Support Promoting Effective Giving

post by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-22T16:04:08.866Z · LW · GW · Legacy · None comments

This is cross-posted from the EA Forum and will be mainly of interest to Effective Altruists

Brief Summary

This post describes the work of Intentional Insights to promote EA-style effective giving ideas to a broad audience in order to channel people's giving to effective charities. It does not address the kind of work that Intentional Insights does to promote rationality outside of Effective Altruism, which is a distinct topic, addressed in recent posts (1, 2, 3). InIn sees promoting effective giving as a really important area of our work, one that contributes both to promoting rational thinking and thus raising the sanity waterline, and to what CFAR refers to as "Do-Gooding," meaning making the world a better place and advancing human flourishing.


This post first shares the methods InIn uses to promote effective giving, describes the outcomes of InIn's work, presents various collaborations with other organizations, describes InIn's financials, and shares its plans for the future, within the sphere of EA. The post is explicitly a request for support, and makes a case for how by contributing your time and talents, and/or your money, to InIn as an EA meta-charity you can make a bigger difference in the world to advance human flourishing than by contributing to a GiveWell-recommended direct-action charity. The point of doing so is that an EA you should not contribute your resources to InIn as a meta-charity if you don't think that by doing so you can do more good for the world than by contributing to a GiveWell-recommended direct-action charity.

Full post



Intentional Insights aims to spread EA-themed effective giving ideas to a broad audience, and channel the giving activities of non-EAs into effective charities endorsed by GiveWell. In other words, by contributing time and money to Intentional Insights, EAs can get the outcome of non-EAs giving to effective charities, multiplying the impact of their support to effective charities manifold. Moreover, you can support InIn with time as well as with money, while GiveWell-endorsed charities are generally best supported with money.



How does InIn promote effective giving? We use modern content marketing strategies and speak to people’s hearts as well as their heads. We distinguish promoting effective giving and individual EA organizations from promoting EA as a movement, to avoid the threat of rapid movement growth, while still leaving hidden hooks that would enable those interested to find the movement. We orient toward being quite transparent about what we are doing, getting feedback from members of the EA community and updating based on that feedback, including acknowledging mistakes and trying to improve going forward.


Specific Examples of Our EA Work




These examples illustrate the kind of work that we do: publishing pieces that promote effective giving directly, and collaborating with other organizations to promote effective giving through their channels. Besides our direct work promoting effective giving, we also promote rational thinking and effective decision-making strategies, which helps EAs build their capacity, and has a variety of other robustly positive outcomes for human flourishing. To learn more about the methods, assumptions, and impact of Intentional Insights, check out our Theory of Change and our Annual Report.


I want to highlight that InIn is a new project, and promoting effective giving ideas, as opposed to EA as a movement, is a new field of endeavor for EAs. So I would be enthusiastic to learn about what reservations folks have. We are quite open to revising the nature of our work if it seems we are headed in a suboptimal direction, and want to learn more from the community about what the community thinks about what works, and proceeding forward in a collaborative truth-seeking spirit about what would most benefit human flourishing.


Future Plans

In the next year, we are planning to expand our activities in promoting effective giving in five major directions:



Financially, we have just started our fundraising outside of a narrow circle of initial supporters, since we wanted to get our content to a level where it would be publishable in The Huffington Post. Our basic operations budget is $42050, and we are currently in the red, with the co-founders covering about 88% of the basic expenses, which is not sustainable past the next year. We also want funding to get a new website and integrated donor and financial database, and most importantly hire a staff member, since we are an all-volunteer organization, and that is not sustainable in the long run. You can see our funding breakdown and priorities at the bottom of the Annual Report.



To conclude, the reason you would support InIn as an EA meta-charity, over a direct-action charity endorsed by GiveWell, is that by doing so you would highly likely direct many more dollars into effective charities than by contributing to direct-action charities themselves. Likewise, you can support InIn effectively with your time and talents, while direct-action charities would generally benefit most from financial contributions. Of course, as the section on InIn financial needs discusses, it needs some financial contributions as well, so make your own decisions about what kind of impact you want to see in the world through your donations.


Next Steps

If you would like to support this work to promote effective giving to a broad audience, but are not sure yet how you would like to do so, please fill out this supporters form. If you are interested in contributing your time, for example to creating content, providing feedback, or developing the resource bank, please fill out this volunteers form. If you are capable of financial donations and are interested in using your dollars to channel the spending of others into effective giving, please donate. The next ten days are a very high-leverage opportunity to donate, as InIn was awarded a challenge grant – if we get 10 new donors and 10 monthly donors by the end of the year, we will get $2000. So donations from new monthly donors, which double-count, are particularly welcomed.


Thanks again, and I look forward to your thoughts and feedback! You can also PM me on the forum or email me at






None comments

Comments sorted by top scores.