Hey Michael, great ideas. I’d like to see all of these as well. My concern would just be whether there are charities available to fund in the areas. Do you have some potential grant recipients for these funds in mind?
Hello Kerry. Building on what Michael Dickens said, I now think the funds need to be more tightly specified before we can pick the most promising recipients within each. For instance, imagine we have a ‘systemic change’ fund, presumably a totalist systemic change fund would be different from a person-affecting, life-improving one. It’s possible they might consider the same things top targets, but more work would be required to show that.
Narrowing down then:
Suppose we had life-improving fund using safe bets. I think charities like Strong Minds and Basic Needs (mental health orgs) are good contenders, although I can’t comment on their organisational efficiency.
Suppose we have a life-improving fund doing systemic change. I assume this would be trying to bring about political change via government policies, either at the domestic or international level. I can think of a few areas that look good, such as mental health policy, increasing access to pain relief in developing countries, and international drug policy reform. However, I can’t name and exalt particular orgs as I haven’t narrowed down to what I think the most promising sub-causes are yet.
Suppose we had a life-improving moonshots fund. If this is going to be different the one above, I imagine this would be looking for start ups, maybe a bit like EA Ventures did. I can’t think of anything relevant to suggest here apart from the start up I work on (the quality of which I can’t hope to be objective about). Perhaps this fund could be looking at starting new charities too, rather than looking to fund existing ones.
I don’t think not knowing who you’d give money to in advance is a reason not to pursue this further. For instance, I would consider donating to some type of moonshots fund precisely because I had no idea where the money would go and I’d like to see someone (else) try to figure it out. Once they’d made their we could build on their analysis and learn stuff.