The Long-Term Future Fund has room for more funding, right now

  • The Long-Term Future Fund is on track to approve $1.5M - $2M of grants this round. This is 3 − 4x what we’ve spent in any of our last five grant rounds and most of our current fund balance.

  • We received 129 applications this round, desk rejected 33 of them, and are evaluating the remaining 96. Looking at our preliminary evaluations, I’d guess we’ll fund 20 − 30 of these.

  • In our last comparable grant round, April 2019, we received 91 applications and funded 13, for a total of $875,150. Compared to that round:

    • We’ve received more applications. (42% more than in April.)

    • We’re likely to distribute more money per applicant, because several applications are for larger grants, and requested salaries have gone up. (The average grant request is ~$80K this round vs. ~$50K in April, and the median is ~$50K vs. ~$25K in April.)

    • We’re likely to fund a slightly greater percentage of applications. (16% − 23% vs. 14% in April.)

  • We’ve recently changed parts of the fund’s infrastructure and composition, and it’s possible that these changes have caused us to unintentionally lower our standards for funding. My personal sense is that this isn’t the case; I think the increased spending reflects an increase in the number of quality applications submitted to us, as well as changing applicant salaries.

  • If you were considering donating to the fund in the past but were unsure about its room for more funding, now could be a particularly impactful time to give. I don’t know if my perceived increase in quality applications will persist, but I no longer think it’s implausible for the fund to spend $4M - $8M this year while maintaining our previous bar for funding. This is up from my previous guess of $2M.