Such funds are allocated every six months by the same group that selects the recommended charities: representatives of Raising for Effective Giving, the affiliated Effective Altruism Foundation, and the affiliated Foundational Research Institute. Usually funds are split between cause areas and allocated to charities we recommend. Sometimes, however, we may make grants to charities that are not among our recommended charities. Whenever that is the case, we explain our reasoning for doing so in our semi-annual reports. No money is granted to the Effective Altruism Foundation or its affiliated projects to avoid conflicts of interests.
We review our recommended charities every six months. Currently, we list charities in the areas of poverty alleviation, animal welfare, and risks from emerging technologies as these are considered high-priority within the effective altruism community. The selections are based on a shortlist compiled from recommendations made by GiveWell and Animal Charity Evaluators as well as reports and grants from the Open Philanthropy Project and recommendations from the Foundational Research Institute. The final charities are picked by representatives of Raising for Effective Giving, the affiliated Effective Altruism Foundation, and the affiliated Foundational Research Institute. The criteria this group considers are: (1) what is the scale of the problem tackled by the charity; (2) how neglected is the problem and the approach of the charity; (3) is the solution sufficiently tractable; (4) can the charity absorb additional funds. Their judgments are informed by a suffering-focused ethics perspective while also trying to represent the effective altruism community.
If you want to learn more about the motivation behind REG, Adriano’s and Phil’s launching dinner presentations are up on REG’s YouTube channel. These videos explain the main ideas behind REG and what we hope to accomplish by getting poker players to pledge and donate to the most effective charities possible. In a nutshell: Health care and development economics have shown that some interventions save 10 or even 100 times as many lives as others (cost-effectiveness). On top of that, psychological studies suggest that giving tends to make the givers happy, too.
Hence, REG differs from traditional charity in two ways:
1) We are giving to unusually cost-effective, proven causes, and 2) we are giving unusual amounts – because we’re the richest generation to ever have walked the earth an can afford it, and because it’s what we would do if the suffering to be prevented were happening in front of our eyes. Therefore, effective giving is a rational choice.
Yes, you can. While REG is mainly directed at the professional poker community, former poker players, recreational poker players, and non-poker players too are invited to sign up and thereby pledge a certain amount of their income to effective charities.
On the membership form, it states “I pledge to donate at least 2% of my gross poker winnings quarterly”. What does this mean specifically? Here are some guidelines:
The default REG pledge for tournament players is at least 2% of gross poker cashes per quarter. (This implies that the percentage of net winnings will vary and be higher.)
Cash game players can instead choose to donate a fixed percentage (3% or more) of their net profit per quarter. We will add an option for them on the website soon.
If you’re down for the quarter, donations are optional.
Yes. Non-members can use the donate page to register their donations anytime.
Donations by REG members are due in the last month of each quarter (March, June, September, December). Emails will be sent out each quarter to remind all members.
You are of course free to donate a percentage of your cashes from previous quarters (before you were a REG member) too.
No, unless you explicitly choose to support REG’s work with (part of) your donation. If you choose to donate to a specific charity, 100% of your donation will be earmarked by REG for granting to the charity of your choice. In some case however, up to 3% of donations go to payment services such as PayPal (and some others) and thus do not reach the recipient charities.
REG staff is paid for by individual donors specifically supporting the REG project and the Effective Altruism Foundation, the foundation for rationality and altruism whose staff – alongside leading poker players – developed the REG project idea. If you are interested in funding REG, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations to effective charities via REG are now granted tax deductibility in many countries, including the United States, the UK, and many European countries. Go to the donate page and select your country to find out more.
To find outstanding giving opportunities, we rely on the recommendations by the independent charity evaluator GiveWell. If you think your charity might be highly cost-effective, you can apply for consideration on GiveWell’s website. Additionally, we consider meta-charities such as GiveWell itself to be highly effective. If you think your charity is a highly effective meta-charity, please submit your materials via e-mail.