Announcing Effective Altruism Ventures

To­day we’re launch­ing Effec­tive Altru­ism Ven­tures, a pro­ject of CEA’s Effec­tive Altru­ism Outreach ini­ti­a­tive. The goal of Effec­tive Altru­ism Ven­tures is to test the the­ory that we can stim­u­late the cre­ation of new high im­pact or­ga­ni­za­tions by sim­ply sig­nal­ing that fund­ing is available.

GiveWell has ar­gued in mul­ti­ple blog posts that in­ter­est­ing pro­jects of­ten do not ap­pear un­til a ma­jor fun­der sig­nals an in­ter­est in fund­ing a pro­ject. This al­igns with my ex­pe­rience run­ning the Tech­nol­ogy and In­no­va­tion de­part­ment at the Laura and John Arnold Foun­da­tion and with YCom­bi­na­tor’s re­cently an­nounced Re­quests for Star­tups. We de­signed Effec­tive Altru­ism Ven­tures to provide this sig­nal for EA-al­igned pro­jects.

For Projects

New pro­jects can ap­ply and go through a sys­tem­atic eval­u­a­tion pro­cess (the de­tails of which are available here). We will in­tro­duce pro­jects that pass the eval­u­a­tion to our net­work of in­di­vi­d­ual and in­sti­tu­tional fun­ders and help find new fun­ders if needed. We also provide strate­gic guidance, re­cruit­ing help and more. We are both cause-neu­tral and neu­tral on or­ga­ni­za­tion type (e.g. non­profit, for-profit, benefit cor­po­ra­tion etc.) Ap­pli­ca­tions are rol­ling, but we de­vote more time to eval­u­a­tions at set in­ter­vals through­out the year. The next eval­u­a­tion sprint will be May 1, so in­ter­ested pro­jects should ap­ply by then.

To get a bet­ter sense of our eval­u­a­tion pro­cess and of Effec­tive Altru­ism Ven­tures it­self, we com­pleted an eval­u­a­tion of our­selves us­ing the EA Ven­tures eval­u­a­tion frame­work. You can read the eval­u­a­tion here. The re­sults of our eval­u­a­tion in­di­cate that there is in­suffi­cient ev­i­dence to recom­mend mak­ing dona­tions di­rectly to Effec­tive Altru­ism Ven­tures at this time. This is con­sis­tent with our cur­rent plan of run­ning the pro­ject on a vol­un­teer ba­sis for 3-6 months be­fore fundrais­ing to sup­port op­er­a­tional costs.

For Funders

For fun­ders Effec­tive Altru­ism Ven­tures is a risk-free way of gain­ing ac­cess to higher qual­ity pro­jects. We will learn about your fund­ing pri­ori­ties and then in­tro­duce you to vet­ted pro­jects that meet your pri­ori­ties. If you don’t like a pro­ject you are free to de­cline to fund it. We sim­ply ask that you provide us with your rea­sons so we can im­prove our eval­u­a­tion pro­ce­dure.

We also help im­prove fun­der co­or­di­na­tion for new pro­jects. This helps fun­ders get a clearer sense of whether their fund­ing is fun­gible with that of other EA fun­ders.

Want to get in­volved?

If you’re in­ter­ested in get­ting in­volved in Effec­tive Altru­ism Ven­tures, we’re look­ing for the fol­low­ing:

  • Pro­jects, es­pe­cially those that are work­ing in ar­eas that are im­por­tant, tractable and un­crowded.

  • Fun­ders who are ide­olog­i­cally al­igned with EA and are in­ter­ested in see­ing our deal flow.

  • Ex­perts in fields of in­ter­est that are will­ing to help us eval­u­ate pro­jects.

  • En­trepreneurs with­out their own pro­ject, but who are in­ter­ested in work­ing on one of the pro­jects we recom­mend.

  • Part­ners who have strong net­works and want to work closely with us to eval­u­a­tion pro­jects, find fun­ders and source new pro­jects.

If you fall into one of the above groups and would like to chat more about Effec­tive Altru­ism Ven­tures, feel free to sched­ule time to chat here or email me at kerry@eav­en­tures.org.