The end of 2012 was a busy time for Giving What We Can - we ran our first sixth-monthly review process. This involved presenting a progress report and a plan for the future to our advisory committee (composed of GWWC members from a variety of backgrounds) and to the trustees. Following on from that, I'd like to share with you a bit about our plans for the upcoming months, and the advisory committee's feedback. We've already described our research plans, so I'll be concentrating on other areas. If you'd like to see more detailed versions of our plans, retrospective review, and advisors' assessment, please get in touch.
GWWC is a community of people who care deeply about helping those in the developing world as much as possible. Therefore, GWWC's ultimate aim is to make sure that as much money as possible is given to the most cost-effective charities we can find. Our plan for the coming year has attempted to specify the ways in which we intend to do this in broad outline, as well as describe more precise plans for the next few months.
1. To provide a complete resource for those seeking to help people in the developing world as much as possible …
2. To get more people using this resource in guiding their giving …
We also want to support other organisations focussed on effective giving and effective altruism. This includes our sister organisations, 80,000 Hours and The Life You Can Save, as well as other organisations, like GiveWell and A Path That's Clear.
The advisors felt that GWWC was growing rapidly, and that the 6 month plan contained a rather ambitious number of activities. They worried that having too many projects might mean losing sight of our overall goals. To avoid these dangers, we'll concentrate on prioritising carefully between activities, and working out how each of our actions links with our goals.
GWWC's roots lie in the University of Oxford, and, as such, many of our members are students, and many of our chapters are student chapters. The advisors were concerned about that leading to too much emphasis being placed on appealing to students. To address this, we will be concentrating on ensuring that we provide adequate and appropriate support for our non-student chapters, and to all our members.
The advisors discussed the relation between GWWC and similar organisations such as GiveWell. They questioned where GWWC would position itself relative to such organisations, in order to avoid duplication of work, and to do as much good as possible. This is a difficult question, which we are still in the process of answering. In research we're planning to focus to a greater degree on methodological considerations in the coming months, since that's where our comparative advantage lies. In a couple of months we will reassess whether this seems to be the best approach. We'll continue to think carefully about the best ways to work alongside other organisations, to make sure we're helping each other rather than competing.
In all our activities, we'll aim to monitor progress and to find out to what extent particular activities increase the amount of money going to the best charities. We're keen to keep evolving, and trying to do as much good as we can. If you'd like to help us in this endeavour, whether for a couple of hours a week, or full-time, we'd love to hear from you.