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ChrisSmith comments on Where are you giving and why? - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: ChrisSmith 14 December 2014 07:14:59PM 0 points [-]

I am donating donating 60% to SCI, 20% to AMF and 20% to GiveDirectly. I reviewed this at my last pay rise, and would expect to do the same at my next one (all being well, April). Research suggests these are all good groups which address global poverty. When I review my donations in April, I will consider expanding into supporting EA groups or other more meta opportunities where good options exist.

After the GiveWell hesitation around AMF earlier in the year, I decided that I wanted to give my money to more than one charity. Previously, AMF had been the main organisation I gave to. There are two mean reasons I decided to diversify my giving.

Firstly, doing so acts as a sort of personal emotional hedge. Let's say that a new study comes out and finds that deworming treatments have some awful long term consequences. I would feel awful about the literally thousands of pounds I have given SCI. This wouldn't be 'rational' - I gave SCI this money because they had a high expected value at the time. I acted on the best available information. But I would feel terrible and guilty, and it would put me off trying to do good through personal donations in the future.

Secondly, a diverse giving portfolio means (I hope) that I can encourage other people to give more. Giving to a variety of organisations means I can have interesting discussions about who I give to. Unconditional cash transfers are an exciting new area, and I'm keen to see them supported. A few of my (non-EA) friends and relatives can be very sceptical of charities, associating them with street fundraisers and high salaries for senior figures (I think high salaries are perfectly justified - but there is general resistance to them among the general public in the UK). GiveDirectly gives me a group I can talk about which gets around a lot of those issues. I'm less sure on this second argument, but for me the first is sufficient in any case.

One thing which surprised me this year was how much money I managed to raise beyond my own donations. I will have donated around £5,500 this year, but could fairly attribute another £4,000 from fundraising. With a colleague, I managed to get SCI chosen as a recipient organisation for a work charity auction, which raised just over £6,000 for SCI (I have attributed half of this to me) And by taking part in Live Below the Line I received just over £1,000 - mostly from colleagues. I am surprised that the proportion of money I have moved to effective charities this year through my own personal donations is so small.

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 15 December 2014 08:15:14PM *  1 point [-]

After the GiveWell hesitation around AMF earlier in the year, I decided that I wanted to give my money to more than one charity.

It's worth noting that GiveWell is actively encouraging people to split their donations, as well.

"Based on this allocation, for any donors looking to give as we would, we recommend an allocation of $5 to AMF (67%), $1 to SCI (13%), $1 to GiveDirectly (13%) and $.50 to DtWI (7%) for every $7.50 given." (Source)