I’m Luke Freeman, and I currently serve as the executive director of Giving What We Can (GWWC). You’re welcome to ask me anything! I’ll start answering questions on Thursday June 15th.

Logistics/practical instructions: 

  • Please post your questions as comments on this post. The earlier you share your questions, the easier it will be for me to get to them.
  • Please upvote questions you'd most like answered.
  • I’ll start answering questions on June 15th. Questions posted after that are less likely to get answers.
  • I’m excited about this, but can’t commit to answering all the questions. If you want to share many questions, consider sharing and/or upvoting which ones you’re particularly interested in.
  • (This is an “AMA” — you can explore others here.)
     

Some context: 

  • I’ve been leading the team at Giving What We Can since 2020.
  • I’ve been giving based on EA principles myself since about 2011 (pledger at both GWWC and Founders Pledge) and actively engaged with the EA community since 2016.
  • GWWC is a community of effective givers who are on a mission to create a culture where giving effectively and significantly is a norm.
  • GWWC hosts several giving pledges (best known for The Pledge to give 10% of lifetime earnings to effective charities), hosts a multi-country cause-diverse donation platform, provides advice on effective giving, and hosts popular tools and resources such as the How Rich Am I calculator, Giving Games and Charity Elections.
  • GWWC does work to help support the broader effective giving community (e.g. information sharing, coordination and incubation of projects, research projects like evaluating the evaluators).
  • GWWC helped to found the EA community and what is now called Effective Ventures Foundation (formerly Centre for Effective Altruism). I can speak about my experience running a project housed within EV.
  • Read more about GWWC’s direction and strategy
  • I’ve advocated for “big tent” effective altruism.
  • I feel that EA could learn a lot from other sectors and could benefit from engaging more deeply with them.
  • I feel strongly that effective giving should be a key part of effective altruism and likely has a broader appeal and accessibility.
  • Prior to GWWC I worked predominantly in tech entrepreneurship and marketing (across private and public sectors) with a focus on growth.
  • Outside of Giving What We Can I’ve been in leadership positions in Effective Altruism Australia, EAGxAustralia (organised two conferences) Good Ancestors Project & Good Ancestors Policy, Global Shapers Community (Sydney chapter), EA Sydney, Heart for the Homeless, Australian Skeptics, advised or volunteered with various other social-impact focused projects, and once ran for parliament.
  • My academic background is in media and communications (did my thesis on political communication focusing on deliberative democracy and voting reform).
  • Other than these things I’d be happy to talk about:
    • Managing or working in a remote international team (based outside of EA hub cities) based in Australia.
    • My experience going from employee #1 to larger teams (multiple times in different contexts).
    • My experience volunteering and/or managing volunteers
    • My experience in for-purpose entrepreneurship.
    • Challenges and strategies for mental/physical health and wellbeing (e.g. recovering from and mitigating burnout, managing EA/non-EA life, starting a family etc).
    • My experiences coming from a non-typical academic background for EA leadership (e.g. not a major in philosophy, economics, or science).
    • My views on EA topics/cruxes.
    • Dropping out of school at age 15 and pursuing non-traditional career paths
    • Anything else that takes your fancy based on GWWC’s work, my post history, my LinkedIn or personal website.

This post is part of EA Strategy Fortnight. You can see other Strategy Fortnight posts here.
 

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When are you gonna go on the 80,000 Hours podcast, Luke? :)

Thanks Julian! But that's a question for 80,000 Hours 😀 If I get an invite, I'll let you know!

Does most of GWWC's impact come from a very few wealthy or high-income members?

Thanks Imma, great question!

It's true that our donation distribution at Giving What We Can (GWWC) follows a 'heavy-tailed' pattern. According to our most recent impact evaluation, less than 1% of our donors contribute about 50% of our recorded donations.

Yet, I would stress that this doesn't paint the complete picture of our impact. Although this less-than-1% represents a small-to-medium group of larger donors, the other half of our donations, spread among tens of thousands of other donors, is no less crucial.

Here's some reasons why:

  • Direct impact of these donations: Each of us has an opportunity to save and improve lives using our donations. That's a really important and valuable thing for people to do. It doesn't matter if someone else is able to give more, your donations still have a direct impact and together you're sharing in an even bigger collective impact.
  • Reliability and diversity of funding: Donations from a broader base tend to be more consistent year to year. For instance, we experienced a surge in donations from larger donors in 2021, but then witnessed a significant drop-off in 2022-2023. Throughout these fluctuations, the regular donations from our wider community provi
... (read more)

What's one area you disagree with most other leaders of core EA (or meta) organizations? Which parts of their views are you most sympathetic to (or, for your own views, uncertain about)?

Thanks Vaidehi. That's a tough one as it's often a matter of who and to what degree but generally speaking (it's probably unsurprising and I'm a bit biassed) I've most often disagreed quite strongly with the degree to which effective giving has been deprioritised or dismissed within other core-EA meta organisations.

I'm very sympathetic (downright agree with) to these parts though:

  • We wouldn't want someone to turn down (or not seek out) a good fit opportunity for direct work because they got the idea that giving at a ~regular pledger level is more impactful in expectation than a high-impact good fit direct work role.
  • We don't want EA to be equated with giving and the "EA is earning to give" meme is not good for the community.
  • Donations are heavy-tailed (most donation $ will come from a smaller number of large donors).
  • Longtermist giving is more evaluation constrained, riskier, and harder to make good recommendations for donors.

However, I do think that at time's it has got to a pretty extreme level of aversion to talking about giving as a path to impact. That being said I'm seeing many people change their tune over the last 6 months as the funding constraints (experienced by many others) have started to hit them more personally.

The other one that comes to mind is the importance of things like governance and being leligibly good and seen as “safe” from from the outside. Views on this seem to be evolving more recently too. 

As someone who occupies a 'leadership' position in EA, what is your mentality and approach to fostering a new generating of EA leaders, and making sure that we have a bigger, stronger and more diverse group of 'leaders' within the community?

*I don't necessarily love the use of the words leader and leadership, but think it is a helpful and simple shorthand in this instance.

Thanks Akhil! Fostering a new generation of leaders in the EA community is something I think about often, and it's something I feel is critical for the continued growth and impact of EA principles.

Firstly, I wholeheartedly agree that we need a more diverse and broad group of people in leadership positions within the community. 

Here are some ways I try:

  • Promoting a wide array of voices: At GWWC, we regularly highlight various members of our community through our member stories and ambassador program. This helps spotlight the work and ideas of individuals who might not otherwise have a platform, while also broadening the range of voices and perspectives being heard.
  • Hiring diversely and inclusively: We hire from anywhere that has an internet connection and give weight towards candidates who can bring fresh and unique perspectives to our work. We also prioritise providing employee benefits that help retain and nurture talent.
  • Facilitating opportunity and growth: When I become aware of opportunities such as job openings, speaking events, or grant possibilities, I proactively refer individuals who I believe are suitable. I aim to open doors for those who might otherwise be overlooked,
... (read more)
-1
BrownHairedEevee
I think this is such an important question that I gave it a strong upvote!

What is the best reason to think that GWWC isn't good for the world, in your view?

0
Luke Freeman 🔸
The two most plausible ones to me are that: 1. If our team could be having more impact working on other things and that us existing and them being currently bought into the case for impact is the reason they don't. 2. We poison the well/turn people off/create misconceptions etc we don't live up to our standards (e.g. quality and tone). That being said I think that generally speaking GWWC is one of the lower downside risk options within the EA community (especially compared with some of the (potential or actual) longtermist projects which I often worry much more about potential downsides or accidentally doing harm – in the active sense as opposed to the opportunity cost harm). If you have some in mind yourself I'd happy hear them out 😀 

Currently I see that GWWC is registered in the US, UK and the Netherlands, and there exist country-specific regranting organisations in 11 other countries where one can also avail of some sort of local tax deduction. Do you plan on (if you are able to) expanding the number of countries whose donors can avail of tax deductions, either by getting GWWC registered in those countries or by helping to set up, or link to GWWC, regranting organisations in more countries?

5
Luke Freeman 🔸
Great question Oisin! Internationalisation is a key priority of ours for 2023 and our internal goal is to add at least 2 new countries this year (with 3 projects currently in progress). We are pursuing both strategies of working with existing regranting organisations and also on helping to create new ones in locations where none exist. We also try to proactively refer people to regranting partners that already exist (e.g. on our tax deductibility page that's linked to in our header and footer) and when their country is selected during checkout. If you know any potentially good founders/founding teams/funders who'd be interested in growing effective giving in new markets please let us know!

Did you ever feel like the EA community wasn't a place for you? What changed?

Good question Vaidehi 😀 

There've been times when I've felt somewhat out of place within the EA community, particularly in spaces (physical or virtual) heavily dominated by top-tier university graduates (with economics, philosophy, or science PhDs) who are from/based in UK/US hub cities. Similarly, when I've been in spaces where people have doubled down hard on a particularly narrow worldview or set of conclusions that I think reasonable people would disagree with them on.

However, I've found that the EA community is wonderfully diverse in the corners where I've spent most of my time, filled with people from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences who have a variety of worldviews. Although I fit into many of the stereotypical demographics myself – male, white, in my thirties, university-educated – it's these moments of discomfort that remind me of the importance of striving for a more inclusive community.

In fact, these feelings of being out of place are often a wake-up call. They remind me that others might be feeling the same way or even more so, and that helps fuel my commitment to making our community as inclusive as possible. After all, our collective impact will only be m... (read more)

Who is your favourite GWWC team member? :)

(This can include current and former team members)

Are there any lessons that GWWC has learnt that you think would be useful for EA community builders to know and remember?

8
Luke Freeman 🔸
Thanks Isaac! Personal advocacy goes a long way, especially when you are kind, warm, meet people where they are at and inspire them to see where they could be. Sometimes it takes a long time to pay off but if you leave people intrigued and inspired it often comes back around. Most pledges and new donors can be traced back to some form of personal advocacy. Secondly, giving people specific calls to action (e.g. if you care about X you can donate to Y) is a very empowering move that leaves people feeling like they have agency and makes it easier for them to advocate for the ideas you present to them (whereas "look at how big and hard and complicated the world's problems are, this specific one is most important, and we need a very unique specific person to solve it" is going to be really demoralising and makes it ultimately harder to find those specific people anyway). 

How worth you think it is community builders emphasizing GWWC as a milestone/next step? I’m also curious about how your view on this evolved over time (my sense is that it was a more emphasized milestone in the past)

5
Luke Freeman 🔸
Thanks Renan! While I wouldn't ever want people to feel pressured to donate or to take a giving pledge, I honestly think it's a real missed-opportunity that isn't emphasised much within the EA community anymore (especially compared to where it once was). For so many people giving will be the main way they stay engaged (of which some will eventually find other ways of having an impact) and for many it'll be their biggest contribution. Also for many people pursuing direct work this can be incredibly high variance whereas giving can be a nice stable part of their impact journey. One thing that I'd love to see more celebration of is significant giving milestones (we're starting to do this at least with the 1 and 10 year GWWC pins, but I'd love to see annual celebration events where the community celebrates wins including things like significant giving milestones for people within the community).
1
Renan Araujo
Thanks, Luke.  I quite like the pins and agree celebrations have the potential to boost adhere (or at least make adherence more public/legible) – cool that you're working on this!

What are GWWC's plans for funding itself over the next five years ? E.g. How much do you aim to diversify from OP (how much comes from them currently), and what challenges have you found in trying to fundraise for internal ops (if any)?

9
Luke Freeman 🔸
Thanks Vaidehi! Open Philanthropy's Effective Altruism Community Growth (Global Health and Wellbeing) program is currently our largest source of funding. Their policy is to fund no more than 50% of the budget for an organisation of our profile (and we also do not want a single funder to be such a large portion of our funding). That leaves us with roughly ~£2.4m to raise between now and December to reach our target runway through to March 2025 (with our current budget which includes various international programs also). We have a small number of other donors who have generously provided us operational funding in donation greater than $10k USD. We also have about $1.2k of monthly recurring donations to our operations from smaller donors. Ultimately we'd like to be funded directly by enough small and large donors that we do not need to seek as much institutional funding but can still pursue our plans and reach our impact goals. However, there is a tension here. We want to be very careful about how we fundraise for our operations from most donors as we don't want to undermine our relationship with donors and be seen as too self-recommending. Not only could this be bad for us but we think this could be bad for the wider community if it's done in a way that undermines trust. We're currently exploring the option of including an opt-in for donors to support our operations when making a donation which (if done well) would likely increase the amount of baseline support from regular donors and also signal to larger donors that we do in fact need the funding. We'd like to do a better job with working with larger donors on fundraising for high-impact projects and hope that in doing so they may also see the value of our work and offer to support it. We'd be excited to see more worldview diverse meta funders as it is harder for worldview diverse meta organisations that are as closely tied to EA to find other institutional funders than it is for cause or worldview specific o

What do you think of the national GWWC-like organizations, such as Effektiv Spenden in Germany or Doneer Effectief in the Netherlands? They are currently really similar to GWWC and recommend basically the same charities as GWWC or GiveWell. Should they maybe take a slightly different approach to researching charities or should they just be the national version of GWWC to get more people on board without doing their own research? Finally, do you think that there could be very effective charities operating outside the UK/US that GWWC is currently missing? Does GWWC research charities in continental Europe? If so, what are some examples; if not, what barriers exist (besides the obvious language one)?  

9
Luke Freeman 🔸
Thanks Jeroen! This is a great – and timely – question. We ❤️ them! We're truly delighted to see these organisations. Witnessing effective giving (EG) grow globally is a joy for us. Anyone who is helping with our mission (to create world where giving effectively and significantly is a norm) is an ally. Even more than that, these specific effective giving national fundraising organisations are close partners. We exchanging knowledge and support on a regular basis. By pooling our resources and talents, we believe we can do a much better job. In fact, we've just hired Lucas Moore to spearhead our Effective Giving Global Coordination and Incubation initiative to help with this and our team recently helped initiate and organise an Effective Giving Summit that brought together representatives from these organisations. Each of these partnerships is unique. For example: * We have an official brand partnership with Ayuda Efectiva who independently operate their platform (with their own team, board and grantmaking decisions) while also representing and managing our community in Spain. * We helped to found and fund Don Efficace, who will be using our donation/pledge platform, have a brand partnership and act as our local representative (with their own team, board and grantmaking decisions). * We share team members with EA Australia, and together we are launching GWWC Australia. * With Effektiv Spenden, we exchange best practices and collaborate on projects. Brand partnerships also make it easier to share things like marketing materials, introduce pledgers to them, and have shared public advocates. For many of them, we're also involved in the grantmaking/regranting processes (e.g. receiving funds that they're raise and regranting them to fund programs delivered by our charity partner). On the brand front: The context is crucial here. How the GWWC brand presents itself through national partners varies, largely depending on the country. For instance, the idea of having
4
Imma
Related: Should initatives like the '10 procent club' exist in more countries? Note: 10 procent club organizes quarterly events about effective giving in the Netherlands. They are a separate initiative from 'Doneer Effectief' which translates the charity recommendations and provides the giving platform.

As one of the people thinking most about how to communicate EA ideas, what have you learned / can you share with us as wisdom?

(First up: You've done a great job on podcasts and presentations too! Would love for you to share what you've learned below. Would also any other comments/perspectives from other readers.)

Thanks Johannes for the question (especially because I'm keen on helping people to advocate and communicate more)!

While it is true that I think about it a lot, I've gotta say that we have definitely not not figured this out, and that really keeps me up at night. I think we (me personally, GWWC specifically, and EA in general) are a long way from being exceptional at communicating EA ideas.

For example, a tension often exists between sparking initial interest, where intriguing, counterintuitive concepts like earning to give tend to shine, and cultivating deep understanding, which is often best achieved via a Socratic style of discourse — engaging individuals on their terms and building upon shared values. There's a similar tension between conveying depth nuance verses simple repeatable ideas.

I worked with Geetanjali Basarkod and Matti Wilks (with more help from others) on this guide to talking about effective altruism and effective giving which goes into great detail and also leverages research.

Off ... (read more)

Do you think that most of GWWC's impact will come from money moved, or from introducing people to EA who then change their career paths, or something else? (I can't tell immediately tell from your strategy, which mentions both.)

6
Luke Freeman 🔸
Thanks Isaac, good question! I believe that although donations moved through our platform are significant and a robust measurement, they only represent a part of GWWC's overall impact. In fact, over half the donations that we're aware of (via member reporting) are made directly to charities or via other donation platforms. In my view, if we truly make strides towards achieving our mission, I expect that the indirect impact will dwarf the direct impact and more easily measured impact. This could take various forms such as introducing people to EA principles and causes, promoting positive values, and influencing donations more loosely, and shifting the impact-orientation of the philanthropic sector, to name a just few. On a day to day basis however, our approach is to focus on what we can effectively measure and optimise, which predominantly includes donations and number of people giving effectively. However, we always have our broader mission in sight to ensure we don't make decisions that compromise greater impact elsewhere. This post by Joey gives examples of ways that organisations could undermine overall impact by focusing too much on just their own metrics. Essentially, we are accountable to our mission more than just the easily measurable metrics precisely because we think that's what's more important. If you ask anyone at the GWWC team you'd likely hear that they're frequently asked questions like "is this moving us towards our mission?" or "could this harm our overall mission?". We're planning to incorporate more indirect impact measures in our next impact evaluation, starting with the ones easier to measure like organisations using our research, or people we've referred to other organisations as donors or employees etc. Thanks again for your question, Isaac!
2
BrianTan
"This post by Joey" returns a 404 page btw!

What are some effective giving orgs you'd like to see get started? Any nearby gaps that you don't expect GWWC to fill?

8
Luke Freeman 🔸
Great question, Clifford! There are certainly areas I'd love to see further developed. It would be fantastic to see the rise of more specialised fundraising organisations that cater to particular segments where there's existing leverage or a network. This can be particularly productive if the model can be adapted from an existing organisation. For instance, the Jewish Effective Giving Initiative might spark the creation of more faith-based fundraisers, and High Impact Athletes has already motivated Artists of Impact. It's also simpler for us to aid specialist organisations in their fundraising if they're raising money for our existing recommendations. In this way, we can assist with donation processing in various countries and impact tracking, leaving them to concentrate on their community and fundraising efforts. Currently, we're (almost) well-equipped to support the launch of new national organisations that wish to use our brand/product/community. It's much easier to get them up and running, especially as we complete our localisation efforts. In terms of evaluation and grantmaking, there are certainly gaps we'd like to see filled. We'll have a clearer picture of this as we progress with our 'evaluating the evaluators' initiative. I'm keen to see an advisory service for high net worth individuals (HNWI) or ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) that focuses on global health and wellbeing, and perhaps a broad "effective giving" specialism. We might consider taking the latter on ourselves in the future, provided we can do it effectively and rely significantly on specialised advisories. I also believe there's a gap between ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) and HNWI, specifically for donors who give between ~$50k-$1m annually. We may consider addressing this gap by exploiting some of the low-hanging fruit such as connecting people to existing funding circles and advisors. We could also improve communication and product solutions to provide a customised ex

Does GWWC currently have a funding gap?

How much would you need to fund the activities you’d ideally like to do over the next two years?

Thanks for asking! We need to raise roughly ~£2.4m between now and December to reach our target runway through to March 2025 with our current budget. There are plenty of things we're not doing (e.g. hiring more research capacity, fundraisers, or a country manager in key locations like the UK) due to funding constraints.

Programs we house like the Charity Elections program are fundraised for separately too and have struggled to get funding through the limited number of sources for this kind of work.

Additionally, we'd love to be in a position to do more active grantmaking in setting up or scaling up new effective giving organisations (e.g. launching in new markets).

I also wrote some more details in my response to Vaidehi's question 😀 

--

If anyone would like to support our work, you can do so here and I'd be more than happy to chat on a call or respond to questions here on by email (luke at givingwhatwecan.org).

What is your view on frugality? Is it helpful is people are more frugal to donate (a bit) more?

2
Luke Freeman 🔸
My views on this a very nuanced and I think it's hard to make general recommendations. I think it's quite inspiring and motivating to have people in my life who are more frugal and generous than me. That inspires me to also give more. It also makes it easier to have social norms around less expensive group activities etc. However, I also worry about people being so frugal that it backfires and turns people from off following suit. I also worry if people don't spend on things that would improve their lives significantly (e.g. their health and wellbeing) and also their ability to have an impact (e.g. productivity, coaching, education etc). My all things considered guess is that for many people the ideal mix of impact over the long term (considering personal $ moved, money influenced, and second order effects like values spreading and their pursuit of high-impact careers) is to find a sustainable level of giving and spending that is comfortably on the edge of what those around them could imagine doing themselves and what helps them be most healthy and productive.

Are replacement pledge pins available for purchase? (didn't lose mine yet but I would feel better knowing I have that option if I do, my pledge pin is my most expensive possession I own xd so am a bit hesitant taking it outside)

We’ll send a replacement if you lose it! 😀 We'd much rather you wear it and risk losing it than keep it in a sock drawer for fear of losing it!

If that happens just shoot us an email :) 

1
Michael Noetel
Omg I'd never done those maths 😬

What are some semi-plausible, but unlikely-to-happen projects you could imagine GWWC pursuing in 5 years time?

Where do you donate to and why?

I started mostly in global health and then included some animal welfare. The vast majority of my donation in the past ~6 years has been EA/EG meta. Especially boring stuff that no one else wants to pay for (e.g. paying for accounting, audit and legal fees for an effective giving or community building organisation) but I find the multiplier mindset satisfying. That's mostly been EA Australia and Giving What We Can. I've also sponsored a lot of giving games and charity elections.

Other than that I have a mix of more direct organisations I support (e.g. GFI, AMF) on a regular(ish) basis. These also make it much easier for me to have entry level discussions about effective giving with people as a donor myself.

As another form of advocacy I quite like giving donations as gifts, thank yous, or follow ups (donating to something on someone's behalf after having a conversation with them about it).

Finally I'll often backstop or seed things with personal funds when I have high context (e.g. EAGxAustralia conferences, donor matching campaigns, early stage projects) so that they happen regardless but I hope another donor will step in or a grant will come through.

If I was less high context specifi... (read more)

Do you have an opinion on various proposals to use GWWC pledge status ( + at least self-reported fulfillment of the pledge) as a proxy for membership in the EA community, for purposes of various governance reform proposals? (Examples include electing some or all EVF trustees, a democratic allocation of some donor funds, etc.)

The specific intent of this question is to ask about the advantages/disadvantages of pledge status as a proxy for community membership, any potential positive or negative effects of such a proxy on GWWC, etc. rather than the merits of any proposed governance reform -- although of course your thoughts on the latter would be welcome as well.

4
Luke Freeman 🔸
Great question! I've not got very developed thoughts here but here's my quick take: As much as I think taking and following through with giving pledges are generally a good norm to have within the community (for many reasons) I'm very sceptical about it being a requirement or anything like that for voting or allocating funds. I think it's fraught with potential unintended consequences. That being said, I've kicked an idea around for a while to have a GWWC community fund where anyone can donate to it (ideally many GWWC members choose to) and there's a process where active members collectively allocate the funds (likely with recommendations from other members and grantmakers and various ways for people to delegate their votes to others).

How important is it for (small-ish) donors to be knowledgeable about effective giving? They can just defer to charity evaluators.

5
Luke Freeman 🔸
That's a tricky one! I think that at both extremes it's bad (so the answer lies somewhere between).  * If no small donors are informed and carefully checking then I think evaluators would generally do a much worse job. * If all small donors needed to be sufficiently knowledgeable about effective giving before donating I think that it'd be a big waste of time, fewer people would give, and evaluators wouldn't move enough money for their time to be worthwhile spent on it. Generally, I'd prefer donors not be completely deferential and have at least a basic understanding of why they defer to a specific evaluator (at the moment I think this is super opaque to donors and we're hoping to help change that). But I also worry about donors trying to reinvent the wheel, be overconfident that they can outperform evaluators, or get so lost in the details that they don't end up giving. My view is that it'll likely depend more on the temperament and context of the donor (including how much they're moving). On a side note I think the donor lottery is a pretty interesting way of solving this (but feel like we probably need a few donor lotteries for it to work in an ideal way, such as a worldview diverse one and ones for specific worldviews so that you can at least think about worldviews before donating to the lottery).

If GWWC goes very well over the next five years (say 90th percentile), what would that look like?

What's the most challenging part about your current role?

Among the members who have explained their reasons for taking The Pledge, which quote did inspire you the most?

Hi Luke, I'm curious to hear how would you define success for GWWC in five years' time? E.g. do you have a target number of pledgers?

Do you think "effective giving" is a good name for the giving side of EA? What other names have you considered (if any)?

Why does GWWC handle bank transfers in the way it does? I (and some others I've talked to) are much more used to bank transfers being handled how GiveWell does them, where you enter your bank information and the recipient initiates the ACH transfer. But GWWC does it by providing their bank information and requiring that the donor initiate the ACH transfer. Is there a particular reason for doing it this way? 

Did you see this post about an Earn to Learn pledge? (ie. aimed at early career folk who might be better working a normal professional job before moving into direct work)

What did you think about it?

https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/qnYm5MtBJcKyvYvfo/an-earn-to-learn-pledge

I want to donate as much as I can, but how much is too much/ ultimately counterproductive?

For example 

  • is it worth settling for a noticeably worse (but still adequate) phone service provider for the sake of donating an extra $6 (i.e. 3 bed nets) a month? 
  • Or is sacrificing at that scale too extreme in your opinion?

What is your view on funders circles? Ie. Mental health, Nonlinear Network, Farmed Animal Funders, ect.

(PS. These are just examples, my question is about funders circles in general, not these specific ones)

To what extent can GWWC or similar communities help solve the problem that philanthropy is undemocratic (very wealthy people can have a lot of influence on society, but people have not elected them).

1
Imma
Related question: what other initiatives might help here?

Hi Luke, what's your favourite Taylor Swift song? Thanks <3333

How much do GWWC volunteers do (not sure if this is easy to quantify), and how do you pick projects for them to work on?

Do you ever hand off projects from team members to volunteers or vice versa (and when)?

How much does GWWC prioritize getting people to commit to the GWWC pledge specifically, as opposed to spreading earnest commitment to the twin ideas of:


1. Higher than normal levels of charitable giving?

2. Selecting recipients of charitable giving based on (secular) impact?

For example, if the result of GWWC's advocacy was convincing a profoundly religious person to donate more to their church's missionary activities, believing that this is the most effective way to save souls, would GWWC consider that a success?

Should the idea of 'effective giving' be discoupled from 'effective altruism'? To what extent?

E.g. should I be able to be a highly engaged effective giver (let's say, further pledge) without having to touch 'effective altruism' at all?

Do you see different attitudes to donating in different countries or cultures? How do you accommodate to as many of them as possible?

Hi Luke, are you open to getting an Executive Assistant from Africa? Specifically Ghana?

We can imagine many ways of specifying a pledge that is substantial and targeted at effective charities.

One example might be a pledge for which the fraction of income to be donated is itself a function of income (perhaps a 0% donation is called for if you make < $10,000/year, and a max of 50% is called for if you make > $100 million/year, with the % of income scaling in between these bounds). But that of course is much more than "10% of income."

How do you think on a meta-level about the tension between the need for simplicity and the risk of oversimplification in GWWC's messaging?

Part of GWWC's mission is to create a culture of giving, but as you note in comments, a huge proportion of your donations come from the wealthy. How helpful do you think it would be if we thought about creating cultures of giving, with a focus on the intersectional - considering the ways that income, race and ethnicity, religion, nationality, and so on intersect with habits of charitable giving?

What role(s) do you see GWWC playing in onboarding new people into EA? Are people finding GWWC's website as their first point of contact with EA, perhaps discovered via Google? Are they reading books like What We Owe The Future and finding it that way? Are they discovering GWWC after onboarding into EA some other way?

It seems to me like there are two somewhat common critical interpretations of the 10% GWWC pledge.

  1. The idea that the standard is 10%, so anything less than that is a failure or not good enough.
  2. The idea that although we only ask for a pledge of 10% of one's income, we are asking that 100% of pledger's charitable donations go specifically to effective charities - no room for donations to the arts, one's alma mater, etc.

Do you think that the 10% GWWC pledge is, in fact, often interpreted that way? If so, do you think there is any value in modifying the pledge ... (read more)

What things can people in 'normal' jobs do for the world, besides donating? What things are well worth their time?

What do regular donors need to stay committed to donating over the course of their lives?

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