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.
|Affiliated organizations (current or former; restricted to potential donees or others relevant to donation decisions)||Centre for Effective Altruism|
|Regularity with which donor updates donations data||irregular|
|Regularity with which Donations List Website updates donations data (after donor update)||irregular|
|Lag with which donor updates donations data||months|
|Lag with which Donations List Website updates donations data (after donor update)||days|
|Data entry method on Donations List Website||Manual (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. This particular fund was previously called the Community Fund; in October 2018, the blog post https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/yYHKRgLk9ufjJZn23/announcing-new-ea-funds-management-teams (GW, IR) announced that it was renamed to the Meta Fund to more accurately reflect its use for funding activities (such as cause prioritization) that are "meta" but not necessarily tied to community-building
Brief notes on broad donor philosophy and major focus areas: As the name suggests, the Fund's focus area is "meta" activities related to effective altruism. This includes some activities that directly and explicitly relate to effective altruism, as well as other activities that are related more broadly to promoting a culture of more and smarter philanthropy. It also covers cause prioritization and foundational research work. At inception, the Fund had Nick Beckstead of Open Philanthropy its sole manager. Beckstead stepped down in August 2018, and October 2018, https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/yYHKRgLk9ufjJZn23/announcing-new-ea-funds-management-teams (GW, IR) announces a new management team for the Fund, comprising Luke Ding (chair), Denise Melchin, Matt Wage, Alex Foster, and Tara MacAulay as members, and Nick Beckstead as advisor
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. Grant applications can be submitted any time; any submitted applications will be considered prior to the next grant round (each grant round has a deadline by which applications must be submitted to be considered)
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 Meta 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: Effective Altruism Infrastructure Fund
We do not have any donee information for the donee Effective Thesis in our system.
Full donee page for donee Effective Thesis
|Cause area||Count||Median||Mean||Minimum||10th percentile||20th percentile||30th percentile||40th percentile||50th percentile||60th percentile||70th percentile||80th percentile||90th percentile||Maximum|
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||2021||2020||2019|
|Effective altruism (filter this donor)||3||269,200.00||239,200.00||20,000.00||10,000.00|
Graph of spending by cause area and year (incremental, not cumulative)
Graph of spending by cause area and year (cumulative)
Graph of all donations, showing the timeframe of donations
|Amount (current USD)||Amount rank (out of 3)||Donation date||Cause area||URL||Influencer||Notes|
|239,200.00||1||Effective altruism/research guidance||https://funds.effectivealtruism.org/funds/payouts/may-august-2021-ea-infrastructure-fund-grants||Michael 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%.
|20,000.00||2||Effective altruism/research guidance||https://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).
|10,000.00||3||Effective altruism/research guidance||https://app.effectivealtruism.org/funds/ea-community/payouts/3pxoLG7aRWtETC1lECC6LK||Luke 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%.