Co-founder @ Charity Entrepreneurship
6721 karmaJoined Sep 2014Working (6-15 years)Queen's Park, London, UK


I want to make the biggest positive difference in the world that I can. My mission is to cause more effective charities to exist in the world by connecting talented individuals with high-impact intervention opportunities. This is why I co-founded the organisation Charity Entrepreneurship to achieve this through an extensive research process and incubation program.


To quickly chip in with some data I have, people who were pretty happy with the program, scoring it 4.45/5. About half of them received a job offer, placement, or internship following the program, most of which were facilitated or recommended by us. We have not done a full counterfactual estimate yet, though, as I do think talented people often get offers anyway, even without the extra skills/credentials that the program provides. So, it might be counterfactually closer to 33%.


Hey Silas, really glad you wrote this up. I also recently donated bone marrow (after donating blood many times and being a bit torn on kidney donations). My experience was equally positive and probably even easier logistically (from London, UK).

Some hard-nosed calculations for those who might be interested (that I will write up in a full post one day): I lost about 1 full day of work and would expect the average person to lose between 1-3 days of work if they wanted to lose as few workdays as possible. My best estimate is this saved between 4-12 years of life for the person who received the donation. Overall, I think it fits quite well with my altruism sharpens altruism concept and is likely worth many EAs signing up for. 


Just wanted to chip in that I am quite positive about this choice and the direction that CEA could go in under Zach's leadership. I have found Zach to be thoughtful about a range of EA topics and to hold to core principles in a way that is both rare and highly valuable for the leader of a meta organization.


I think the model I would suggest is indeed close to what Joel is saying - try it out system as opposed to guessing a priori how you will be affected by things. More specifically, track your work hours/productivity (if you think that is where the bulk of your impact is coming from) and see if, for example, donating blood on the weekend negatively, positively, or has no effect on them. I think that my output has gotten higher over time, in part, due to pretty active testing and higher amounts of measurement. - Related post 


I do tend to think that most people's limiting factor is energy instead of time. E.g. it is rare to see someone work till they literally run out of hours on a project vs needing a break due to feeling tired. Even people working 12 hours a day, I still expect they run out of energy before time, at least long term. I would not typically see emotional energy as my limiting factor, but I do think it's basically always energy (a variable typically positively affected by altruism in other areas) vs. time or money (typically negatively affected).

In most cases the same or minor decrease

I echo this view and think it's really exciting. I expect many people in the meta-funding space will be positive about this idea. However, I also anticipate that many of the donors will need to see a round or two of this idea executed and observe the resulting grants before donating to the fund.

As shown in this table 0% of CE staff (including me) identify AI as their top cause area. I think across the team people's reasons are varied but cluster around something close to epistemic scepticism. My personal perspective is also in line with that.

Answer by JoeyOct 04, 202349

Hey Yanni!

Quick response from CE here as we have some insight on this: 

a) CE is not funding-limited and does not think AI is an area we will work on in the future, regardless of available funding in the space (we have been offered funding for this many times in the past). You can see a little bit about our cause prioritization here and here

b) There are tons of organizations that aim or have aimed to do this, including Rethink PrioritiesImpact AcademyCenter for Effective Altruism and the Longtermist Entrepreneurship Project

c) An interesting question might be why there has not yet been huge output from other incubators, given the substantial funding and unused talent in the space. I think the best two responses on this are the post-mortem from the Longtermist Entrepreneurship Project and a post we wrote about tips and challenges of starting incubators.

About 75% of seed project proposals get funded at the amount they ask for. That part is not known until after the incubation process. The typical seed grants are between $100k-$200k. I do not expect a great proposal to be stopped by a $25k higher budget. I think entrepreneurship is a higher-risk career path, one that is probably not suited for the majority of people. CE is already extremely de-risked relative to equivalents in the for-profit and incubated nonprofit space, to the point where I think the founding step is not the highest-risk part of founding a charity (having an impact 3 years down the line is).

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