Comment author: Joey 15 August 2018 08:48:21PM 12 points [-]

Just wanted to chip in on this. Although I do not think this addresses all the concerns I have with representativeness, I do think CEA has been making a more concerted and genuine effort at considering how to deal with these issues (not just this blog post, but also in some of the more recent conversations they have been having with a wider range of people in the EA movement). I think it's a tricky issue to get right (how to build a cause neutral EA movement when you think some causes are higher impact than others) and there is still a lot of thought to be done on the issue, but I am glad steps are happening in the right direction.

Comment author: Julia_Wise  (EA Profile) 03 August 2018 09:19:32PM 16 points [-]

[I'm a CEA staff member, but writing as an individual and a local group founder/organizer]

"EA chapter building is currently fairly tightly controlled" - what aspect of this do you see as tightly controlled? Funding? Advising?

As someone who helped start a local group before there were funds, written resources, or other advising for starting or running an EA group, I see how those things would be helpful, but don't see them as essential. The only request I can remember to focus on a particular cause area was back when GWWC was solely focused on global poverty and invited the Boston group to affiliate, which we decided not to do.

I'm all for EA movement-building orgs doing a better job at supporting local groups and people who are thinking of starting one. But I wouldn't want people to come away from this post with the understanding that they're somehow restricted from starting a group, or that they'll only be able to do so if they support the right cause. My guess is that most EA groups were founded by people who saw a gap and decided to start something, not people who were tapped on the shoulder by a movement-building organization.

Comment author: Joey 03 August 2018 10:38:55PM 12 points [-]

So my personal experience starting a chapter was a long time ago, but what I have heard from people more involved in chapters currently is that there has been social pressure towards focusing on certain cause areas and funding pressure along with it. For example, a sense that chapters are much more likely to get funding, attention, etc, from movement building organizations if they are more far future focused. I think chapters can of course run without any support of any major organization, but the culture of chapters will change if support is more conditional over the long term. As far as I know, no one has been specifically told not to run a chapter based on a different cause focus and I agree this is not the reason most groups start (but it can be a big difference in which groups grow).

Tightly controlled also is in reference to what competing chapter building / movement building organizations would go through to work in the space. For example, the recent post on Leverage is explicitly aimed at caution towards a conference being run under a different organization. I have heard from other organizations about similar frustrations and coordination problems when trying to work in the outreach space.

Comment author: Telofy  (EA Profile) 08 June 2018 08:00:30AM 1 point [-]

Awesome! Do you also have plans to assist EA founders of for-profit social enterprises (like e.g. Wave)?

Comment author: Joey 25 June 2018 06:14:17PM 2 points [-]

It is possible we will focus on this in one of our future years.

Comment author: [deleted] 11 June 2018 03:53:56PM 0 points [-]

Out of charities founded I expect about 50% of them would be GiveWell incubation/ACE recommended.

Is there anything more you can say about why you think this? (Feel free to ignore the question - I don't have anything substantial to say about why this seems high to me.)

Comment author: Joey 25 June 2018 06:14:03PM 2 points [-]

Hey sorry for the slow response on this. I was waiting for some information to be published. I think my estimate would have been much lower before Charity Science Health and Fortify Health both becoming GiveWell incubated. Fortify Health in particular, I think is fairly representative of the program I plan on running, although the future program will likely provide more support than what I was able to give to their team.

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.

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.

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.

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