On putting all one's charitable eggs in one basket:

I note that GiveWell recommend splitting one's charitable giving between their top charities in a certain ratio. But it seems that this would reduce the expected value of one's giving. Is this considered by others to be the best way to donate, or is it better to give all of one's donation to that single charity estimated to be most effective? I imagine this is the sort of thing that has already been discussed, so pointers to any previous discussion would be of use.

The comments on "A Mathematical Explanation of Why Charity Donations Shouldn't Be Diversified" might be of interest.

4banx5yFrom GW's perspective, each of their top charities can consume a certain amount of additional money before the expected value of an additional donation decreases by some amount. Their goal is to move money such that each charity hits that target, and then they'll reassess. So they recommend donors split donations so that, as a whole, these targets are hit and EV is maximized. From your perspective, you may decide that concentrating your entire donation in one organization has a higher EV, since that organization has a generally higher EV relative to the others and since your action isn't going to affect the actions of the rest of GW's audience.

Open thread, Apr. 01 - Apr. 05, 2015

by MrMind 1 min read31st Mar 2015180 comments


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