Are lottery winners subject to conflict of interest restrictions similar to EA Funds? E.g. could a winner end up choosing to donate to an organisation they run or work at, or fund themselves or a connected party to do independent work?
( I am currently undecided as to whether I’m going to donate to the lottery, but this question isn’t a factor in that – just asking out of interest as the question occurred to me, seemed like it might be important, and I don’t think I know what I would want the answer to be as a donor, so would be curious to hear the answer!)
We currently don’t implement any measures to prevent people from making donations to their employer, whether through the donor lottery or as ordinary donations through the EA Funds website. The due diligence process for grants to individuals is much more thorough; if there was a potential COI we would investigate that carefully before making a grant. Most likely, we wouldn’t allow people to fund themselves.
Makes sense, thanks!
Does this help (from the FAQs? “The lottery is administered by the Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA). The Centre for Effective Altruism is a registered charity in England and Wales (Charity Number 1149828) and a registered 501(c)(3) Exempt Organization in the USA (EIN 47-1988398). An entry to the lottery is a donation to CEA; CEA will regrant the lottery money, based on the recommendation of the lottery winner.
All grants made are at CEA’s sole discretion. This is a condition of CEA’s status as a tax-deductible non-profit (both in the UK and the US). Of course, CEA will make a good faith effort to act on the recommendation of the winning donor, but it is important to understand that this does not constitute a binding contract, and the final decision rests with CEA.
There are cases where it may not be possible to follow the winner’s recommendation. In particular, CEA is limited to making grants within its charitable objects (and in the US, within the scope of what the IRS would deem an ‘appropriate organization’ to regrant to). Judgements about whether a potential grantee is within this scope will be made on a case-by-case basis by CEA. If CEA determines that it cannot follow a recommendation, the donor will be contacted to discuss and be given the opportunity to provide a revised recommendation.
Broadly speaking, CEA should be able to regrant to any fund or organization on listed on Effective Altruism Funds, as well as nearly all other registered non-profit organizations in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Europe, and possibly other jurisdictions (assuming their organizational purposes don’t contravene CEA’s charitable objects, and we can verify their non-profit status).
CEA may also be able to make grants to organizations that are not registered non-profits, or projects that are run by unincorporated individuals. These requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
If you are unsure about whether a potential grantee would be eligible, please get in touch before entering the lottery to discuss (contact details below).”