This is our fourth annual transparency report (see our reports for 2016, 2015, and 2014). This report complements the semiannual reports on money moved (S1, S2) and the review of our activities in 2017.

Total Donations

The ‘total donations’ figure reflects all donations that have been significantly influenced by us. That is, if a donor thinks that REG (at least) significantly influenced them to make a donation, we include that donation in our ‘total donations’ figure. We count donations made through our website as influenced by us, as well as some instances of donors donating to our recommended charities directly. In the latter case, we include the donation if the donor confirms that our influence was essential. Since this metric leaves out any donations to our recommended charities from people who never get in touch with us, our actual impact is somewhat underrepresented (also see our FAQ on this question).

We only included parts of the $4,500,030 total from the December 2017 matching challenge in our report. Since the challenge had also been advertised by the charities themselves, it was very likely that people contributed who would have made the donation in any case. We inquired with individual donors and charities to estimate how much of the total contributions had been donated because of the matching challenge itself and extrapolated conservatively from the results.1 In the end, we counted only $3,144,741 (70% of the total) as having been moved by us.

In 2017, REG donors gave a total of $4,292,847 to highly cost-effective charities2. This is almost three times (2.94) the 2016 total of $1,462,557.

Our expenses for 2017 were $209,209, resulting in a fundraising multiplier of 1:21 (1:20.52) for 2017. This is a 23% increase from last year’s multiplier (1:16.86).

Adding up our expenses since the launch in 2014 yields a sum of $423,234. Adding up all donations raised for our recommended charities3 since 2014 gives us a total of $6,903,117, which in turn yields an overall fundraising multiplier of 1:16 (1:15.56) since our launch.

The donations in 2017 were distributed as follows:

Charity S1 2017 S2 2017 Total 2017
Against Malaria Foundation $147,119 $589,859 $736,978
The Good Food Institute $725,904 $725,904
GiveDirectly $27,680 $656,300 $683,980
Machine Intelligence Research Institute $89,320 $445,017 $534,337
EA Funds – Animal Welfare $456,784 $456,784
Schistosomiasis Control Initiative $274,807 $148,876 $423,683
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund $249,547 $249,547
Future of Humanity Institute $54,688 $116,844 $171,532
Foundational Research Institute $41,624 $20,930 $62,554
EA Funds – Long-term Future $57,073 $57,073
The Humane Slaughter Association $44,274 $11,037 $55,311
Animal Ethics $80 $45,547 $45,627
Helen Keller International $42,420 $42,420
END Fund $34,998 $34,998
Animal Charity Evaluators $2,285 $5,195 $7,480
Sentience Politics $3,000 $3,000
Center for Applied Rationality $890 $890
New Incentives $228 $228
Sight Savers $220 $220
Malaria Consortium $200 $200
GiveWell $100 $100
Total $686,096 $3,606,751 $4,292,847

Unrestricted Donations

Donors can choose to let us decide where to allocate their donations. These donations are used for re-granting to REG-selected charities exclusively, and are not used to cover our own expenses.

In 2017, we allocated a total of $137,605 in donations. The breakdown is as follows:

Charity S1 2017 S2 2017 Total
Future of Humanity Institute $56,460 $56,460
The Humane Slaughter Association $41,520 $41,520
Machine Intelligence Research Institute $29,625 $29,625
Animal Ethics $10,000 $10,000
Total $71,145 $66,460 $137,605

Donations to the Effective Altruism Foundation

In addition to the donations listed above, we have raised $138,557 for the Effective Altruism Foundation, our parent organization, in 2017. We do not include this in our totals (anymore) because EAF funds might be used to cover our expenses.

Allocation by cause area

Our recommended charities fall into one of three cause areas: global poverty alleviation, animal welfare, and reducing risks from emerging technologies. Each cause area received the following funding:

Poverty Alleviation

$1,922,807 (45% of all donations raised) went to charities working on alleviating suffering from poverty-related causes. The fundraising multiplier for poverty alleviation in 2017 is 1:9 (1:9.30). As in the year before, the largest single recipient in this cause area was the Against Malaria Foundation, which received $736,978 in 2017.

Animal Welfare

$1,294,106 (30% of all donations raised) went to charities working on preventing or alleviating the suffering of animals, especially in factory farming. These charities can also have an impact on a range of global problems, including climate change, global hunger, water shortage, and pandemic risk. Our fundraising multiplier for animal welfare in 2017 is 1:6 (1:6.26). The largest single recipient in this cause are was the Good Food Institute, which received $725,904 in 2017.

Risks from Emerging Technologies

$826,386 (19% of all donations raised4 went to charities pursuing technical research on global catastrophic risks and risks of astronomical future suffering. Our fundraising multiplier in this cause area in 2017 is 1:4 (1:4.00). The largest recipient of donations in this cause area was the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, which received $534,337 in 2017.

Our Finances

We had budgeted expenses of $206,826 for 2017. Our actual expenses were $209,209.

1 For “unknown” donations (i.e. where we had no information whatsoever about what motivated the donation), we used the average between donations for which we had information and a conservative base rate of 10%. This yielded an estimated 41% of funds from unknown donations having been donated as a result of the matching challenge.

2 We included some donations to highly cost-effective charities that were not recommended by us at the time: The Good Food Institute, Helen Keller International’s Vitamin A Supplementation Program, two Effective Altruism Funds, and the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund.

3 This figure excludes donations to the Effective Altruism Foundation and its predecessors.

4 The three cause areas do not add up to 100% because $249,547 (6%) went to the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, which does not fit any of our three cause areas.