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Brian_Tomasik comments on EA Funds Beta Launch - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Brian_Tomasik 02 March 2017 03:29:03AM *  16 points [-]

Open Phil currently tries to set an upper limit on the proportion of an organization’s budget they will provide, in order to avoid dependence on a single funder. In the case where EA Funds generates recurring donations from a large number of donors, Fund Managers may be able to fully fund an organization already identified, saving the organization from spending additional time raising funds from many small donors individually.

It seems like in practice, donations from EA Funds are extremely correlated with OPP's own donations. That is, if OPP decided to stop funding a charity, presumably the EA Funds fund would also stop donating, because the charity no longer looks sufficiently promising. So the risk involved in depending on getting fully funded by OPP + EA Funds is seemingly about as high as the risk of depending on getting fully funded by just OPP. In this case, either fully funding a charity isn't a good thing, or OPP should already be doing it.

This comment isn't very important -- just an observation about argument 1.3.

Comment author: Robert_Wiblin 02 March 2017 07:03:59PM 14 points [-]

I love EA Funds, but my main concern is that as a community we are getting closer and closer to a single point of failure. If OPP reaches the wrong conclusion about something, there's now fewer independent donors forming their own views to correct them. This was already true because of how much people used the views of OPP and its staff to guide their own decisions.

We need some diversity (or outright randomness) in funding decisions for robustness.

Comment author: [deleted] 02 March 2017 09:27:19PM *  7 points [-]

We need some diversity...in funding decisions

I nominated Brian Tomasik for fund manager. If hired, I think that would help (assuming he wants to do it).