Comment author: DardanBastiaan 27 May 2017 12:24:47PM *  3 points [-]

For banks and big corporations to want to join, there probably needs to be a greater sense of assurance that their signing up will actually lead to the publicity you suggest there would be. That in mind, it's plausible that 1. cancer charities would do better than an investment in something westerners aren't personally affected by, such as schistosomiasis, and 2. that one big check to one big organization will garner more attention than many checks to a myriad of organizations. To hammer home that latter point: you could refer to past examples where big donations to some charity lead to a big press event where the donor is thanked extensively (a google browse should garner plenty of results). Lastly, it's plausible that big organizations are more likely to listen and cooperate if they are asked by a big, known charity, which you will have contacted and gotten to initiate that process, rather than some obscure, new, small organization without any track-record whatsoever.

Have you considered implementing this in already existing charity structures of organizations. Quite a few organizations already have partnerships, e.g.: https://fundraising.co.uk/2016/07/15/deloitte-raises-2-6m-three-years-three-charities/, and this could fit neatly into that.

Comment author: david_reinstein 05 June 2017 12:00:21PM 0 points [-]

For banks and big corporations to want to join, there probably needs to be a greater sense of assurance that their signing up will actually lead to the publicity you suggest there would be.

I agree. It would be good to think of ways to line up endorsement and positive publicity in advance. Still, I think it depends on the cost-benefit calculation. If they can try this without much effort or risk, they might be willing to do so internally and roll out the PR gradually.

That in mind, it's plausible that 1. cancer charities would do better than an investment in something westerners aren't personally affected by, such as schistosomiasis, and 2. that one big check to one big organization will garner more attention than many checks to a myriad of organizations.

Domestic charities and charities like CRUK will typically tend to do better in general, I suspect. However, i. increasing the overall volume of giving should increase effective giving at least proportionally and ii. more so if we focus on this in the promotions and work with EA supporters in organisations.

Developing approaches to get people outside of the EA movement to support EA charities is a separate and very important one (e.g., Deloitte could have at least one international/effective charity partnership. I'm working on this as well (I hope to update soon about the wiki and other things people can engage in.)

I would be very keen to work with a big, known charity. It may not be the highest-rated EA charity, but it would be good to partner with one that is at least somewhere on the EA spectrum even if not perfect (an Oxfam, MSF, Comic Relief, etc).

11

Give if you win (innovation in fundraising)

I’m an academic Economist at the University of Exeter, working on a project called ‘ Give if you win ’. Here's a summary: Millions of employees anticipate end-of-year bonuses and performance-dependent income, particularly in finance and sales. Before these are announced many are uncertain of what size reward, if any,... Read More
Comment author: Toby_Ord 22 May 2017 02:46:21PM 4 points [-]

I think it is mainly from individuals' explicit preferences over hypothetical gambles for income streams. e.g. if you are indifferent between a sure salary of $50,000 PA and a 50-50 gamble between a salary of $25,000 or one of $100,000, then that fits logarithmic utility (eta = 1). Note that while people's intuitions about such cases are far from perfect (e.g. they will have status quo bias) this methodology is actually very similar to that of QALYs/DALYs. But I imagine all methods you mention are used. Also other methods such as happiness surveys give results in the same ballpark. If asking about ideal societal distribution, then that is actually a somewhat different question as there could be additional moral reasons in favour of equality or priority to the worst off on top of diminishing marginal utility effects. Eta is typically intended to set aside such issues, though there are other tests to measure those.

Comment author: david_reinstein 24 May 2017 05:19:59PM 2 points [-]

Thank you Toby. The 'preference over gambles' as a way of measuring diminishing marginal utility will depend strongly on the expected utility maximization assumption; in practice, it could be vulnerable to reference-point effects I believe. (Also the logarithmic utility function is obviously an imposed parametric assumption, but a good start.)

Still, these approaches seem reasonable, especially insofar as broadly similar results come from varying contexts.

Comment author: Jon_Behar 22 May 2017 09:05:40PM 1 point [-]

Giving Games are workshops where participants hear a brief introduction to effective giving, learn about a few pre-selected charities, discuss their relative merits, and then make a real money donation (with money typically provided by an outside source) to their favorite. More details here.

Comment author: david_reinstein 24 May 2017 05:14:23PM 2 points [-]

Thank you. It sounds somewhat similar to some economics experiments involving charity that I have seen, but of course with a different goal in mind. I will look into this -- I am curious also about the evidence one might collect from such games, especially about which arguments people have found convincing, and which approaches have convinced people to choose the more effective charities.

Comment author: david_reinstein 20 May 2017 06:29:50PM 3 points [-]

I like this article and I agree with the argument in principle, but I'd like to see a bit more information presented about how the elasticity parameter is estimated.

In other words, what data has been used to compute this parameter? Experiments where people make choices among different lotteries? Implicit choices where people make tradeoffs involving risk? Stated preferences over comparisons of societal distributions of wealth?

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 17 May 2017 03:25:00AM 2 points [-]

GiveWell's "Your Dollar Goes Further Overseas" is, I think, the best attempt at answering that question and making that case.

Comment author: david_reinstein 20 May 2017 06:23:46PM 1 point [-]

That page is good, but it would be better if they could give an apples-to-apples comparison. There must be domestic US charities that aim to save lives domestically, from which a 'cost per life saved' estimate could be drawn. ... Or a developing country charity that provides a similar service as the US charities mentioned (education, neo-natal care, etc), from which many more people could be serverd for the same $.

In response to Open Thread #36
Comment author: Zeke_Sherman 28 March 2017 02:01:17AM *  3 points [-]

Has anyone thought about retiring in a foreign country where the cost of living is low? That seems like a great idea to me - all the benefits of saving money, without worrying about work opportunities.

Comment author: david_reinstein 20 May 2017 06:17:00PM 1 point [-]

Moving to a low-income foreign country could indirectly help the people in that country, if you buy goods and pay taxes there, create jobs, etc.

In response to Open Thread #36
Comment author: david_reinstein 20 May 2017 06:15:26PM 0 points [-]

Not sure what a DAF stands for. On retirement, buying an inflation-adjusted annuity could be a good of assuring you can donate a particular amount in your will while ensuring a steady income until you die.

Comment author: david_reinstein 20 May 2017 06:12:01PM 2 points [-]

My thoughts, apologies if I am just reiterating what you already know.

It seems like there are 3 very difficult things to get a ballpark estimate of:

  1. The likelihood of developing a successful fake chicken as a function of the number of investment dollars. This seems like a scientific/technical question. The impact-driven EA investor will want to know the impact of his/her $1 on this probability, i.e., the slope of this given the likely level of other's investment. I.e., if I expect others will invest $1 million, I consider how the probability of a chicken differs when investment increases from $1 million to $1 million +1. (Or to $1 million + 1*leverage multiplier, see below).

  2. The multiplier effect of a (donated) investment dollar, including both a. The leverage of a dollar (how much more you could borrow at a reasonable interest rate with an additional dollar of equity collateral); I think this could be estimated under some reasonable assumptions b. The effect of an additional investment dollar on subsequent investors/altruists willingness to invest. This seems like the hardest thing to calculate, and it is not completely clear whether that effect should even be positive. This is the 'seed money' question. It might be that when altruists see a greater amount of investment already, they see their own contribution as less vital, and invest less.

  3. The likely overall distribution of total amount invested; the $1 million in the example in part 1.

Comment author: david_reinstein 20 May 2017 05:55:43PM 1 point [-]

Briefly, how do you define/describe 'Giving Games'?

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