Is The Hunger Site worth it?
The Hunger Site sends you an email every day; you click through to the site and click a button; the sponsors show you ads and then promise to donate a certain amount to several charities that feed poor people.
I’d guess that the amount of good done is fairly low, but it’s also not costing me as a participant any money, only a few seconds every day. Those seconds are not time that I might theoretically otherwise spend working and earning more money that I could donate elsewhere. So, while it seems like the system as a whole is an inefficient way to do good, it also seems like, from a personal perspective, doing it is more good than not doing it; neither time nor money is being spent (by me) on it that might go towards more efficient charity.
Personal Disclosure: I’ve been clicking almost every day for a few years now, and I’m getting tired of doing so. I know that, ultimately, I’m tired of it because I’m not getting positive feedback about the good being accomplished—any good being done is several steps removed and so, in a sense, it’s invisible to the user of the site—so my brain isn’t giving me positive rewards for thinking of myself as being a good person. I’m probably fighting a losing battle and going to stop anyway, but someone else telling me that it’s worth it would probably sustain the behavior for longer than otherwise.
So...has EA ever looked into analyzing whether The Hunger Site is worth a couple seconds per day? Whether any money actually ever makes it to poor people? A google search on “effective altruism the hunger site” and a search of this forum for “the hunger site” didn’t turn up any indications that EA has looked at it. Should I just donate $10 to the Anti-Malaria Foundation that I wouldn’t otherwise and say that that accomplishes more good than a lifetime of clicking on The Hunger Site?