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Poorly Organized Thoughts on Funding

June 5th, 2016
giving, metacharities

When Julia and I started thinking about funding effective altruism metacharities four years ago, there weren't very many of them to choose from. We ended up funding CEA (unrestricted) because at the time GiveWell wasn't doing general fundraising and there weren't other meta organizations we knew about that shared our values and outlook. In the past four years, though, many EAs have founded organizations aimed at expanding or improving the EA movement, and there are now quite a few organizations I might consider funding as I learn more about them. For example:

(This is a sample, not an attempt at a complete list: summarizing all the EA organizations would be a bunch of work for a different post.)

So: how should I think about who to fund? I see two main options:

Organizational-level funding seems like the normal thing here, and is certainly the easiest logistically. On the other hand, organizational boundaries within EA organizations can be pretty fluid, with lots of people being affiliated with lots of organizations in various capacities. My impression is that many times someone has a project and finds a home for it somewhere, and exactly where doesn't matter nearly as much as the person whose project it is.

While it's still pretty likely I'll just decide to stick with organization-level funding, here are two ways individual level funding could work:

I'm still thinking a lot about this, and am looking for people to talk to, publicly or privately.

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