Metaculus 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 Metaculus 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 3 73,500 126,014 70,000 70,000 70,000 70,000 73,500 73,500 73,500 234,543 234,543 234,543 234,543
Epistemic institutions 3 73,500 126,014 70,000 70,000 70,000 70,000 73,500 73,500 73,500 234,543 234,543 234,543 234,543

Donation amounts by donor and year for donee Metaculus

Donor Total 2021 2019
Effective Altruism Funds: Effective Altruism Infrastructure Fund (filter this donee) 308,043.00 308,043.00 0.00
Effective Altruism Funds: Long-Term Future Fund (filter this donee) 70,000.00 0.00 70,000.00
Total 378,043.00 308,043.00 70,000.00

Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (3 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 3)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
Effective Altruism Funds: Effective Altruism Infrastructure Fund234,543.0012021-07Epistemic institutions/forecastinghttps://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): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: The grant page lists the grant purpose as "Salaries for Metaculus staff to support EA-related forecasting, assessing the impact of their work, and other activities." Activities that might be funded by the grant include: "(1) Running ~10 forecasting tournaments on EA-relevant topics in partnership with relevant stakeholders, as part of their Epistemic institutions/forecasting Causes program. Examples of the topics these tournaments may focus on include biosecurity, animal welfare, artificial intelligence, climate change, and global poverty. (2) Improving Metaculus’s processes so that these tournaments get better results and require less work from the organizations with whom they partner. (3) Building features and tools to help forecasters make forecasts, and to help decision-makers interpret those forecasts. (4) Conducting and publishing an annual impact survey."

Other notes: Within two months of this grant, the Infrastructure Fund makes another grant to Metaculus for $73,500 (the order between the grants is not clear, but the grant page says they are separated by two months). In a quick take comment https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/pwnvva4AHfxYZmaGM/ea-infrastructure-fund-may-august-2021-grant-recommendations?commentId=YkLKFcrkLrYvPYbHL (GW, IR) Ozzie Gooen writes: "Seems pretty safe and I look forward to the results. One small point is that I think Metaculus might be a c-corp startup; if this is the case, it could be neat if future donations come with equity. (Mainly a concern if donations increase, and the investment is general-purpose)". Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 13.79%.
Effective Altruism Funds: Effective Altruism Infrastructure Fund73,500.0022021-07Epistemic institutions/forecastinghttps://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): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant for "1-year salary for an EA Question Author + [$20,000 for] prize pools for EA-related competitions." The competitions include a fortified essay competition as https://metaculus.medium.com/aligning-incentives-for-forecast-accuracy-relevance-and-efficacy-a-new-paradigm-for-metaculus-26b0e79616cb describes. The EA Question Author's tasks include: "(1) Helping to determine which cause areas and topics to run tournaments on. (2) Developing EA-relevant forecasting questions. (3) Writing summaries and reports on EA-relevant forecasting questions developed by others. (4) Liaising with EA organizations and local groups."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The amount is chosen as the sum of the cost of the two things being funded: the 1-year salary and the $20,000 prize pool.
Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 4.32%

Other notes: Within two months of this grant, the Infrastructure Fund makes another grant to Metaculus for $73,500 (the order between the grants is not clear, but the grant page says they are separated by two months). In a quick take comment https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/pwnvva4AHfxYZmaGM/ea-infrastructure-fund-may-august-2021-grant-recommendations?commentId=YkLKFcrkLrYvPYbHL (GW, IR) Ozzie Gooen writes: "Seems pretty safe and I look forward to the results. One small point is that I think Metaculus might be a c-corp startup; if this is the case, it could be neat if future donations come with equity. (Mainly a concern if donations increase, and the investment is general-purpose)". Intended funding timeframe in months: 12.
Effective Altruism Funds: Long-Term Future Fund70,000.0032019-03-20Epistemic institutions/forecastinghttps://funds.effectivealtruism.org/funds/payouts/april-2019-long-term-future-fund-grants-and-recommendationsOliver Habryka Alex Zhu Matt Wage Helen Toner Matt Fallshaw Donation process: Donee submitted grant application through the application form for the April 2019 round of grants from the Long-Term Future Fund, and was selected as a grant recipient (23 out of almost 100 applications were accepted)

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant to Anothony Aguirre to expand the Metaculus prediction platform along with its community. Metaculus.com is a fully-functional prediction platform with ~10,000 registered users and >120,000 predictions made to date on more than >1000 questions. The two major high-priority expansions are: (1) An integrated set of extensions to improve user interaction and information-sharing. This would include private messaging and notifications, private groups, a prediction “following” system to create micro-teams within individual questions, and various incentives and systems for information-sharing. (2) Link questions into a network. Users would express links between questions, from very simple (“notify me regarding question Y when P(X) changes substantially) to more complex (“Y happens only if X happens, but not conversely”, etc.) Information can also be gleaned from what users actually do.

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant investigator and main influencer, Oliver Habryka, refers to reasoning included in the grant to Ozzie Gooen for Foretold, that is made in the same batch of grants and described at https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/CJJDwgyqT4gXktq6g/long-term-future-fund-april-2019-grant-decisions (GW, IR) He also lists these reasons for liking Metaculus: (1) Valuable service in the past few years, (2) Cooperation with the X-risk space to get answers to important questions

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The grantee requested $150,000, but Oliver Habryka, the grant investigator, was not confident enough in the grant to recommend the full amount. Some concerns mentioned: (1) Lack of a dedicated full-time resource, (2) Overlap with the Good Judgment Project, that reduces its access to resources and people
Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 7.58%

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

Other notes: The grant reasoning is written up by Oliver Habryka and is available at https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/CJJDwgyqT4gXktq6g/long-term-future-fund-april-2019-grant-decisions (GW, IR) The comments discuss this and the other forecasting grants, and include the question "why are you acting as grant-givers here rather than as special interest investors?" It is also included in a list of potentially concerning grants in a portfolio evaluation comment https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/CJJDwgyqT4gXktq6g/long-term-future-fund-april-2019-grant-decisions#d4YHzSJnNWmyxf6HM (GW, IR) by Evan Gaensbauer.