You can talk to EA Funds before applying

by evhub2 min read28th Sep 20212 comments

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Personal Blog

Cross-posted to the EA Forum.

One thing I have realized as a fund manager for the EA Long-Term Future Fund is that there are a lot of grants that I would like to make that never cross our desk, just because potential applicants are too intimidated by us or don’t realize that their idea is one we’d be willing to fund if only they applied.

To try to remedy that problem, I’m going to start offering the following service: if you have any idea of any way in which you think you could use money to help the long-term future, but aren’t currently planning on applying for a grant from any grant-making organization, I want to hear about it. Feel free to send me a private message on the EA Forum or LessWrong. I promise I’m not that intimidating :)

Not only that, but having talked about this with some of the other EA Funds managers, many of them were willing to extend the same offer as well:

For example, here are some of the sorts of grants I’m often excited about but that I rarely see anyone apply for:

  • “I want to transition to a career in something longtermist, but that transition would be difficult for me financially and I’d like to have some extra financial reserves to make it easier.”
  • “I think I would be more productive in my longtermist job if I had more money to spend on things that would save me time.”
  • “I have an idea for a longtermist project I want to work on, but I don’t want to commit to definitely working on that project for the duration of a long grant and want freedom to change my mind and switch to a different project if I want.”
  • “I have an ambitious idea for a project that I think would benefit the long-term future, but I think it would take a lot of money, more than what I normally see LTFF grants being given out for.”

Really, though, I don’t want to anchor anybody too much on these specific ideas—if you have any idea of any way in which you think you could use money to help the long-term future, I want to hear about it.

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I scheduled a conversation with Evan based on this post and it was very helpful. If you're on the fence, do it! For me, it was helpful as a general career / EA strategy discussion, in addition to being useful for thinking about specifically Long-Term Future Fund concerns.

And I can corroborate that Evan is indeed not that intimidating.

Since it was brought up to me, I also want to clarify that EA Funds can fund essentially anyone, including:

  • people who have a separate job but want to spend extra time doing an EA project,
  • people who don't have a Bachelor's degree or any other sort of academic credentials,
  • kids who are in high school but are excited about EA and want to do something,
  • fledgling organizations,
  • etc.