Announcing the 2019-20 Donor Lottery

In ad­vance of this year’s giv­ing sea­son, EA Funds will once again run a donor lot­tery.

Donor lot­ter­ies provide donors with a chance to guide a large amount of money to pro­jects they be­lieve will do the most good.

There will be two open lot­ter­ies, one with a block size of $100,000 and one with a block size of $500,000. Carl Shul­man will provide back­stop fund­ing for the lot­ter­ies from his dis­cre­tionary funds held at the Cen­tre for Effec­tive Altru­ism.

If you’d like to read more about the pro­cess, please have a look at the EA Funds Donor Lot­ter­ies page. The TL;DR is:

  • You donate into one of the open lotteries

  • Your odds of win­ning are pro­por­tional to the size of your dona­tion rel­a­tive to the lot­tery block size

  • A win­ner is cho­sen at random

  • The win­ner may recom­mend grants to char­i­ta­ble or­gani­sa­tions or other pro­jects aimed at im­prov­ing the world (sub­ject to cer­tain limi­ta­tions), up to the value of the lot­tery block size

Key dates (both lot­ter­ies):

  • Open date: Mon­day, 2 De­cem­ber 2019

  • Close date: Fri­day, 17 Jan­uary 2020 (date by which all en­tries must have been made through the EA Funds web­site)

  • Lock date: Fri­day, 24 Jan­uary 2020 (date by which EA Funds must have con­firmed re­ceipt of money for en­tries to be valid)

  • Draw date: Fri­day, 31 Jan­uary 2020

All dates are at 8pm UTC

To en­ter the lot­tery, make a dona­tion via the EA Funds Donor Lot­tery page for the block size of your choice:

En­ter the Donor Lottery

You can donate di­rectly through the EA Funds in­ter­face. Dona­tions are tax de­ductible in the United States and the United King­dom (donors in the Nether­lands can also make tax-de­ductible dona­tions in £GBP by choos­ing the ‘UK’ op­tion on the pay­ment page).

If you’d like to make a cryp­tocur­rency dona­tion worth over $1,000 (BTC or ETH) please con­tact funds[at]effec­tivealtru­ism[dot]org for more de­tails.

Mak­ing recommendations

Win­ners will have the op­tion to make recom­men­da­tions to the Cen­tre for Effec­tive Altru­ism, which is the le­gal en­tity back­ing EA Funds. How­ever, CEA may face con­straints in the par­tic­u­lar or­gani­sa­tions that it can make grants to, and is likely to be some­what averse to ap­prov­ing riskier grants. To al­low for more flex­i­bil­ity, we’ll also offer po­ten­tial win­ners in the US or the UK the op­tion of set­ting up a Donor Ad­vised Fund that can han­dle the grant­mak­ing in­stead (if a win­ner arises in an­other coun­try we’ll ex­plore op­tions for set­ting up a similar sys­tem, but can’t guaran­tee that this will be pos­si­ble). If you win a lot­tery block, we’ll talk to you about your prefer­ences.

For more in­for­ma­tion please see the ‘Caveats and Limi­ta­tions’ sec­tion of the Donor Lot­tery page.

Pre­vi­ous donor lot­ter­ies:

  • 2017-18: $100,000 lot­tery, won by Adam Gleave, who gen­er­ously pub­lished a re­port on his grant recommendations

  • 2018-19: a $100,000 lot­tery (no win­ners) and a $500,000 lot­tery won by an anony­mous donor (grant de­ci­sion in progress)

Fur­ther read­ing: