What’s the best charity to donate to?


With our limited budget, this is a question we all think about.

If you have under $10,000 to give, consider entering a donor lottery. It’s now possible to put $5,000 into a fund with other small donors, in exchange for a 5% chance of being able to choose where $100,000 from that fund gets donated. Why might you want to do this? In the case where you win, you can do a great deal of research into where’s best to give, to allocate that $100,000 as well as possible. Otherwise, you don’t have to do any research, and whoever else wins the lottery does it instead.

In short, it’s probably more efficient for small donors to pool their funds, and for one of them to do in-depth research, rather than each of them do a small amount of research. The Centre for Effective Altruism now organises a donor lottery once a year – two of them are open as of this writing in Dec ‘18, and will close on 9 Jan ‘19. You can find out more.

The complete article

Ben Todd & the 80,000 Hours Team

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What are the 10 most harmful jobs?


Do you work in any of these?

But which careers are the worst?

Here we try to guess which mainstream jobs are most likely to do significant harm. As almost no one we know is considering careers of this kind we have limited our investment in this research; it’s an initial exploration of the topic, based on general knowledge and a review of the key figures.

Here are the criteria:

  • The job has to be legal. Needless to say, organised crime is a harmful career!

  • More than one in a million people has to work in the job in the OECD, so it can’t be incredibly obscure or specific.

  • It can’t be harmful only if you’re particularly incompetent (for example, being a bad teacher), deliberately trying to do a bad job, or violating the profession’s code of ethics.

The complete article

Robert Wiblin — 80,000 Hours

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Is it fair to say that most social programmes don’t work?


Facts! Today’s needull looks rigorously on the claim that most social programmes do not work.

So is it fair to say “most social programmes don’t work?”

I think this is a little ambiguous and potentially misleading. Individual projects mostly don’t work, but whole areas often do have a positive impact. So, if you pick an intervention at random, then on average your impact will be positive, because there’s a small but important chance of you picking one of the good ones.

However, if you can focus on the best interventions in an area according to the evidence, then you can have significantly more impact than the average. For instance, if two thirds of interventions don’t work, then if you can avoid these, you’ll have about three times as much impact as if you work on whatever you first stumble into, and pick randomly.

The complete article

80,000 Hours

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