This is a collection of writings on where people are donating. It only includes writings that I am aware exist (obviously) and that are written by effectiveness-minded people.
My descriptions are paraphrased from the linked writings as much as possible. The writing in this post includes combinations of my own and the linked writers’ words. My summaries often do not do the original writers justice, so I recommend reading all of the linked articles if you are interested.
Edited 2018-02-14 to include myself.
Edited soon after publication to include ACE staff members’ donations. Thanks to the Facebook commenter who pointed me to them.
In 2017 I donated to the Good Food Institute because I believed it presented a particularly good opportunity for reducing animal suffering and antispeciesism in expectation. (Original writeup says I donated in 2016 but I actually donated in early 2017.)
Zach is donating to Wild-Animal Suffering Research (WASR) because he believes that: (1) animals in the wild suffer terror and pain on a massive scale, and virtually nobody even considers trying to address this problem; (2) he has been thoroughly impressed with his personal interactions with WASR staff as well as their output to date.
Ben reviewed the research produced by a bunch of AI safety organizations. He rot13’d his donation decision to allow readers to come to their own conclusions; below is his own rot13’d description.
Fvtavsvpnag qbangvbaf gb gur Znpuvar Vagryyvtrapr Erfrnepu Vafgvghgr naq gur Tybony Pngnfgebcuvp Evfxf Vafgvghgr. N zhpu fznyyre bar gb NV Vzcnpgf.
Peter used three main criteria:
- Have a clear “room for more funding”
- Have a clear risk of not meeting their funding goal
- Clear a bar of being “impactful enough” for the EA community to be worth funding
He selected four organizations that he believed met these criteria: (1) Charity Science Health, (2) Rethink Charity, (3) Wild-Animal Suffering Research, and (4) Sentience Institute.
Jason donated primarily to New Harvest because he believes he believes their efforts will support the development of animal product alternatives and thus reduce animal suffering. He also considered donations to Good Food Institute, Plant Based Foods Association, Wild Animal Suffering Research, and Animal Ethics. He believes that New Harvest has a strong track record and substantial room for more funding – “New Harvest seems especially well poised to [improve animal product alternatives] with marginal donations”.
(Note: Jason frequently refers to “we” in his article, but I don’t know who the other person is.)
- 50-50 split between things that directly do good and more speculative options
- For things that directly do good, they follow GiveWell’s recommendations – 70% to the Against Malaria Foundation and 30% to Schistosomiasis Control Initiative
- For more speculative things, they want to put part of the money towards a project that a friend is starting, and the rest to the EA Community Fund
- 80% to a donor-advised fund, to be allocated later
- 18% to GiveWell top charities (to be allocated at GiveWell’s discretion)
- 2% to GiveWell’s operations
Ben saved 80% to donate later because he believes most top candidate organizations are not particularly cash constrained right now, but he wanted to make a large donation in 2017 due to the recent tax bill.
Zvi donated to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute. He believes AI safety is “the most important, urgent and under-funded cause.” His private information and personal experience point to MIRI being a capable organization. Zvi was particularly impressed by MIRI’s paper on Functional Decision Theory.
His post explains (i) why he believes AI safety matters, (ii) his analysis of MIRI’s organizational quality, (iii) his analysis of MIRI’s research, and (iv) general comments on donation.
- 24% to Animal Charity Evaluators
- 24% to Good Food Institute (GFI)
- 20% to Vegan Outreach
- 8% to A Well-Fed World
- 8% to Better Eating International
- 16% to Encompass
Toni Adleberg donated or directed donations to GFI, Against Malaria Foundation, and Encompass, plus some small donations elsewhere.
Sofia Davis-Fogel donated to:
Kieran Greig planned on donating to ACE because he believes donations to ACE have a higher expected value than donations to ACE top charities. He was interested in funding some other projects but was unaware of any highly promising donation targets for them:
- Corporate campaigns aimed at improving farmed fish welfare
- Humane insecticides
- Feature length documentaries advocating for farmed animals
- Genetic interventions to improve animal welfare
- Establishing wild animal suffering as an academic field
- Funding talented researchers to do effective animal advocacy research
Jamie Spurgeon cycled through supporting various causes throughout the year, including ACE and GiveWell top charities. Later in the year he became increasingly confident that animal advocacy was particularly neglected; at the end of the year he gave all his donations to the ACE Recommended Charity Fund.
Erika Alonso donated to:
- Animal Charity Evaluators
- Animal Equality
- Food Empowerment Project
- Good Food Institute
- Humane League
- Mercy for Animals
- New Harvest
Eric Herboso donated to:
- Centre for Effective Altruism
- GiveDirectly (for their Universal Basic Income initiative)
- Effective Altruism Funds (specifically the animal welfare and far future funds)
- Giving What We Can
- Machine Intelligence Research Institute
- EA donor lottery
He made some additional donations for fuzzies, not utilons, including gifts intended to encompass the virtue of generosity.
- 80% to GiveWell for re-granting to GiveWell’s top charities
- 10% to the Long-Term Future Fund
- 10% to farm animal welfare, probably based on Animal Charity Evaluators’ recommendations
Sophie Monahan is donating to No Lean Season, a GiveWell top-rated charity.
- 90% to Against Malaria Foundation
- 10% to No Lean Season
- 75% to GiveWell for re-granting
- 5% to GiveDirectly
- 20% to promote justice-focused causes, including Causa Justa : Just Cause, Planned Parenthood, ProPublica, and Earthjustice
James Snowden (research consultant):
The following staff members are donating to GiveWell for regranting to GiveWell’s top charities:
- Ellie Hassenfeld
- Natalie Crispin
- Andrew Martin
- Chelsea Talbart
- Christian Smith
Note: Two of the people listed said that they were not donating anything this year, so I have excluded them.
- 80% to GiveWell for regranting
- 5% to GiveWell for operations
- 5% to GiveDirectly
- 10% to farm animal welfare groups recommended by Lewis Bollard
- Most of her money to a non-public organization started by a couple of friends
- Has not decided what to do with the remaining money, but will probably give it to GiveWell for regranting
Lewis Bollard is donating his personal money to further support the animal welfare organizations that he has made grants to through Open Philanthropy.
Ajeya Cotra is participating in a donor lottery. If she wins, she will probably donate the money toward the same early stage organization mentioned by Helen Toner.
Morgan Davis is giving to the Effective Altruism Funds:
- 5% to Animal Welfare
- 5% to Global Development
- 15% to EA Community
- 75% to Long-Term Future
- 70% to Against Malaria Foundation
- 30% to GiveDirectly
- Small donations to some of the organizations mentioned in the blog post Giving Suggestions Pertaining to Recent Executive Actions