EA Forum Donation Election Fund

Centre for Effective Altruism

EA Forum Donation Election Fund 2023

The Donation Election Fund will be designated for the top 3 winning projects in the EA Forum’s Donation Election 2023, designed to encourage serious engagement with donation choice and other topics in effective giving. The Election is part of a broader Giving Season event on the EA Forum.

TL;DR: It’s Giving Season! The EA Forum is hosting a number of events, including a Donation Election (see more in the announcement post). We’re raising money for the Donation Election Fund to increase the funds designated for the winners in the Donation Election — three projects from this list that will be selected by EA Forum users in the election.


Why might donating to the Donation Election Fund be a good idea? (And why might you not want to donate?)

In brief, contributing to the Donation Election Fund could be a good way to improve how Giving Season goes this year, while also directing more funding to promising projects that could productively use it.

Some relevant points:

  • Money in the Donation Election Fund will be designated for candidates selected from this list, and EA Forum users will vote to determine the final winners, which suggests that the ultimate recipients of the funding will use it well.
  • Donating via the Donation Election Fund will also likely boost productive participation in Giving Season (and the Donation Election) on the EA Forum.
    • Growing the Fund could help encourage high-quality and action-oriented discussion on questions like which charities and funds are most cost-effective. This would improve readers’ understanding of effective giving overall and might increase the salience of giving in the EA community. It might also nudge readers to donate to high-impact projects. And it could help donors take the Donation Election event more seriously.
  • The EA Forum Team will match donations to the Donation Election Fund, with some restrictions. They won't match more than $5000 in total, and for each person who donates, they’ll only match the first $1,000 of their donations. (See more about the match here.)

It might not make sense for you to donate to the Donation Election Fund if you don’t expect the winning projects to be as promising as what you would otherwise donate to and you don’t think the benefit of boosting participation in Giving Season is that strong — or if you don’t think you should be donating this year.

How will the Donation Election & Donation Election Fund work?

Starting December 1, EA Forum users (anyone who had an account before October 22, 2023) will vote on how the Donation Election Fund should be allocated between different charitable projects. The fund will then be designated for the three winning candidates (proportionally to how people voted, to a reasonable approximation). You can find more on how voting and nominating candidates in the Election works here.

Please note that donating to the Donation Election Fund does not boost someone’s voting power in the Donation Election.

The Donation Election and Donation Election Fund were set up to promote effective giving and to support these projects available on GWWC.

The Donation Election and the Donation Election Fund are a collaboration between the Centre for Effective Altruism (“CEA”) and Giving What We Can (“GWWC”). Both CEA and GWWC are fiscally sponsored projects of Effective Ventures Foundation (UK) (EV UK) and Effective Ventures Foundation USA Inc. (EV US). When you make a donation to the Donation Election Fund, you are making a donation to EV UK or EV US. Both EV US and EV UK intend to follow the designations from the election results. However, both entities continue to retain discretion and control of the funds.

If the Donation Election is not capable of running as planned (e.g. due to fraud or technical failures), we reserve the right to modify, suspend, or terminate the election. If that happens, we announce the changes on the EA Forum and work to distribute all donations made to the Donation Election Fund in a manner consistent with the Donation Election description, but at our discretion.

Please note that GWWC does not evaluate individual charities. Our recommendations are based on the research of third-party, impact-focused charity evaluators our research team has found to be particularly well-suited to help donors do the most good per dollar, according to their recent evaluator investigations. Our other supported programs are those that align with our charitable purpose — they are working on a high-impact problem and take a reasonably promising approach (based on publicly-available information).

At Giving What We Can, we focus on the effectiveness of an organisation's work -- what the organisation is actually doing and whether their programs are making a big difference. Some others in the charity recommendation space focus instead on the ratio of admin costs to program spending, part of what we’ve termed the “overhead myth.” See why overhead isn’t the full story and learn more about our approach to charity evaluation.