Special Projects Coordinator @ Rethink Priorities
155 karmaJoined Apr 2022Working (0-5 years)


Hey Robi! Yeah, I agree fiscal sponsorship can be a misleading term, since "sponsor" suggests someone who provides money. In the case of fiscal sponsorship, what the sponsor provides is tax-exempt status. I'd be somewhat reticent to use another term because this one is widely used in the nonprofit world. From Wikipedia:

Fiscal sponsorship refers to the practice of non-profit organizations offering their legal and tax-exempt status to groups (...). It typically involves a fee-based contractual arrangement between a project and an established non-profit.

I do think the EA community could use a bit more clarity around what fiscal sponsorship is, though. Maybe us at RP will write some posts about this soon.

I should note also that fiscal sponsors often don't provide operational support, as RP does for Epoch and other fiscally sponsored projects. So that's not what the term "fiscal sponsorship" primarily refers to. Outside of EA, I think it's more commonly just a way for non-profit projects to accept tax-exempt donations.

Also, to be clear, QURI didn't end up using this system to distribute prizes. 

FYI, the lottery system described above as a means to distributing prizes is illegal in the US (states have a monopoly on random lotteries, unfortunately)

Basically, if a payment system involves three features together, it will likely be illegal:

  • Consideration (e.g. you need to spend money or time to be considered for the prize)
  • Chance 
  • Prize (cash or anything of value)

The typical way around this is to get rid of consideration and give an alternative means of entry, e.g. “you can also enter by emailing this email” or similar. This is why promotions often have the “no purchase necessary” language in the US. There are ways around this, but typically you need to apply for a license.

 [Credits to Abraham Rowe for catching this.]

Location: London, UK

Remote: Yes

Willing to relocate: Yes


  • Communications consulting (I started and still own a copywriting and communications company in Mexico City  https://www.contexto.studio/  https://www.linkedin.com/company/contextoestudio)
  • Strong generalist start-up/interpersonal/operations skills
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  • Python and R (taught by master's course, no significant own projects)
  • Research in the philosophy of the social sciences

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/merilalama/

CV: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xzjvJt-LwY_lcPKfVgo3lSQdxFt_64VO/view?usp=sharing

Email: merilalama@gmail.com


  • I'm thinking a lot about longtermism, but I'm willing to work in whatever field I can be most impactful.
  • I believe I'm a good fit for operations/communications/generalist jobs
  • Looking to switch full-time to something more impactful than my business. I don't care about glamour; I'm looking for impact.

Involvement with EA:  

  • I'm attending the Open Student Workshop on GPR at the GPI, Oxford.
  • Attended and volunteered in EAGxOxford and EAG London this year.
  • My master's dissertation is on a subject recommended by GPI's research agenda.
  • Involved with LSE's EA Student Society.
  • Received 1-1 advice from 80k.
  • AGI Safety Fundamentals Programme by EA Cambridge, 2022

Drop me a message if anything above sounds potentially useful; I will be glad to hear from you :)