REG report on money moved Q2 2015

This is the second quarterly report in 2015 about money moved by REG, which is intended to create transparency about where exactly REG donations went. Such a report is regularly published within a few weeks after the end of every quarterly REG donation period.

What happened in Q2 2015

Some of the highlights from Q2 2015 (April-June) include:

  • More than €16,000 in funds raised through the permant donation box at King’s Casino
  • 25 new sign-ups, total of 152 REG members by July 1st
  • We went to EPT Monte Carlo and among other things gave an interview to pokernews
  • We worked on REG expansions such as a “REG for Daily Fantasy Sports” and a “REG for gaming”
  • We have introduced a new membership model, the Tournament Pledge.

Money moved April-June 2015

The second quarter of 2015 has been a successful one for REG: We raised $158,088 for effective charities and were able to make progress on various things that should lead to an increased future volume of donations.

The $158,088 are composed of $100,000 funds raised through the WSOP matching challenge and $58,088 in normal donations.

Of the $50,000 in matching challenge contributions, $31,836 are unrestricted donations (allocation of unrestricted funds see below). A total of $4,131 were chosen by donors to go towards the operations and expansion of REG itself and ~$14,000 were suggested to go to specific recommended charities (the majority of which being ~$7,000 to MIRI and ~$5,000 to CFAR) and were allocated accordingly.

The donors who provided the $50,000 in funds for the matching challenge (Igor Kurganov, Liv Boeree, Max Altergott and Andrew Barber) decided to allocate these funds as follows: $20,000 are going to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI) and $30,000 the newly set up Effective Altruism Foundation (EAF). The Effective Altruism Foundation (EAF) is the international successor of GBS Switzerland. EAF is focused on growing the movement of people who rationally go about reducing the involuntary suffering in the world. Its main focus areas are fundraising for effective charities (e.g. with projects like REG) and on other meta activities like movement building (university chapters; talks and meetups; informative blogs) and research. The Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI) researches the technical foundations to ensure that smarter-than-human artificial intelligence will have a positive impact. As more and more cognitive feats come to be reproduced by artificially intelligent systems, we can expect to encounter a number of unprecedented challenges. These under-explored questions will become increasingly more pressing as progress in computer science allows AI systems to act with more autonomy and efficiency. More information on why AI safety research is likely a high-impact cause area can be read in this interview.

Of the $58,088 in regular donations, roughly half of them are unrestricted donations (allocation of unrestricted funds see below). The other half has been suggested to go to specific charities and was allocated accordingly (most notably, $24,000 to GiveDirectly).

Allocation of unrestricted donations

In total, we received $61,346 in unrestricted donations this quarter. As usual, unrestricted donations are allocated 50/50 to “direct” and meta-charities.

The direct portion ($30,673) is split up in three parts:

  • $10,224 to fund New Incentives (NI)
  • $10,224 go to Animal Ethics (AE)
  • $10,224 go to the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP)

These organizations were selected because they are still relatively small, which is why a donation of $10,224 might have a significant scaling effect. We are in touch with all of these organisations and they have upon our request provided us with details on what a ~$10,000 donation will accomplish in terms of growth and scaling.

New Incentives (NI) is a startup that uses conditional cash transfers (CCTs) to incentivize mothers to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The program gives women cash transfers for collecting antiretroviral drugs, delivering in a clinic, and getting their newborns tested for HIV. Due to the significant evidence base of CCTs and other factors, GiveWell believe “it is plausible that New Incentives will eventually become a GiveWell top charity”.

Animal Ethics (AE) provides information and resources on the most relevant issues in animal ethics. Its approach is more academical than traditional animal charities, which enables the targeting of opinion leaders in science and academia. AE is unique in that it also prioritises the reduction of wild animal suffering, a focus area that has so far been highly neglected.

The Non-human Rights Project (NhRP) is leading the legal struggle towards actual animal rights by trying to get a court to overcome speciesism and recognize an animal as a legal person for the first time in history. Its focus is on a small number of chimpanzees in captivity, with the goal to win a landmark court case that would promote anti-speciesism to the forefront of public attention and enshrine it into the American legal system. The NhRP has successfully spread its message – challenging legal speciesism – to millions of people already, and it could accomplish large-scale systematic change in the future.

The meta portion was donated towards MIRI’s (now finished) fundraiser. See above for a description of what MIRI does and why we think it is an outstanding target for donations at the moment.

We have lately started inclunding a short review of the quarter and an outlook on the next one in these reports. We want to continue doing this but don’t think it is necessary to do it every quarter. So in order to reduce some administrative costs we, will switch from quarterly to comprehensive semiannual reports.

*The actual dates for the quarter are April 21, 2015 to July 20, 2015 since members often donate after the quarter has ended.

REG donations Q2 2015
(April-June 2015*)
Charity Sum (~USD)
Against Malaria Foundation 1,404
Animal Charity Evaluators 113
Animal Equality 505
Animal Ethics 10,224
Center for Applied Rationality 10,132
Deworm the World Initiative 2,104
Effective Altruism Foundation 30,000
GiveDirectly 24,445
GiveWell 850
Machine Intelligence Research Institute 52,732
New Incentives 10,224
Nonhuman Rights Project 10,224
Raising for Effective Giving 4,131
Schistosomiasis Control Initiative 1,000
Total 158,088

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