Thanks—that was really helpful! The 4x rule of thumb you mentioned makes sense and is good to know. We may contact you about collaborating; we’re probably not yet at the stage where we’ll be making this decision, but we’ll keep you posted! And your “nudging” suggestion makes sense, especially in light of what Ryan Carey said about people hating choosing between charities.
I did find one thing you said a bit odd, which is that veterans’ charities strike you as political. To me they seem fairly apolitical, as people all across the political spectrum support veterans (even if Republicans tend to feel more positively). I don’t think a Democrat would feel negatively about someone donating to a veterans’ charity. But I’m curious whether other people think veterans’ charities are political. (Because I do think that we will ultimately need to make a concerted effort to appeal to Republicans, and this feels to me like a way to do that without alienating Democrats.)
Re veterans’ charities:
I don’t have a strong opinion on this, because my experiences are more based on the UK than the US, which may be different.
However if your intuition said that veterans charities are more likely to appeal to Republicans than Democrats, Democrats might have the same intuition
What I can say is that veterans’ charities (certainly in the UK, and probably in the US too) are rich with organisations whose impact enormously underperforms AMF. By several orders of magnitude. So if you did decide to include a veterans’ charity, you would need a really good reason.
And if you need someone to assess the charities you’re considering, let me know—I can get someone from the SoGive analysis team to take a look.
Thanks. Basically the way I’m thinking about this in my head is: we have some effective charities, and some charities that are meant to encourage people to participate. If we end up getting 10 million in donations, only a quarter of which goes to effective charities, I think that would be a bigger success than getting 1 million in donations, all of which goes to effective charities. I’m thinking about the most effective way to get the platform off the ground, because if it doesn’t get off the ground then no money will be sent to charities anyway, and at least my intuition is that it may be helpful to have some charities that are not effective but appealing. (On the other hand, what some people have said about people not wanting to choose between charities and being okay with whatever has made me update against this.) Do you think this strategy would be misguided?
I would find it extremely surprising if compromising on charity choice led to you getting 10x more donations. Based on past experience, I’d surprised if it got you 10% more donations.
Many people would express preferences about where to donate if asked if they have preferences. However if they are going through a donation UX, every time they have one fewer click it’s a win for them, and very few donors have preferences strong enough to overcome their desire for a clean UX. (I think this is intuitive for many non-EA people).
Hence my recommendation to focus on just one charity (or basket of high impact charities), but allow users the option to donate to anything if they don’t like the default choice.