Comment author: MichaelPlant 06 June 2018 07:09:00PM 1 point [-]

I expect ~10 people to attend the camp although I do not expect 100% of them will start charities (I would guess ~60% would)

So you mean you expect 6 different charities to start, or that 6 people will be involved in starting a charity, possibly the same one(s)?

Comment author: Joey 06 June 2018 07:14:02PM 1 point [-]

6 people will be involved in starting a charity, possibly the same one(s)

Comment author: imben 06 June 2018 06:11:06PM 1 point [-]

This seems high compared to the startup equivalent. For example, I know at Entrepreneur First they take on 100 people and they form about 20 companies - don’t know how many get seed funded but 50% seems too high.

Comment author: Joey 06 June 2018 07:08:47PM 2 points [-]

I would guess a lot of this depends on the number of people you take on. (e.g. if we took 20 people I do not expect we would get 2-6 effective charities.) I also would guess the odds of effective charities being founded if it was not picked from our pre-researched list would be much lower, something closer to 1/10 - 1/20.

Our estimates are mostly based on our experience with charities we have founded/supported in a pretty similar way to the above. I also am unsure how to generalize from for-profit to nonprofit space. I generally think the former is much more competitive.

Comment author: Khorton 06 June 2018 11:08:06AM 1 point [-]

"We believe this program has potential to found 1-3 GiveWell incubation/ACE recommended equivalent charities a year." How many applicants are you expecting to mentor each year? Or put another way, what percentage of new charities you support do you expect to become top charities?

Comment author: Joey 06 June 2018 05:42:31PM 3 points [-]

I expect ~10 people to attend the camp although I do not expect 100% of them will start charities (I would guess ~60% would). Out of charities founded I expect about 50% of them would be GiveWell incubation/ACE recommended. Although it would depend on the year and focus.


Introducing Charity Entrepreneurship: an Incubation and Research Program for New Charities

How do we get more EA charities started? There’s a good case that charity entrepreneurship is high impact for EAs , but it seems not many are starting them. Part of the reason is that it’s intimidatingly hard. Not only do you have to have multiple rare and difficult skills,... Read More
Comment author: MichaelPlant 31 May 2018 11:01:56AM 0 points [-]

A couple of comments:

  1. Could you state what your role and involvement is with various charities, and what those charities do, to provide some context? E.g. you mention helping fortify health but I'm not super familiar with what they do or how you helped them.

  2. Reading this, a worry I had is that new charities founded by would often by competing for the same pot of money from EA orgs and/or individual EAs. Do you think this is likely to be a problem? It seems the success of this strategy relies on Open Phil do a lot of the funding. If new EA charities instead raise money from ineffective charities (possible), or raise money from people who would not have donated (not that likely) then this isn't a problem.

Comment author: Joey 31 May 2018 05:45:44PM 2 points [-]

1) I hope to publish a post soon specifically going into the help I gave fortify health and what help I can give future charities, but I can clarify briefly here. Charity Science Health - I was on the research team to pick the intervention + cofounded + worked full time in a co-ED position for the first 2 years of its existence. Effectively I was involved as much as one could be in a charity. Fortify Health - I was on the research team to pick the intervention + connected the co-founders when one reached out to me + Gave them a seed grant for their first 6 months + helped them in a consulting role ~5 hours a week over those 6 months. Effectively I was like a highly involved board member.

2) I think this is a huge concern, I generally think EA charities should be aiming to be the highest impact charity in a given field. E.g. a lot of the value of CSH comes from the small chance we can be higher impact than AMF. If CSH for example fell between the effectiveness of GD and AMF, CSH would pretty aggressively try to seek funding outside of the EA community (including GW/OPP). This partly to do with “the last dollar spent” in poverty likely being pretty high impact (see this post on talent gaps for more details). In something like AR, given the funding situation I think the more important consideration would be whether a new charity has a good chance of beating the bottom 25% of charities funded by OPP/ACE.


Why EAs in particular are good people to start charities

  There have been previous posts about the impact of founding a new GiveWell charity , the impact of charity founding , and some of the results of charities founded by EAs . This post, however, focuses on a specific question I get a lot. Namely, why should EAs in... Read More

Triple counting impact in EA

The problem In the 1990s, the World Health Organization (WHO) had an important function. They had to calculate, estimate, and publish the number of deaths caused by different diseases. These numbers influenced several things, from government spending on treatment programs, to the public perception of progress being made on different... Read More
Comment author: Joey 19 May 2018 06:01:54PM 3 points [-]

I have written about this topic before

Personally, what I would find most useful is an up to date spreadsheet list that is sortable by how much the company matches donations (this seems to be the most significant thing companies do on the charity front), so that when I am talking to a job seeker I can send them it and they can easily see what companies offer say 10k+ of matching. You can see from my post in 2013 quite a few offer that or more.

On the broader note of building an evidence based fundraising wiki, is the plan for it to be publicly available and widely shared or more aimed at just the EA community?

Comment author: Joey 14 May 2018 05:20:20AM 5 points [-]

A way to frame this question is how do we get the best predictions per least amount of effort, with different strategies having different levels of effort/accuracy of output. A strategy would be considered dominated if a different strategy required both less effort and gave better accuracy. I think a pretty good case can be made for “teams of forecasters working together with their results extremized” cleary requiring less effort and being possibly more accurate or in the same ballpark as prediction markets. If that is the case, I think the argument for setting up/using prediction markets is greatly weakened. It seems like if someone did systematic research into the highest value/least resource consumption predictions, prediction markets would not score at the top of many overall rankings given its high cost. Also some evidence about the high resource cost might be that EAs, although quite excited, driven and intelligent, cannot get a prediction market going with more than a few bets on a given question.

Comment author: MichaelPlant 13 May 2018 11:05:26PM 13 points [-]

I appreciate the write up and think founding charities could be a really effective thing to do.

I do wonder if this might be an overly rosey picture for a couple of reasons.

  1. Are there any stories of EAs failing to start charities? If there aren't, that would be a bit strange and I'd want to know why there were no failures. If there are, what happened and why didn't they work? I'm a bit worried about a survivorship effect making it falsely look like starting charities is easy. (On a somewhat releated note, your post may prompt me to finally write up something about my own unsuccessful attempt to start a start up)

  2. One is that some of the charities you mention are offshoots/sister charities of each other - GWWC and 80k, Charity Science Health and Fortify Health. This suggests to me it might be easier to found a second charity than a first one. OPP and GiveWell also fit this mold.

  3. Including AMF is, in some sense a bit odd, because it wasn't (I gather) founded with the intention of being the most effective charity. I say it's odd because, if it hadn't existed, the EA world would have found another charity that it deemed to be the most effective. Unless AMF thought they would be the most effective, they sort of 'got lucky' in that regard.

Comment author: Joey 14 May 2018 05:19:01AM 3 points [-]

Would be keen to hear your story as I am working to develop better models around what makes projects have success (particularly nonprofits, but I think all data can be helpful).

1) I think this is fair. I have another post in the works on something along these lines. Super long story short though, a lot of the failures are small projects or at an earlier stage vs more like full scale charities. I think that is a problem/concern in its own right, and I think a pretty good case can be made that established charities should be shut down and considered failures more often.

2) I do think a case can be made that second charities are easier to start than first ones (although I would put Fortify Health as quite distinctive from CSH, as my involvement was quite modest in terms of hours). I still think however, there are lots of examples of first time successes.

3) My understanding of AMF from talking to them is that when making the decision that eventually lead to them choosing bednets, Rob M considered that it had to be 1) really big problems 2) really need help 3) might be fixable, as well as some other connected criteria like not tons of other people working on it. From my understanding, quite a few different interventions were considered (e.g. TB, freshwater, landmines). I do not get the sense it was like GiveWell-style shallow reports, but the concept of doing more good was definitely a big part of the decision making.

View more: Next