Sjir Hoeijmakers

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Thanks Elizabeth, Owen, Brad and Kirsten for the constructive feedback! I agree that the post in its current form doesn't live up to the epistemic standards we aspire to at GWWC, for many of the reasons you mention. My apologies for this.

The research team usually reviews any public impact claims we make, but this post slipped through the cracks of our review process in part because the main topic (i.e. "misconceptions about the pledge") didn't immediately seem research-related. We'll tighten up the process to prevent this from happening in the future. I've now also reviewed and we'll edit the post on the points you mentioned + a few others. We'll post here once that's done.

Thanks again for holding us accountable!

Congratulations both to Zach for taking on this important role and to CEA for finding such a capable candidate! Based on my personal interactions with Zach, I'm excited to see where he'll lead CEA and optimistic about him contributing to a strong, principles-based EA community. He seems to me a person both of high integrity and professionalism, who deeply cares about making the world a better place, and who is able to set and execute on a vision. From a GWWC perspective, also looking forward to collaborating with him in his new capacity on making effective giving and effective altruism principles more broadly more of a global norm!

Agreed (though personally I might be willing to make a bet if e.g. fund manager selection is done well)

Very excited about this, both about the clarification of scope and the scope itself.

I strongly agree there is currently a gap in terms of principles-first EA funders, and also largely agree with the way you've outlined "principles-first EA" here. I think this new scope will make me seriously consider becoming a donor to the EAIF in the new year.

That's great to hear Jonas, please let us know if we can do anything else to help! As mentioned in our reports and back when we announced the project, part of the motivation for doing this work is to support other effective giving organisations like Giv Effektivt to be able to make more informed decisions on their recommendations.

And yes, agree that these comments provide a bit of the next layer... let's see where it stops!

Thanks Andrew. I hope I answered most of your question by my response to MHR above, but on the EV part: (caveating that I am not speaking on behalf of EV here nor have legal expertise on the governance question, but giving my personal understanding of the situation here)

GWWC and EA Funds are separate projects within EV; are managed separately; and communicate separately. I would be surprised if we were to discontinue supporting the EA Funds on our donation platform, given they clearly meet our inclusion criteria, but there is no need/pressure for us to recommend EA Funds (e.g. we currently don't recommend the EA GHD Fund nor the EA Infrastructure Fund, as we haven't looked into them yet). We acknowledge the conflict of interest, but I hope our reports on the EA AWF and EA LTFF show we are not holding back on pointing out where we think EA Funds can improve.

As I understand it, there are legal restrictions EV (including GWWC and EA Funds) has to obey, and if EA Funds would ever allocate funding in ways that aren't in accordance with EV's stated purpose that would obviously have consequences, but I'd expect those types of situations won't have much to do with GWWC in particular.

That's about as much as I know to say on this; hope it answers your question!

Thank you! Great question. I can't speak on behalf of EA Funds and their plans going forward, but I can say our new GWWC cause area funds are meaningfully different from their funds (at least as they've been operating so far).

The biggest differences IMO are

  • The EA Funds generally (with the exception of the GHD Fund) only make grants to organisations that apply for funding with them.
  • The EA Funds are managed by a limited set of expert grantmakers.

Our GWWC cause area funds, on the other hand, ultimately aim to cover recommendations and grantmaking by nearly all impact-focused evaluators and grantmakers, based on our evaluations of these evaluators, but we don't accept any grant applications ourselves.

For instance, EA Funds currently doesn't consider any of Founders Pledge's or Longview's evaluations or active search for high-impact opportunities to inform their grantmaking, whereas our GWWC Funds do (or will do in the case of Founders Pledge) and additionally consider EA Funds as a grantmaker/evaluator.

For the EA GHD Fund and the GWWC GH&W Fund in particular, the difference is currently less pronounced. This is because we ended up working with GiveWell based on our initial evaluations, and EA Funds has historically asked them to advise their fund as well. However, this could easily change in the short- to medium-term, e.g. we hope to evaluate both Happier Lives Institute and Founders Pledge next year as candidates for evaluators informing our GH&W Fund grantmaking in addition to GiveWell.

Hope that clarifies a bit! Happy to elaborate further on the differences if helpful.

Thank you! As we mention in the report, we're grateful for how you've engaged with our evaluations process, and I think this comment is a good illustration of the open, constructive and collaborative attitude you've had throughout it. We look forward to re-evaluating ACE's work next year, and in the meantime remain excited to host many of ACE's funds and recommendations on our donation platform as promising opportunities for donors to consider.

Hi Moritz, yes if you ask me personally, I would currently lean towards recommending MG over a randomly picked ACE recommended charity, though I'm far from confident in this / it's not a claim I would be able to justify to the extent we usually want to justify our recommendations as GWWC. It's mainly based on my view that the difference between the AWF and MG is fairly small (both are broadly trying to make cost-effective grants and are getting promising applications on the margin), whereas our criticism of ACE's charity evaluations process a bit more fundamentally challenges it coming up with highly cost-effective donation opportunities on the margin (though I also don't want to overstate our conclusion there). I would furthermore guess that MG is/will be more funding-constrained relative to its aims/applications than most of ACE's individual charity recommendations. (but really, this is a guess: note that I haven't looked into the charity recommendations individually!)

Thanks for your question!

The important nuance here is that while we did not think ACE's current charity evaluation process measures marginal cost-effectiveness to a sufficient extent to directly rely on ACE's recommendations, that isn't the same as the (stronger) claim that its recommendations are necessarily worse donation opportunities than the AWF or THL's corporate campaigns, and it also isn't the same as claiming that ACE's process doesn't track marginal cost-effectiveness at all.

We can't say confidently how ACE's (other) recommendations compare to the AWF or THL's corporate campaigns, as we haven't individually evaluated and compared them. So we want to offer donors who have the time and expertise to look into these promising individual charities the opportunity to do so and potentially donate to them if they find them to be maximising impact by their worldview, as we do for many more charities and funds on our platform that we can't currently justify recommending (for instance because they haven't been evaluated (yet)).

You may also be interested in our answer to this somewhat related question under the AMA post.

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