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Vaniver comments on Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others... - Less Wrong

130 Post author: Yvain 24 December 2010 09:26PM

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Comment author: Vaniver 25 December 2010 04:02:17PM *  4 points [-]

The advice I hear is "limit yourself to three charities"- useful because it allows you to broaden your fuzzies (like supporting economic liberty and cute animals and 3rd world development) while significantly decreasing the overhead costs to the charities. They would much rather have a $1,000 donor than 10 $100 donors, especially if that donor has made an annual commitment.

Comment author: Document 06 July 2011 06:21:05PM 0 points [-]

Is that compatible with points five and six here, or is it a standing disagreement among activists?

Comment author: Vaniver 06 July 2011 07:15:00PM 3 points [-]

I suspect that SIAI is in a different position from most charities.

I don't know what percentage of charities are low on public support, but I suspect that is not a serious issue for most donors, as most donors couldn't provide more than 2% of a charity's total income, even with a third of their total charity budget.

Most charities have a practice of sending endless streams of junk mail, and so for most charities a gift of a few dollars is actually a losing proposition in the long term, since you sent the signal you would be receptive to future donation requests but don't actually send more money. The SIAI's strategy (and costs for emailing) are different from most charities, suggesting that different advice makes sense for them.