Thanks for working on this! I’m impressed by this and your other work on identifying and investigating groups of farmed animals that exist in large numbers but have been overlooked by other EAs, researchers, advocates, etc.
There is also a discussion of the paper on Facebook.
Government social safety nets for elderly people (such as Social Security in the US) reduce the need for young adults to provide direct care to their elderly parents. This seems likely related.
To me this seems more of an expansion in moral circles though. Most of us in the developed world now seem to think that we’re responsible for everyone’s elderly parents rather than just our own.
An update: We’ve sent follow-up e-mails to all organizations expected to receive a nontrivial amount of donations and/or matches informing them the amounts they should be receiving. Some organizations have helpfully reported to us the donated, matched, and/or total amounts that either (a) Facebook informed them they’ll be receiving or (b) they’ve already received. For the organizations that have reported at least some of this information, the table under “Estimated from Fundraisers vs. Reported by Organizations” on our “Donated and Matched Data” page shows the amounts we’ve estimated from fundraiser page data vs. the amounts reported to us by the organizations.
This announcement today on GiveWell’s blog looks relevant. It seems GiveWell is beginning to look at interventions consistent with a hits-based giving approach.
Yes, this was a problem in both 2017 and 2018, and our 2018 match percent would have been higher than 65% without these problems. I think Cullen’s estimates account for this though.
In 2018 we conducted a survey try to to understand this better. We should be able to use some of the results to make better recommendations in 2019.
I don’t think Facebook permits automated donations, so I don’t think this will be feasible.
Thanks for all this work on this! A few comments and questions:
1. I think there’s another important benefit that I didn’t see mentioned: There’s a risk that people’s donations may be influenced towards less effective organizations just for the tax deduction. Permitting people to get tax deductions when donating to a wide variety of effective organizations can help mitigate this risk. My guess is that this is a more important consideration than tax deductions providing incentives to donate more.
2. Do Canadian donors already have a way to get tax deductions for donating to EA Funds? It seems like it could be worthwhile to give Canadian donors this option, though the benefits would need to be weighed against any administrative overhead it would create for RC and CEA.
3. Have you thought about permitting something like an optional 5% “tip” when people make their donations to help fund your operations? Perhaps opt-in by default? I have seen this option Crowdfunding websites, for instance. GiveWell also has an optional 10% “tip,” though they’re opt-out by default, and their value-add is different.
It’s also notable that PayPal announced that they were doing a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $500k in donations through the PayPal Giving Fund on Giving Tuesday, separately from the Facebook match.
That post was made on Giving Tuesday itself and the details there are very limited, but I found this post by an organization with a date of Nov 23, along with the match start and end time. I’m going to dig into this some more. Maybe we can ask some EA-aligned organizations signed up for the PayPal Giving Fund if they can keep an eye out for this and give us an early tipoff.
A number of people got $20k matched out of $20k donations. This required 8 donations of $2500 each.
I think improving recruitment could help. I did recruit people in late September 2018 after Facebook dropped a hint that they would do a repeat, but in retrospect it may have helped to focus on recruiting individuals who would be able to commit to 80 hours (or whatever) if necessary.
This might not be so easy though, since I suspect most people with the skills to do this well are already working on other things and would have difficulty sparing that many hours. Perhaps compensation (e.g. through a grant) could help, but I’m not sure.
I also don’t think having large numbers of people each working 10 hours would help, because managing, training, and delegating tasks to that many people would be impractical.
Thanks for the suggestion. I already had EA Grants in mind as an option, but it’s interesting to know that the EA Meta Fund lists a fundraising project as an example. As William noted, we were more time constrained rather than funding constrained this year. However, I’ll keep this in mind as an option for future years if our circumstances change, or if we can come up with effective ways to convert funding into time.
One other complication with applying for a grant is that we wont know whether there’s a worthwhile opportunity until a month or so in advance. After that, if there is a worthwhile opportunity, then we’d need to start working immediately. So we’d probably need to apply for a grant early and, if a worthwhile opportunity doesn’t materialize, then we’d need to (a) use the grant to work on something else or (b) return it.
Based on Georgia Ray’s estimates, it looks like there are > 100x more neurons in soil arthropods than in humans.
Using this, we get 1E22-1E23 neurons from large arthropods and 6E22 neurons from smaller arthropods, for a total of 6E22-2E23 neurons in soil arthropods.
[...] we get 6.29E20 neurons in humans [...]
Presumably, GWWC did not want to exclude EA cause areas outside of global poverty. Since animal welfare is an EA cause area, presumably it did not want to exclude it.
1-3 applies to nearly all EA cause areas to varying degrees, including global poverty. The difference, of course, is that EA cause areas (including animal welfare) are supported by evidence and reason, while religious outreach is not.
Specifically, “animal cruelty is bad” is a well argued position, making it very different from a religious belief. See Animal Liberation by Peter Singer.
“If you’re religious, then the most effectively altruist thing is to convert everyone because of the infinite utility of Heaven” is not nearly as clever as you think it is. Every religious effective altruist has heard this argument from a hundred different atheists, including ones whose religion does not actually include a concept of Heaven. No religious effective altruist is doing this. Stop bringing it up.
I don’t believe this is representative of Christians involved in EA, but the Pay It Forward Foundation advocated applying EA principles to “saving souls” in addition to recommending GiveWell top charities.
The website now redirects to effectivegive.org, but it’s not clear to me whether they’ve stopped trying to “save souls” or if they’re just more subtle about it. For instance, if I click through the donate section, I still see an option to donate to the “Save a Soul Program.”
It’s common and fully legal in the US for wealthy people to create their own 501(c)(3) private foundations. I don’t think this is an issue.
Even for a 501(c)(3) public charity, a wealthy person should be able to donate enough to support 2⁄3 of its budget without any legal problems, as long as the remaining 1⁄3 fits the IRS criteria of “public support.” And even if that doesn’t work out, it just means the 501(c)(3) may have to turn into a private foundation.
I don’t know what the laws are in other countries.
In the podcast, Leah makes the case the economic case for farmers starting at 39:00. Farmers aren’t going to be listen to Our Hen House, but presumably Compassion in World Farming USA is making arguments appropriate for each audience.
Also, this very popular clip with John Oliver is heavily focused on the bad economics of chicken contract farming for the farmers. This was likely influenced by Compassion in World Farming USA’s work.
Compassion in World Farming USA has been working on this since at least 2014. You may want to listen to this interview with Leah Garces, former Executive Director. Start listening at 18:20.