Effective Thesis donations received

This is an online portal with information on donations that were announced publicly (or have been shared with permission) that were of interest to Vipul Naik. The git repository with the code for this portal, as well as all the underlying data, is available on GitHub. All payment amounts are in current United States dollars (USD). The repository of donations is being seeded with an initial collation by Issa Rice as well as continued contributions from him (see his commits and the contract work page listing all financially compensated contributions to the site) but all responsibility for errors and inaccuracies belongs to Vipul Naik. Current data is preliminary and has not been completely vetted and normalized; if sharing a link to this site or any page on this site, please include the caveat that the data is preliminary (if you want to share without including caveats, please check with Vipul Naik). We expect to have completed the first round of development by the end of March 2023. See the about page for more details. Also of interest: pageview data on analytics.vipulnaik.com, tutorial in README, request for feedback to EA Forum.

Table of contents

Basic donee information

We do not have any donee information for the donee Effective Thesis in our system.

Donee donation statistics

Cause areaCountMedianMeanMinimum10th percentile 20th percentile 30th percentile 40th percentile 50th percentile 60th percentile 70th percentile 80th percentile 90th percentile Maximum
Overall 4 20,000 78,133 10,000 10,000 10,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 43,333 43,333 239,200 239,200 239,200
Effective altruism 4 20,000 78,133 10,000 10,000 10,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 43,333 43,333 239,200 239,200 239,200

Donation amounts by donor and year for donee Effective Thesis

Donor Total 2021 2020 2019
Effective Altruism Funds: Effective Altruism Infrastructure Fund (filter this donee) 269,200.00 239,200.00 20,000.00 10,000.00
Survival and Flourishing Projects (filter this donee) 43,333.00 0.00 43,333.00 0.00
Total 312,533.00 239,200.00 63,333.00 10,000.00

Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (4 donations)

Graph of top 10 donors by amount, showing the timeframe of donations

Graph of donations and their timeframes
DonorAmount (current USD)Amount rank (out of 4)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
Effective Altruism Funds: Effective Altruism Infrastructure Fund239,200.0012021-07Effective altruism/research guidancehttps://funds.effectivealtruism.org/funds/payouts/may-august-2021-ea-infrastructure-fund-grantsMichael Aird Max Daniel Michelle Hutchinson Buck Shlegeris Chi Nguyen Donation process: Part of a set of grants that were decided between May and August 2021. This includes grant applications from the Q2 grant cycle as well as rolling applications since then; the exact timing of this particular grant is not stated.

Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Intended use of funds: Michael Aird's writeup on the grant on the grant page says: "This grant is intended to cover 3 FTE of salaries for Effective Thesis employees (focused on management, content, and coaching), split among >3 people, as well as some other costs (like contractors)."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: Michael Aird's grant write-up says: "Effective Thesis has been running for several years, though with fairly little funding. I consider its work and impact to date decent but not amazing. But I think that the need Effective Thesis aims to address is worth addressing, that their track record is reasonable given their low budget to date, and that their plans seem pretty good."

Donor thoughts on making further donations to the donee: Michael Aird's grant write-up says: "Whether I’d recommend funding them further, and at what level, will depend on their progress following this funding injection."

Other notes: In a quick take https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/pwnvva4AHfxYZmaGM/ea-infrastructure-fund-may-august-2021-grant-recommendations?commentId=YkLKFcrkLrYvPYbHL (GW, IR) Ozzie Gooen writes: "This surprised me. I like the idea of effective thesis, and haven't been keeping track of it closely. I'm curious how 3 FTE will be spent here. Mainly, I'm curious about just how effective this sort of intervention is, particularly at a larger scale.". Intended funding timeframe in months: 12; Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 14.07%.
Survival and Flourishing Projects43,333.0022020-11Effective altruism/research guidancehttp://survivalandflourishing.org/sfp-2020-q4-- Donation process: The grant page says: "In 2020 Q4, SAF hosted a competition for individuals seeking a fixed amount of funding for projects benefitting SAF’s mission. We expected this competition to allocate between $300k and $350k in funding. [...] Winning applicants will be selected by a Selection Committee comprising at least three people appointed by SAF’s Governance Committee. The Selection Committee will rank-order projects and award funding and project contracts to the top-ranked projects falling within our budget for this round. We may adjust our total budget for the round based on the quality of applications."

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Continuing the development of https://effectivethesis.org/

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): While reasons for the amount for individual grants are not given, SAF provides guidance on the ranges it allows for amounts. Amounts must be between $5,000 and $200,000, for a time frame of up to 2 years. The amount is also capped at {$300,000} times {the applicant’s percentage time commitment to the project} times {the duration of the project in years}.

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Timing determined by the timing of the 2020 Q4 grant round
Intended funding timeframe in months: 11

Donor thoughts on making further donations to the donee: While no thoughts are included on followup donations for individual grants, SAF says on the grant page that it usually does not fund ongoing work, making followup grants unlikely. However, Effective Thesis itself is ongoing work, so it is an exception, and therefore may be able to get further SAF grants.
Effective Altruism Funds: Effective Altruism Infrastructure Fund20,000.0032020-08-31Effective altruism/research guidancehttps://funds.effectivealtruism.org/funds/payouts/ea-infrastructure-fund-off-cycle-grants-2020-- Donation process: Part of a set of off-cycle grants made in August 2020 by the EA Infrastructure Fund. The grant page says: "While we generally encourage potential grantees to apply for funding in line with our triannual grant rounds, we are open to considering off-cycle grants when it seems particularly valuable for a project to be funded quickly rather than waiting until the next grant round."

Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Intended use of funds: The grant page says: "The key aim of this grant was to provide David Janků (the current project manager) with a 6-month exit grant, so that he could downscale Effective Thesis to a volunteer-led initiative or look for alternative sources of funding."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "Our core reasoning behind [the July 2019] grant still stands. [...] Providing students with thesis topic advice requires a small level of input from an experienced researcher, usually 1-3 hours per student. [...] As finding high-caliber coaches with enough available time seems to be the most significant hurdle for many coaching projects, we are impressed that Effective Thesis seems to have made good progress in this area. We decided to make this off-cycle grant to Effective Thesis as an exit grant to support organizational changes. While we have had a positive impression of many aspects of Effective Thesis and were excited for the idea to be tested out, our current view is that it might be more valuable for the project to be led by a network of volunteers rather than a single full-time project manager."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The amount is chosen based on the scope of a 6-month exit grant to "downscale Effective Thesis to a volunteer-led initiative or look for alternative sources of funding."

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): The grant is made after enough time has passed for the evaluation of the results of the July 2019 grant.
Intended funding timeframe in months: 6

Donor thoughts on making further donations to the donee: The grant is intended as an exit grant, at least for the current iteration of Effective Thesis. The grant page says "it might be more valuable for the project to be led by a network of volunteers rather than a single full-time project manager"

Donor retrospective of the donation: A later grant https://funds.effectivealtruism.org/funds/payouts/may-august-2021-ea-infrastructure-fund-grants provides 1-year funding for 3 full-time employees, suggesting a change from the intentions with which the exit grant is made (to transition from full-time management to a volunteer network).
Effective Altruism Funds: Effective Altruism Infrastructure Fund10,000.0042019-08-23Effective altruism/research guidancehttps://app.effectivealtruism.org/funds/ea-community/payouts/3pxoLG7aRWtETC1lECC6LKLuke Ding Alex Foster Denise Melchin Matt Wage Donation process: Part of the July 2019 EA Meta Fund grants round. The grant page says: "7 of the 9 grantees in this round applied through this process." It is not clear whether Effective Thesis is one of the 7 that applied

Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Intended use of funds: The grant page says: "Effective Thesis advises students on choosing an impactful research topic for their thesis by connecting them with experienced researchers." Further: "Providing students with thesis topic advice requires a small level of input from an experienced researcher, usually 1-3 hours per student." And: "Effective Thesis has a network of 44 coaches with the capacity to take on at least 2x as many students as they help now."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "Since September 2018, Effective Thesis has received over 200 applications from students who want help with figuring out their thesis topic and provided 60 students with coaching. We share their expectation that a small number of cases likely account for the majority of the project's impact. The best cases so far appear to have been cases where students - who already planned to become researchers in the long-term - substantially changed their focus to higher-impact topics primarily because of their work with Effective Thesis."

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Timing determined by timing of grant round

Other notes: Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 2.15%.