This is the second quarterly report 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.
We are happy to announce that the second REG quarter was highly successful in terms of donations. In part, this is due to REG having acquired a larger membership base as well as because people tend to donate more at the end of the year. But the main reason for the great increase in donations is that REG members had a very successful quarter, with Martin Jacobson winning the WSOP Main Event.
From October to December* 2014, REG donors gave an overall amount of $369,053.
$348,777 (94.5%) of the donated amount were restricted by the donors to specific charities.
5.5% of donations were donated unrestrictedly, totaling $20,276. Half of the unrestricted donations go to a direct charity, the other half go to meta-charities (see below). In the second REG donation period (Q4 2014), $10,138 from unrestricted donations were allocated to the Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) and the Center for Effective Altruism (CEA) each.
Several donors expressed interest in supporting effective animal charities with substantial amounts (generating a large impact in terms of reduced animal suffering in factory farms as well as mitigated climate change). First, a donor provided funds for a matching challenge for The Humane League (THL), REG’s recommended animal welfare charity. A second donor wanted to support effective animal charities with more than $100k. At this time, we only listed one recommendation on the REG website that focuses on animal welfare (THL), but given the size of the donations and the fact that THL had just completed a successful matching challenge, we suggested distributing the donation evenly among multiple effective animal charities. We created a portfolio of standout animal welfare charities, drawing primarily on the recommendations of Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE). As a result of this, five effective animal charities, including the meta-charity ACE itself, will each receive $25k. The news that prominent poker players support these charities is likely to attract attention, which is why we suggested that the charities use the money for organizing matching challenges.
Accordingly, we have now added a list of standout organizations to the list of charities we support. We want to keep the number of top charities on the main page low in order to keep things readable and be able to flexibly emphasise special donation opportunities (incorporating considerations about room for more funding etc.). At the same time, donors who want more information on charities and want to donate larger amounts should have the opportunity to do so without the effectiveness of their donations being affected by the number of official recommendations. The effective animal charities listed below are on our updated list, together with a few more organizations that focus on poverty and capacity building.
Thanks to two large donors who expressed interest in funding activities that spread the ideas behind effective giving further, GBS Switzerland is receiving donations that secure its funding for more than a full quarter and enable it to tackle more ambitious, high-leverage projects (see appendix). This will also enable REG itself to keep growing, seize more outreach activities (especially in online poker) and have a higher presence at tour stops.
Finally, the unrestricted donations are going to the Against Malaria Foundation AMF (“direct”) and the Center for Effective Altruism CEA (“meta”). GiveWell publishes its own recommendations on how they recommend distributing funds among their top charities, where AMF gets the biggest share. CEA was chosen because their outreach projects are scalable and have already proven successful.
Review and outlook
REG has been able to move more than half a million dollars to effective charities last year. With REG staff time totaling two full-time equivalent amounting to ~$46k in the past year (who pays the salaries of the REG employees?), and around $550k fundraised with REG activities in 2014**, REG’s overall return on investment (ROI) so far equals 1190%. We are very pleased with these results, especially considering the short running time of REG.*** REG was able to acquire more than 100 members in 2014, and in addition to the poker players who support effective charities financially, many people are reaching out to us, offering their help, e.g. with web-development, design or media outreach. We are excited about how things are developing and are looking forward to a great 2015! Expectations should not run too high, though: Poker-wise, REG hit the jackpot this past quarter with the win of the Main Event, so we expect the donations for the next quarter to be a bit lower (but significantly higher than in Q3 2014).
|Against Malaria Foundation||13,449|
|Albert Schweitzer Foundation||25,000|
|Animal Charity Evaluators||25,000|
|Centre for Effective Altruism||10,235|
|Mercy For Animals||25,000|
|Schistosomiasis Control Initiative||3,265|
|The Humane League||25,100|
*The actual dates for the quarter are October 20, 2014 to January 20, 2015 since members often donate after the quarter has ended.
**This number is higher than the sum of total money raised in Q3 and Q4. This is because in addition to what has been raised in these two quarters, there was a matching challenge by REG board members before the official quarters with regular donating started.
***These numbers are based on a preliminary breakdown of REG expenses for 2014.
Against Malaria Foundation (AMF)
Albert Schweitzer Foundation (ASF)
Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE)
Animal Ethics (AE)
Center for Effective Altruism (CEA)
Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI)
Mercy for Animals (MFA)
The Humane League (THL)