Thanks for your time in raising the points above. To introduce myself, I am the new Executive Director of One for the World. I think you make some very important points and we have taken action to address several of them.
I’m pleased that the thread seems largely to have been resolved positive. However, to respond directly on our own behalf:
We take your point that we could be seen as a marketing investment by GiveWell. I think it slightly understates/misstates our work to suggest that we are a publicity effort or advertising campaign, but I don’t think this is material to your point. Our founders did indeed decide to fundraise for GiveWell’s recommended charities independently when they set up in 2014, although as part of a wider group of charities. We then fully aligned with GiveWell in April 2019 (see blog post here). GiveWell requested that we switch our portfolio to align with their recommendations as part of recommending a grant; we were enthusiastic about making this switch.
While I agree with your points in the main, I think it’s important to note a couple of things. First, while GiveWell does provide ~75% of our funding at present, we are working to diversify our funding, to make sure we can take a balanced view of GiveWell’s work (and as a general risk management strategy). While we consider GiveWell’s research first class at present, as you do, we agree that we need to be able to review this relationship regularly and have backup plans in case we no longer feel comfortable raising only for GiveWell charities or accepting their funding. It’s important to say that GiveWell have in fact encouraged us in this effort, by only granting us 75% of our operating costs for the 2020-21 financial year. They have made it clear to us that a key indicator of success is raising the deficit from elsewhere and that the second year of funding could be withheld if we are unable to do this.
Second, we have tried to be transparent about our financial relationship in several forums, although I completely agree that we need to be better, especially for a casual website visitor. We acknowledged the substantial grant via GiveWell in several blog posts (August 2018 x 2, February 2019, March 2019) and last year’s annual report (let me know if you would like links to these). However, I completely accept your point that this should be consistent across all our content and also highlighted on our charities page—we’re now working to address this, so thanks for the prompting.
Finally, in terms of steps to address this:
we started work last week, after reading your post, on standardising our content to acknowledge the relationship more fully
we have updated our FAQs and About Us pages in particular, and linked to a specific one-pager on our relationship with GiveWell, which I think you have seen
our next annual report (due imminently) is explicit about the relationship
we have added something to our charity pages to highlight this relationship more prominently and fully
Thanks again for your input and your valuable support of GiveWell’s charities. If you would like to discuss anything further, my email is jack[at]1fortheworld[dot]org
Hi Jack, thank you so much for your thorough response to my concerns. I have seen the additions to your website, and I think they’re great. I should also note that I think One for the World is doing laudable and important work. I did not intend to suggest otherwise. As you say, I believe you “could be seen” as a publicity effort for GiveWell, but I certainly do not believe that characterization accurately captures the full scope of your activities or of your role in the broader EA ecosystem. On a similar note, I apologize for missing the acknowledgements of your financial relationship with GiveWell in the blog posts you mentioned and in your 2018 annual report. I admit I simply was not looking that hard for disclosures – I just browsed what I took to be the main pages of your website. I am thrilled to see that these pages now feature a similar (or greater) level of transparency. Finally, I am glad to hear that you are engaged in efforts to reduce your reliance on GiveWell for funding and that GiveWell is supporting you in those efforts. That strikes me as an excellent best practice. Thanks again for your response, for the changes, and for all of the great work you’re doing at One for the World.