17.781Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

09/05/17 Update: Graph 1 (top priority) has been updated again

Comment by tee on EA Survey 2017 Series: Cause Area Preferences · 2017-09-05T12:17:50.971Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

09/05/17 Update: Graph 1 (top priority) has been updated again

Comment by tee on EA Survey 2017 Series: Cause Area Preferences · 2017-09-05T12:17:29.530Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

09/05/17 Update: Graph 1 (top priority) has been updated again

Comment by tee on EA Survey 2017 Series: Cause Area Preferences · 2017-09-02T20:23:10.618Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

09/02/17 Post Update: The previously truncated graphs "This cause is the top priority" and "This cause is the top or near top priority" have been adjusted in order to better present the data

Comment by tee on EA Survey 2017 Series: Cause Area Preferences · 2017-09-02T20:20:41.995Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · EA · GW

09/02/17 Update: We've updated the truncated graphs

Comment by tee on EA Survey 2017 Series: Community Demographics & Beliefs · 2017-08-30T15:54:52.873Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

I don't think there is a difference between a moral duty and an obligation.

I'm not entirely sure that I would agree with this. I'm supposed to be publishing more survey content on the Forum at the moment, so parsing this out may have to wait, but obligation to me feels relatively more guilt-driven, and being duty-bound seems to invoke a more diverse set of internal and external pressures

At any rate, if it's not clear here, it's certainly not good as a survey question.

In 2015, there were more than 2000 respondents, right? Does this mean EA is getting smaller??

Could be! May also be indicative of year-on-year survey fatigue though. We'll be revamping the survey for 2018 to make it a better experience in general

Comment by tee on EA Survey 2017 Series: Community Demographics & Beliefs · 2017-08-30T15:50:02.422Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · EA · GW

I think it would be useful to frontload info like 1) the number of people to took this vs. previous surveys, 2) links to previous surveys.

Thanks for bringing these to our attention, Claire. I like both of these ideas. This post will be updated to include the former, and the latter will be included in all subsequent posts for ease of navigation.

I think I would also prefer mildly strongly if all of the survey results were in one blog post

We decided to go with a multi-part series because the prior survey ended up being an unwieldy 30+ page PDF, which likely resulted in far less engagement. As I said above, in all subsequent survey posts we'll link to the previous articles for ease of navigation.

But is seems like this post doesn't include information that was requested on the survey and that seems interesting, like race/ethnicity and political views.

This is probably an oversight on our part. It's likely we will revise the article to include some or all of this information very soon.

I would recommend changing "improving" to "increasing", since I don't think the opinion that increasing the proportion of people in EA that is religious is universal.

+1, will edit that. The first handful of posts will be more descriptive, but you can expect future ones to inject a bit more commentary

Comment by tee on EA Survey 2017 Series: Distribution and Analysis Methodology · 2017-08-30T15:42:24.235Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Those are the people who took the Donations Only version.

We thought this would streamline things, but it's not entirely clear that it's worth doing for 2018

Comment by tee on Students for High Impact Charity: Review and $10K Grant · 2016-09-29T18:16:12.762Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks Peter Hurford for putting in the time and effort to make this process more transparent. I think it's a great service to the EA community at large, and of course, we're elated to be able to continue bringing effective charities to students around the world

Comment by tee on Help SHIC Get Off The Ground · 2016-06-17T18:27:26.205Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · EA · GW

Very much appreciate the ringing endorsement, Tom. Anyone interested in discussing the project, please feel free to reach out at tee@highimpactstudents.org