I think this is basically accurate. As I mentioned in another thread, the issue is that the scaling-up-of-vetting is still generally network constrained.
But, this framing (I like this framing) suggests to me that the thing to do is a somewhat different take on Earning to Give.
I had previously believed that Earning-to-Give people should focus on networking their way into hubs where they can detect early stage organizations, vett them, and fund them. And that this was the main mechanism by which their marginal dollars could be complementary to larger funders.
But, the Vetting-Constrained lens suggests that Earners-to-Give should be doing that even harder, not because of the marginal value of their dollars, but because this could allow them to self-fund their own career capital as a future potential grantmaker.
And moreover, this means that whereas before I’d have said it’s only especially worth it to Earn-to-Give if you make a lot of money, now I’d recommend harder for marginal EAs to join donor lotteries. If a hundred people each put in $10k into 10 different donor lotteries, now you have 10 people with $100k, enough to seed fund an org for a year. And this is valuable because it gives them experience think about whether organizations are good.
There could be some systemization to this to optimize how much experience a person gets and how the org(s) they funded turned out to fare. (Maybe with some prediction markets thrown in)
I like this frame of maximizing the learning of the vetting skill.
How can we get as many EA’s as possible to get as much experience as possible on evaluating charities, while also ensuring some minimum level of quality with the charities that actually get funded?
Sounds like we want every (potential) grantmaker to be working on vetting the orgs that are on the edge of their skill. That’s how you maximize learning.
Also re Jan’s comment, some kind of “upward delegation” system where juniors defer to seniors but only if they can’t handle an application sounds like it would have this property, plus it would minimize the time that seniors have to spend.
I also like to imagine sending small teams to the EA hotel to start an org for 3 months, explicitly with the intention to just test an idea, then write up their results and feed this back into the vetters.
Just shooting random ideas. Seems like we have some nice building blocks to create something here.