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Evan_Gaensbauer comments on How to improve EA Funds - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Evan_Gaensbauer 14 April 2018 12:25:25AM *  1 point [-]

On trust networks: These are very powerful and effective. YCombinator, for example, say they get most of their best companies via personal recommendation, and the top VCs say that the best way to get funded by them is an introduction by someone they trust.

(Btw I got an EA Grant last year I expect in large part because CEA knew me because I successfully ran an EAGx conference. I think the above argument is strong on its own but my guess is many folks around here would like me to mention this fact.)

That trust networks work well, and that according to your experience with the EA Grants there is an effective trust network within EA, just begs the question why trust networks within EA have failed to work for the EA Funds, since so little has been allocated from them.

Yes. If I were running EA grants I would continually be in contact with the community, finding out peoples project ideas, discussing it with them for 5 hours and getting to know them and how much I could trust them, and then handing out money as I saw fit. This is one of the biggest funding bottlenecks in the community. The place that seems most to have addressed them has actually been the winners of the donor lotteries, who seemed to take it seriously and use the personal information they had.

I haven’t even heard about EA grants this time around, which seems like a failure on all the obvious axes (including the one of letting grantees know that the EA community is a reliable source of funding that you can make multi-year plans around - this makes me mostly update toward EA grants being a one-off thing that I shouldn’t rely on).

FWIW, nothing I've heard about the EA Funds leads me to believe your impression is at all incorrect.