Effective Altruism Funds: Animal Welfare Fund donations made to Rethink Priorities

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 2022. 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 donor information

ItemValue
Country United Kingdom
Affiliated organizations (current or former; restricted to potential donees or others relevant to donation decisions)Centre for Effective Altruism
Websitehttps://app.effectivealtruism.org/funds/animal-welfare
Donations URLhttps://app.effectivealtruism.org/
Regularity with which donor updates donations datairregular
Regularity with which Donations List Website updates donations data (after donor update)irregular
Lag with which donor updates donations datamonths
Lag with which Donations List Website updates donations data (after donor update)days
Data entry method on Donations List WebsiteManual (no scripts used)

Brief history: This is one of four Effective Altruism Funds that are a program of the Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA). The creation of the funds was inspired by the success of the EA Giving Group donor-advised fund run by Nick Beckstead, and also by the donor lottery run in December 2016 by Paul Christiano and Carl Shulman (see https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/WvPEitTCM8ueYPeeH/donor-lotteries-demonstration-and-faq (GW, IR) for more). EA Funds were introduced on 2017-02-09 in the post https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/a8eng4PbME85vdoep/introducing-the-ea-funds (GW, IR) and launched on 2017-02-28 in the post http://effective-ahttps://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/iYoSAXhodpxJFwdQz/ea-funds-beta-launch The first round of allocations was announced on 2017-04-20 at https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/MsaS8JKrR8nnxyPkK/update-on-effective-altruism-funds (GW, IR) The funds allocation information appears to have next been updated in November 2017; see https://www.facebook.com/groups/effective.altruists/permalink/1606722932717391/ for more

Brief notes on broad donor philosophy and major focus areas: As the name suggests, the Fund's focus area is animal welfare, but it includes both factory farming and wild animal welfare, and it has also funded opportunities for priorities research. At inception, the Fund had Lewis Bollard (Program Officer for Farm Animal Welfare at Open Philanthropy Project) as its sole manager. In October 2018, https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/yYHKRgLk9ufjJZn23/announcing-new-ea-funds-management-teams (GW, IR) announces a new management team for the Fund, with Bollard staying on as chair of the management team, but with three new members Jamie Spurgeon, Natalie Cargill, and Toni Adleberg

Notes on grant decision logistics: Money from the fund is supposed to be granted about thrice a year, with the target months being November, February, and June. Actual grant months may differ from the target months. The amount of money granted with each decision cycle depends on the amount of money available in the Fund as well as on the available donation opportunities

Notes on grant publication logistics: Grant details are published on the EA Funds website, and linked to from the Fund page. Each grant is accompanied by a brief description of the grantee's work (and hence, the intended use of funds) as well as reasons the grantee was considered impressive

Notes on grant financing: Money in the Animal Welfare Fund only includes funds explicitly donated for that Fund. In each grant round, the amount of money that can be allocated is limited by the balance available in the fund at that time

This entity is also a donee.

Full donor page for donor Effective Altruism Funds: Animal Welfare Fund

Basic donee information

ItemValue
Country United States
Websitehttp://rethinkpriorities.org/
Key peopleMarcus A. Davis|Peter Hurford
Launch date2018-03-02

Full donee page for donee Rethink Priorities

Donor–donee relationship

Item Value

Donor–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 80,000 85,000 75,000 75,000 75,000 80,000 80,000 80,000 85,000 85,000 100,000 100,000 100,000
Animal welfare 4 80,000 85,000 75,000 75,000 75,000 80,000 80,000 80,000 85,000 85,000 100,000 100,000 100,000

Donation amounts by cause area and year

If you hover over a cell for a given cause area and year, you will get a tooltip with the number of donees and the number of donations.

Note: Cause area classification used here may not match that used by donor for all cases.

Cause area Number of donations Total 2019 2018
Animal welfare (filter this donor) 4 340,000.00 180,000.00 160,000.00
Total 4 340,000.00 180,000.00 160,000.00

Graph of spending by cause area and year (incremental, not cumulative)

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Graph of spending by cause area and year (cumulative)

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

Amount (current USD)Amount rank (out of 4)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
100,000.0012019-08-23Animal welfare/wild-animal suffering/cause prioritizationhttps://app.effectivealtruism.org/funds/animal-welfare/payouts/6RriulfZ0A4OB6BpirdYe8Lewis Bollard Natalie Cargill Karolina Saerk Alexandria Beck Kieran Greig Donation process: Part of the July 2019 grant round disbursing $440,000

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: The grant page says: "With this additional funding, they plan to research and publish on (i) ballot initiatives as an approach to help animals in the USA, (ii) finding concrete interventions in policy and invertebrate welfare with room for more funding, and (iii) wild animal welfare interventions and refining their wild animal welfare agenda."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: Rethink Priorities has received grants from the Animal Welfare Fund in the last three grant rounds, and has used the funding to produce work on corporate outreach and invertebrate suffering. The grant page says: "Our decision was mainly informed by our reasoning that (a) research is relevant to funders in evaluating grant opportunities, and to organizations in prioritizing which interventions to engage in, (b) funding for animal research has grown greatly in more recent years but still makes up a relatively small % of overall animal funding, and (c) Rethink Priorities has a track record in providing high-quality research on neglected causes."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): No specific reasons for amount given, but the amount is similar to amounts given in the last three grant rounds of $85,000, $75,000, and $80,000 respectively
Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 22.73%

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Timing determined by timing of grant round; Rethink Priorities has received grants from the Animal Welfare Fund in each of the three previous grant rounds
80,000.0032019-03-06Animal welfare/cause prioritizationhttps://app.effectivealtruism.org/funds/animal-welfare/payouts/7ysr1iPZTjf4fBAPfP3xuBLewis Bollard Natalie Cargill Toni Adleberg Jamie Spurgeon Donation process: Part of the March 2019 grant round disbursing $445,000

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: The grant page says that the research agenda "includes projects on the impact of ballot initiatives and corporate campaigns, as well as research into improving wild animal welfare."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "While they have a limited track record in animal advocacy research as an organization, we are taking a bet on their team and strategy. Led by Peter Hurford and Marcus A. Davis, they are now a team of 10 researchers, incorporating a broad range of experience including research into animal advocacy issues."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): Amount similar to the amounts of previous grants: https://app.effectivealtruism.org/funds/animal-welfare/payouts/2uyvubn8KUCoqOQS6A4ayW ($75,000) and https://app.effectivealtruism.org/funds/animal-welfare/payouts/4Bianu30diUQeWGU2Oiq8E ($85,000)
Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 17.98%

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Timing determined by timing of grant round. Rethink Priorities received a similar grant in the previous two grant rounds, so the grantee was likely considered for a followup grant

Donor retrospective of the donation: The grantee would receive a followup grant in the next grant round (July 2019)
75,000.0042018-12-30Animal welfare/cause prioritizationhttps://app.effectivealtruism.org/funds/animal-welfare/payouts/2uyvubn8KUCoqOQS6A4ayWLewis Bollard Natalie Cargill Toni Adleberg Jamie Spurgeon Donation process: Part of the December 2018 grant round disbursing $341,000. Specifically, this is part of the set of grants made in the "EAA research" category in the grant round, which totals $125,000

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: The grant page says: "For example, they plan to vet claims about the efficacy of corporate campaigns and assess plausibly impactful work on wild animal welfare. They have recently scaled up, hiring several new researchers, and they are in need of funding to support specific research projects as well as their general operations."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "we are taking a bet on their team and strategy. Many of their researchers have significant experience in other fields, and we believe they can bring a fresh and critical eye to new animal advocacy interventions."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): Amount similar to the amount of the previous grant https://app.effectivealtruism.org/funds/animal-welfare/payouts/4Bianu30diUQeWGU2Oiq8E ($85,000)
Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 21.99%

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Timing determined by timing of grant round. Rethink Priorities received a similar grant in the previous grant round, so the grantee was likely considered for a followup grant

Donor retrospective of the donation: The Animal Welfare Fund would make grants to Rethink Priorities in both the next two rounds
85,000.0022018-07-31Animal welfare/Cause prioritizationhttps://app.effectivealtruism.org/funds/animal-welfare/payouts/4Bianu30diUQeWGU2Oiq8ELewis Bollard Donation process: Part of the June 2018 grant round disbursing $1,205,000. Specifically, this is part of the set of grants made in the "Research and EA movement building" category in the grant round, which totals $760,000

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: The grant page says: "Peter Hurford and Marcus A. Davis want to assess current and potential animal welfare interventions as part of their trial project to generate actionable new insights across EA causes. For example, they want to vet claims about the efficacy of corporate campaigns and assess plausibly impactful work on wild animal welfare." Budget is at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1TYaIpc-E112CMOcFHzq9UQAdWKnsDK8QeZTS85sk1RU/edit

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "I think these projects are worthwhile, but this is more a bet on the people [Peter Hurford and Marcus A. Davis] and their method than on specific projects: I see value to two experienced EA researchers approaching existing and new animal welfare interventions with a fresh and critical eye."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): Amount likely determined both by total funds available for granting and by budget submitted by grantee at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1TYaIpc-E112CMOcFHzq9UQAdWKnsDK8QeZTS85sk1RU/edit#gid=0 This lists a main budget of $62,109 and an expansion budget of $101,309
Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 7.05%

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Timing determined by timing of grant round, as well as the fact that the Rethink Priorities project is just getting started

Donor retrospective of the donation: The Animal Welfare Fund would make grants to Rethink Priorities in each of the next three grant rounds