Edit: We have maxed out our donations for MIRI. Details here
Dan Colman and I have decided to do a charity drive until the end of the year. We are matching all donations, up to a total of $70,000, to any of the charities below.
Pick a charity, and email your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you end up using double your donation, or another matching service, please include that in the email. I am interested to see how successful this drive will be.
I can also accept some donations via pokerstars, bank transfer, Venmo, etc, if that is easier for people.
1) The Against Malaria Foundation: Over 1 million people – mostly children – die from malaria each year. Insecticide-treated bed nets prevent deaths and many other non-fatal cases of malaria and are inexpensive – about $2.50 per. Rated the #1 charity by http://www.givewell.org/charities/top-charities
Tax deductible in US, UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, and the following countries
2) Deworm The World led by Evidence Action: Around the world, hundreds of millions of people, mostly children, are infected with parasitic diseases that are extremely inexpensive to treat…50 to 81 cents per child depending on how the cost is calculated.
According to http://www.evidenceaction.org/impact-first-report/#impact-report , 200 million children were dewormed in 2015. #3 ranked charity on givewell.
Donate through givewell here http://www.givewell.org/international/top-charities/deworm-world-initiative/donate
or directly to evidence action here
Tax deductible in the US. Other countries can donate through http://www.charityscience.com/donate-givewell.html
- “for donations greater than $1,000, can contact Charity Science at email@example.com for more information about giving by check or bank transfer (low or no fees). Note that there is an aggregate limit to how much Charity Science can give to charities that are not registered in Canada, so donors considering giving a gift of $5,000 or more for GiveWell, GiveDirectly, Deworm the World Initiative, GAIN, DMI, or Living Goods should contact Charity Science or GiveWell before donating”
3) Machine Intelligence Research Institute: Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Stephen Hawking have all spoke out about the risks of artificial intelligence. Waitbutwhy piece did a great, but super long piece explaining how this could become an issue http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html I admit this felt a little ambitious relative to other ways one could impact the world, but on the other hand, if you consider even a remote possibility of saving the world from some massive society collapsing technological disaster, the “implied odds” might be there.
Many employers are matching donations, you can check here https://doublethedonation.com/miri
or donate here https://intelligence.org/donate/
Tax exempt in the USA
4) The Massachusetts Bail Fund: I had wanted to help make a change in the prison system, and really wasn’t sure how. The system seemed to be so fucked that any donation felt futile. I asked a friend who’s a public defender for his opinion, and he recommended donating to a Bail fund.
The basic idea is that there are a lot of people are held in on bail in misdemeanor cases where if they were out they could fight the case, but to get out of jail they take pleas and get criminal records. This can have all sort of collateral consequences on jobs, school, housing, etc.
A bail fund that posts these people’s bail would have very slow attrition. According to The Bronx Freedom Fund, 97% of clients return to all scheduled court dates. Source
This would save lot of people from criminal records and jail time. The Massachussets Bail Fund only posts bails that are $500 or less. No one should have to sit in jail because they don’t have $200.
I brought up the tax exemption multiple times. If anyone doesn’t understand how that works, I will explain it here and why it’s important.
If you itemize your deductions, and are dealing with a charity that is an IRS 501(c)(3) charitable organization, then your donation is tax deductible. Obligatory disclaimer: Everyone’s tax situation is different. You should check with your own tax advisor on your ability to make tax deductible charitable contributions
Suppose you were in the 40% tax bracket, and wanted to donate $100 to a good cause. If you just handed someone $100 and forgot about it; you have $100 less than you started with. If you donated $167 to a tax exempt charity, you wouldn’t pay your 40% income tax on that money, and you will still end up with $100 less than you started with, with an additional $67 going to the charity.
Now if someone were to match your donations, your initial investment is now $334 compared to $200. If you were to use double your donation your initial $100 investment is now $501(!).
If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me. I would like to thank Ruari Donnelly and Adriano Mannino of REG charity for taking the time to answer all my questions, and helping me choose charities.