Michelle Hutchinson|Michael Aird|Max Daniel|Buck Shlegeris|Chi Nguyen money moved

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

Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (5 donations)

DonorDoneeAmount (current USD)Donation dateCause areaURLNotes
Effective Altruism Funds: Effective Altruism Infrastructure FundRethink Priorities14,228.002021-07Effective altruism/research guidancehttps://funds.effectivealtruism.org/funds/payouts/may-august-2021-ea-infrastructure-fund-grants 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: Michelle Hutchinson's writeup on the grant on the grant page says: "In the last round, we partially funded Rethink Priorities’ internship programme. They had a stronger applicant pool than expected and wanted to take on more people, so this grant is a small top-up to our previous grant."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: Likely the same reasons apply as for the original grant, that https://funds.effectivealtruism.org/funds/payouts/may-2021-ea-infrastructure-fund-grants#rethink-priorities-248300 documents.

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The amount is decided based on the funds needed for hiring the additional interns over the original budget.
Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 0.84%

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Timing likely determined by the internship application process and identification of promising applications.
Effective Altruism Funds: Effective Altruism Infrastructure FundEffective Thesis239,200.002021-07Effective altruism/research guidancehttps://funds.effectivealtruism.org/funds/payouts/may-august-2021-ea-infrastructure-fund-grants 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%.
Effective Altruism Funds: Effective Altruism Infrastructure FundMetaculus234,543.002021-07Epistemic institutions/forecastinghttps://funds.effectivealtruism.org/funds/payouts/may-august-2021-ea-infrastructure-fund-grants 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 FundMetaculus73,500.002021-07Epistemic institutions/forecastinghttps://funds.effectivealtruism.org/funds/payouts/may-august-2021-ea-infrastructure-fund-grants 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: Effective Altruism Infrastructure FundRethink Priorities248,300.002021-04-01Cause prioritizationhttps://funds.effectivealtruism.org/funds/payouts/may-2021-ea-infrastructure-fund-grants Donation process: Part of the April 2021 EA Infrastructure Fund grants round (based on applications in Q1 2021). The grant page says: "Total grants: $1,221,178 (assuming all grantees accept the full grants); Number of grants: 26; Number of applications (excluding desk rejections): 58. [...] This is the first grant round led by the EAIF’s new committee, consisting of Buck Shlegeris, Max Daniel, Michelle Hutchinson, and Ben Kuhn as a guest fund manager, with Jonas Vollmer temporarily taking on chairperson duties, advising, and voting consultatively on grants."

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: The grant page says: "Rethink Priorities is a research organization working on (largely empirical) questions related to how to do the most good, including questions like what moral weights we should assign to different animal species, or understanding what the current limitations of forecasting mean for longtermism. Roughly half of this grant supports 9 interns (7 FTE), with the main aim of training them in empirical impact-focused research. [...] The second half of the grant goes toward growing Rethink’s capacity to conduct research on EA movement strategy. The team focuses on running surveys, aimed both at EAs and the broader public. The types of research this funding will enable include getting a better sense of how many people in the broader public are aware of and open to EA."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "Our perception is that it would be useful to have more of this research done and that there currently aren’t many mentors who can help people learn to do it. Rethink Priorities has some experience of successfully supporting EA researchers to skill up. The case study of Luisa Rodriguez seemed compelling to us: she started out doing full-time EA research for Rethink Priorities, went on to become a research assistant for William MacAskill's forthcoming book about longtermism, and plans to work as a researcher at 80,000 Hours. Luisa thinks it's unlikely she would have become a full-time EA researcher if she hadn't received the opportunity to train up at Rethink Priorities. [For the second purpose of the grant] This research seems useful for planning how much and what kinds of EA outreach to do. For example, a number of people we asked found RP’s survey on longtermism useful."

Donor retrospective of the donation: A small top-up grant of $14,228 is announced at https://funds.effectivealtruism.org/funds/payouts/may-august-2021-ea-infrastructure-fund-grants as part of the May to August 2021 grants.

Other notes: The grant page says, talking of the EA-related surveys portion of the grant: "a funding model we considered suggesting was EAIF paying for specific pieces of research ‘commissioned’ by groups such as CEA. This model would have the benefit that the group commissioning the research would be responsible for applying for the funding, and so the onus would be on them to make sure they would use the research generated. On the other hand, we hope that this type of research will be useful to many different groups, including ones like local groups who typically don’t have much funding. We therefore decided in favor of approving this funding application as is. We’d still be interested in continued close collaborations between RP and the groups who will be using the research, such as CEA and local EA groups.". Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 20.33%.

Donation amounts by donee and year

Donee Donors influenced Cause area Metadata Total 2021
Metaculus Effective Altruism Funds: Effective Altruism Infrastructure Fund (filter this donor) 308,043.00 308,043.00
Rethink Priorities Effective Altruism Funds: Effective Altruism Infrastructure Fund (filter this donor) Cause prioritization Site 262,528.00 262,528.00
Effective Thesis Effective Altruism Funds: Effective Altruism Infrastructure Fund (filter this donor) 239,200.00 239,200.00
Total ---- -- 809,771.00 809,771.00

Skipping spending graph as there is at most one year’s worth of donations.

Donation amounts by donor and year for influencer Michelle Hutchinson|Michael Aird|Max Daniel|Buck Shlegeris|Chi Nguyen

Donor Donees Total 2021
Effective Altruism Funds: Effective Altruism Infrastructure Fund (filter this donee) Effective Thesis (filter this donee), Metaculus (filter this donee), Rethink Priorities (filter this donee) 809,771.00 809,771.00
Total -- 809,771.00 809,771.00

Skipping spending graph as there is at most one year’s worth of donations.