Hide table of contents

This is an summary of updates made to my previous post, The flow of funding in EA movement building

Overall Changes

Total funding tracked in the data increased to $290M (from $245M). New data is from:

  • Several private donors and Longview Philanthropy who shared (previously non-public) donation & grant recommendation data
  • Global health & wellbeing spending e.g. GiveWell, ACE and some animal orgs (at a discounted rate since these organizations aren’t explicitly focused on EA movement building but did contribute to the growth of the EA movement)
  • The inclusion of some longtermist research organizations such as FHI which have helped do field building (also at a discounted rate)

Changes to proportions and funding over time

During the 2012-2016 period, funding tracked in my data roughly doubled from ~$4M to ~$8.9M (quick estimate) including $4M in funding to GiveWell and $0.5M from other donors. During 2017-2023 period, funding tracked roughly increased from $241 to $281M, from other donors and the inclusion of some cause-area specific organizations that contributed to movement building.

The table below summarizes the changes to the proportions of funding coming from different sources: 

Funder CategoryChange in % New %Original %
Other donorsUp ~8% 9.6%1.5%
FTX Future FundDown ~3%14.8%17.5%
EAIF (non-OP donors), LTFF & Jaan Tallinn (incl. SFF)Down ~1%  
EA Animal FundUp ~1%1.1%0%

Open Philanthropy


 

OP LT: Down 9.5%
(~10.1% w. EAIF)

OP GH&W: Down 0.4%

OP Other: Up 5.9%

Overall: Down ~3%

OP LT: 50.4% (~54.5% w. EAIF)

OP GH&W: 2.6%

OP Other: 5.9%

Overall: 63%

OP LT: 59.8% (~64.6% w. EAIF)

OP GH&W: 2.2%

OP Other: 0%

Overall: 66%


 Here's the new % data in a pie chart: 

What data is still missing?

  • Total funding: I estimate total funding from 2012 to June 2023 is likely $300-350M (medium confidence). I previously estimated $250-280M (significant underestimate).  
  • Individual donors: I estimate that $1-20M since 2012 is probably still missing, since I haven’t included donors who work with Effective Giving, Generation Pledge or Founders’ Pledge. 
  • Allocation of cause-specific efforts: You may disagree with the discounting I’ve done towards different cause-specific projects (in either direction). If you think I’m underweighting those efforts, then you could consider that “missing” data. 

The most accurate way to do these estimates would be to ask movement building  organizations for their annual expenses and to break down the sources of their funding. This information is not publicly available, and some organizations do not publish annual expenses publicly from where you might make initial guesses. I’d encourage organizations to share their numbers to give us a fuller picture of the landscape. 

Mistakes & reflections

  • I didn’t expect this post to be read by as many people as it was. If I’d known this in advance, I think it’s likely I would have delayed publication and seeked more external feedback because concrete numbers can be sticky and hard to update people’s views on. 
  • I noted that this was a preliminary analysis in the opening, but the data may have been seen as more final than it was. In the future I would spend more time hedging numbers and stating ranges of possible values and encourage people to cite those instead of exact numbers. 
  • I didn’t add enough uncertainty estimates to the numbers throughout the post. For example, I mentioned that the data was incomplete, and provided an estimate on the total amount of funding ($250-280M) - this was a moderately large underestimate (the total new total tracked data now stands at $290M).
  • I missed several sources of global health & wellbeing spending, which significantly increased total spend between 2012-2016. This was an easy fix that I would have caught fairly early with more time / feedback. H/T to Michael St Jules & Devon Fritz for raising this and prompting me to spend time looking into it. 

Thanks to Luke Ding for several helpful comments and help procuring relevant data, and to donors who shared their data with me. 

Comments1
Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 1:39 AM

Do you have any insight into what type of efforts these funds are allocated towards?