Comment author: MarekDuda 02 August 2018 05:18:40PM 7 points [-]

Hi Jon, yes this is due to the numbers reported in March including the accounts payable - money not yet held in cash but expected to come in. We later realised that some of the transactions we were expecting to come in were not real donations, but rather several people making large 'testing' donations which then did not get paid. We have resolved these issues, and will be reporting Fund balances in cash terms going forward, however it did mean that the March numbers ended up being inflated.

We will be publishing a post in the coming weeks going into detail on the work we have been doing in the back end of Funds and releasing an update to the site which automatically pulls the Fund balances from our accounting system.

Comment author: Jon_Behar 03 August 2018 05:36:15PM 2 points [-]

Thanks for clarifying!

Looking forward to seeing the upcoming post, it would be great if it could include a chart/table of donations (in cash terms) to each fund over time.

Comment author: SamDeere 30 July 2018 09:42:36PM *  13 points [-]

The grant payout reports are now up on the EA Funds site:

Note that the Grant Rationale text is basically the same for both as Nick has summarised his thinking in one document, but the payout totals reflect the amount disbursed from each fund

Comment author: Jon_Behar 01 August 2018 01:43:18PM 5 points [-]

Nick says these latest grants "disburse all the EA Funds under my management." However, the grant amounts are ~10-15% less than the available cash the funds were reported as holding at the end of March, and the funds have presumably raised more money since then. Can Nick or someone from CEA please clarify?


The Giving Game Project's 2017 Annual Report

The Giving Game Project has published a report discussing its philanthropy education work, the evidence base surrounding that work, and its plans for the future.  The full report is available here ; the Executive Summary is below. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   Since the Giving Game Project’s last detailed update in mid-2016... Read More
Comment author: MichaelPlant 29 May 2018 11:38:04AM 2 points [-]

Hello Jon

Let’s say you wanted to earn to give

I agree, if I wanted to do that, my start up failure would be interesting. As it is, it's probably of very limited use. My appeal is to get people to consider what they would do if their start up failed and how useful that would be for their other line of work. Entrepreneurial experience is of basically no use in academia, as far as I can tell.

Comment author: Jon_Behar 30 May 2018 03:20:05PM 2 points [-]

Having the story to tell might not serve you that well if you stay in academia (though increased self-knowledge should help quite a bit). But I'd generalize my previous comments to say that you've picked up meaningful CV/interview capital if at any point in your career you end up leaving academia.

Comment author: Jon_Behar 30 May 2018 03:14:37PM 1 point [-]

This certainly has the potential to be a big problem; in practice it’ll largely depend on the methodologies used by the relevant organizations. FYI, TLYCS’s impact methodology takes steps to avoid double-counting and includes an explicit discussion of these counterfactual concerns. See the appendix of our annual report for details.

Comment author: Jon_Behar 25 May 2018 05:59:23PM 9 points [-]

1)Thanks for writing this, it’s a very helpful case study for the community.

2)You absolutely earned career capital and I 100% disagree with your claim that you “walk away with no cool story, no CV points.” Let’s say you wanted to earn to give (because I can speak to that from experience). I’ve screened thousands of resumes and conducted hundreds of interviews for highly competitive finance jobs (consulting is similar too). Most of the resumes look very similar, and there are likely more philosophy and other humanities PhDs from great schools than you’d expect. I’ve heard hundreds of people tell me about their investment banking internships, which is as excruciating as it sounds. People who screen resumes and conduct interviews are desperate to talk about something different, and Hippo is a perfect example. So you do have CV points that will help get you in the door.

And you have a cool story too. You’ve reflected a lot, and learned a lot about your interests, strengths, and weaknesses. That is valuable to you, and to prospective employers. You’ve also taken the time to share it so others can learn, which speaks to your character. You just need to learn how to frame your story right (let me know if you want to have a quick chat about how to frame this experience in a job interview).

3) I’ve heard a lot of stories about various “EA apps”. A lot of them have had significant resources invested in them. And the vast majority never actually get finished, let alone widely used. My suspicion is that your experience is pretty typical. So folks with plans for an EA app may way to think about pooling resources and/or there may an opportunity to have a repository where failed EA apps can share experiences, code, etc. so that future efforts aren't starting from scratch.


The Life You Can Save's 2017 Annual Report and 2018 Strategic Plan

  The Life You Can Save's Annual Report describes our work and impact in 2017 and our plans for the future. The full report is available here.   Highlights from the Executive Summary are below: We moved over $3.6 million to our Recommended Nonprofits (RNPs) in 2017, while spending less than... Read More
Comment author: Jon_Behar 26 January 2018 07:09:42PM 2 points [-]

I run The Life You Can Save’s “Giving Game” project- we give students (among others) real money to donate in structured decision making process (e.g. between pre-selected charities representing major EA causes). Let me know if you’d be interested in incorporating a GG into this class or future iterations. I’d be happy to discuss ways to tailor the model to your needs, explain what other teachers have done, etc. Background here:

Comment author: Jon_Behar 28 October 2017 02:24:05PM 26 points [-]

Opinions mine, not my employer’s.

Very important article Kelly, thanks for writing! I don’t agree with 100% of your diagnoses or prescriptions (honestly I rolled my eyes at some of them), but absolutely share your concern that a lack of gender and racial diversity is hurting EA. I’d also add age diversity to the mix, and in my experience (which I doubt is unique) this issue interacts with the gender and racial issues in a problematic way.

Back in my 20s, I would have brushed off and rationalized away your diversity concerns. At that time, I was the type of person over-represented in EA: young, male, studied econ at an elite school, working as a hedge fund quant in an explicitly hyper-rational and confrontational work environment, maximum “thinker” assessment on the Myers-Briggs thinker vs. feeler spectrum, etc. Many (probably “most”, or even “almost all”) of my friends and co-workers fit the same description. And I placed a very high value on my opinion, and the opinions of people like me.

Now I’m pushing 40, and I’m still a quanty, thinker vs. feeler guy with a blunt communication style. But I’ve acquired a valuable perspective on just how stupid really smart 20 somethings can be. When you work at a place that hires lots of people that fit the same profile year after year, certain patterns become obvious. You see the first year analyst class making the same mistakes each year, and realize they’re the same mistakes you and your cohorts made when you were first year analysts. You see that some people, with impeccable backgrounds/resumes, simply aren’t very good at their jobs for a variety of reasons. It turns out that even really really smart people mess up in very systematic ways. For instance, the type of people overrepresented at EA (myself included) generally aren’t that great at being humble (probably because of all the good grades and accomplishments). They also undervalue people skills- until I was lucky enough to meet an enormously talented salesperson and watch him build and nurture relationships that were critical to landing many multibillion dollar accounts, I thought the marketers were just people who couldn’t hack the math to do real finance work. I’m sure I still carry this bias to some degree.

When I was younger, I would have fallen in the “sure EA is homogeneous, but can you prove that’s a problem?” camp. With another ~15 years of perspective, I think that gets the burden of proof backwards. We’ve already experienced some of the negatives- remember when an EA journalist went to EA Global and felt a big part of the story was EA naiveté? We know the EA community and its leadership disproportionately represent populations who systematically lack humility (the “best and brightest”), experience (the young), and access to alternative perspectives (the women, people of color, people who remember the 70s, etc. who are mission aligned but think EA is too much work to interact with). That’s a lot of red flags (and FWIW most of my background is in risk management).

So now I’ve come around to the view that the EA community should seek out low cost ways to improve diversity (e.g. limiting jargon), and at least weigh the costs of changes that could significantly improve diversity (e.g. a community diversity officer). And if people want to argue that the lack of diversity in EA isn’t a problem, I think the burden of proof is clearly on them.

I’m amazed and inspired by all the young EAs who want to make the world a better place- I spent my time in college getting drunk at my frat, not reading 80,000 hours. The last thing I want to is discourage any of them. And I’m still kind of young and plenty dumb. So please just consider this a perspective to consider, and an endorsement of the principle of considering different perspectives.

Comment author: Jon_Behar 06 October 2017 01:58:25PM 6 points [-]

Any thoughts on why the grants were so concentrated by cause area? EA Community and LT future got 65% and 33% respectively, while Global Health and Development and Animal Welfare each got just 1%. Was this a function of the applications (number or quality) or the evaluation process (values, metrics)? Would you have predicted this going in?

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