Manifold Markets lets you create a prediction market on any topic, and bet on the outcome using “mana”, our play-money currency. What people sometimes forget: besides using mana to show off your prediction skills, you can also use convert mana into real donations to charity!
We support a wide range of EA charities, such as Givewell, the Long-Term Future Fund, the Humane League, and most recently Rethink Priorities. Check out our charities page to see them all, and let us know if there are any we should add!
Why is donating the winnings from a prediction market such a neat idea? Well, from our original grant proposal to set up these charity prediction markets:
The primary reason to fund charity prediction markets is that they allow people to legally trade on prediction markets using something they value. Other reasons CPMs could be a good idea:
Prediction markets reward people for being right about the future. People who are often right about the future may be good at deciding which charities are good.
Prediction markets can help charities make better decisions. For example, the AMF may post a question like “Will there be >600k malaria deaths in 2022”, or more specifically “Will AMF’s follow-up survey show that 40% or more of bednets are still in use after 3 months?”
Prediction markets can act as donor lotteries. Donors who win have more reason to carefully research where to send their money; donors who lose can save time deciding among charities.
Prediction markets are fun! Donors may donate more to have fun, compared to what they would have donated otherwise.
Donors can invest money back into the CPM platform, to fund development or offer donation matches to new traders.
Donations to charity are less subject to diminishing marginal returns compared to personal wealth. For example, I’d personally prefer a guaranteed $5k rather than a coin flip between $0 and $10k, but I’m ambivalent about which of these gets donated, according to expected value theory
Prediction markets can train donors to get into the mindset of putting down probability estimates on beliefs, and thinking rigorously about the future.
Donors may not have to pay taxes on earnings in a CPM, the way they don’t for any earnings in a donor advised fund.
So this Giving Tuesday, consider giving some of your mana as well!
Out of curiosity, where does the money come from?
Thanks for asking! Manifold has received a grant to promote charitable prediction markets which we can regrant from. But otherwise, we could also fund these donations via mana purchases (some of our users buy in more mana if they run out, or want to support Manifold.markets)