Charity Redirect—A proposal for a new kind of Effective Altruist organization

UPDATE: Note: This was my first post on this fo­rum and I ap­par­ently ac­ci­den­tally pub­lished it be­fore finish­ing writ­ing it, so a few peo­ple read it and com­mented be­fore I got to ask my ques­tions.

Also, my ti­tle is in­ac­cu­rate. Such EA or­ga­ni­za­tions already ex­ist (among them, GiveWell it­self, Char­ity Science, and Giv­ing What You Can).

How­ever, I would still like to em­pha­size my be­lief that the EA move­ment doesn’t em­pha­size enough the value of donat­ing to such “meta-EA char­i­ties” rather than donat­ing to the most effec­tive non-meta char­i­ties di­rectly.


Most char­ity fundraisers cause harm be­cause (1) they don’t ac­tu­ally in­crease the to­tal amount of money donated to char­ity, but rather just shift money from one char­ity to an­other and (2) most char­i­ties are less effec­tive than the av­er­age char­ity.

How­ever, fundraisers for the most effec­tive char­i­ties do a lot of good be­cause they redi­rect money from less effec­tive char­i­ties to char­i­ties that have much greater im­pacts.

In re­sponse to the ques­tion, “What are you try­ing to ac­com­plish?” GiveWell says it aims “to di­rect as much fund­ing as pos­si­ble of this large pool [of dona­tions given by in­di­vi­d­ual donors] to the best giv­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties we can find.”

But I don’t think this is true. GiveWell’s func­tion ap­pears to be iden­ti­fy­ing the best giv­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, not do­ing fundrais­ing for them.

Which or­ga­ni­za­tions are fo­cused on do­ing fundrais­ing for the most effec­tive char­i­ties? Do they ex­ist?

If so, why haven’t I heard of them? (UPDATE: I had heard of the three men­tioned in the com­ments.) Why weren’t they men­tioned in William MacAskill’s new book Do­ing Good Bet­ter?

And why haven’t any of them made the list of GiveWell’s top char­i­ties?

It seems to me that it would be sig­nifi­cantly bet­ter to donate to a fundrais­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion that redi­rects funds to GiveWell’s top char­i­ties than it would be to donate to GiveWell’s top char­i­ties di­rectly.

You’d have to take into ac­count what would hap­pen oth­er­wise to be sure, but my ini­tial im­pres­sion is that this is true.

If I’m wrong about this, I’d very much like to know why.