Peter_Hurford comments on Should EAs think twice before donating to GFI? - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 01 September 2017 03:49:43PM 0 points [-]

I believe that one issue with thinking of the seven criteria as fairly rules based is that people can have an expectation the criteria will be met in relation to consistency and impartiality. I am not in favour of maintaining strict rules, though I think there are some potential negative consequences of not doing so that need to be taken into account. So in which circumstances would they be overlooked or minimised?

So far, all seven criteria are followed for every top charity. But it's not a binary. How much track record is enough track record to have a "good" track record? GFI does have enough of a track record that we felt comfortable evaluating it, but it does have less of a track record than our other recommended organizations.


I reasonably believe the funding gap is presently fairly negligible at GFI (for example EA Funds are not very concerned about it, and already look for alternatives to GFI in that area)

I'm not sure I'd read that much into the EA Funds donations, personally.


I don’t think EAs generally ought to be funding groups in preparation for 2018.

Speaking about room for more funding generally -- I agree it has been harder to find room for more funding lately (and this is definitely a good problem to have) and this is something ACE has been monitoring closely. The next charity update will be in just a few months and will include fresh re-estimations of room for more funding. You may consider waiting until then.

Either way, I'm confident that GFI could continue to productively use money given now. I don't think there's any particular reason to give in January but not September as you say, unless you're worried that ACE's recommendation will change or that they are out of RFMF for a good portion of 2018 also.

Additionally, organizations that get more money now might be encouraged to take on more, to scale, and to build a bigger budget in the future. More money now would help them give them more confidence.


In relation to Better Eating International, i’m thinking in terms of the criteria of needing x amount more money. I haven’t heard anything from them about further fundraising after the Kickstarter project. Though I haven’t asked either.

You could consider asking. I think they could make use of another $20-40K to boost their analytics capabilities.


I also think it would be a good thing if ACE look at the organisations I mentioned in some depth, I think that would be useful and I would encourage all groups to be open to this process.

I can suggest those organizations if they are not already on ACE's radar.