Sunday, November 19, 2017

Giving Game 2017 results

This past week I ran a 'Giving Game' for my Effective Altruism class, letting each student decide (after class discussion) how to allocate £100 of my charitable budget for the year.  There was just one restriction: if they wanted to pick something other than one of the four EA Funds options (which have expert managers directing funds in the fields of "global health & development", "animal welfare", "long-term future", and "EA community"), they had to convince at least one other classmate to join them.  In the first seminar group, half the class ended up choosing alternative options; in the second, all stuck with the EA funds.  The end result was a bit more varied and (less conservative) than the first time I tried this, so that was interesting to see.  (I think it helped both to allow individual discretion rather than requiring group consensus decisions, and also to have the new "EA funds" available to enable responsibly contributing to a cause area without having to identify or select particular outstanding organizations within the area.  You can now just make the value judgment, and defer to trusted experts on the empirical details.)

Here's the final breakdown for both seminar groups combined:

* Global Health & Development [EA fund]: £900
* Animal Welfare [EA fund]: £200
* Long-term Future [EA fund]: £500
* EA Community [EA fund]: £300
* Cool Earth: £400
* Good Food Institute: £200

Where would (or better: do) you choose to give, in hopes of achieving the most good?

I'd definitely stick to the EA funds myself, trusting the managers to know the best giving opportunities within their area better than I do.  I've traditionally favoured the 'meta' approach of funding EA movement-building to catalyze additional donations, but the Long-term Future (yes, including AI risk) is hugely important and unduly neglected by people in general.


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