On December 26, 2019 I started the Donation Matching Fund (DMF). The purpose of this fund is to encourage donations to effective charities by offering to match any donation with a rate between 1% to 125% (as chosen to by the donor). The fund specifically emphasizes donating to charities affiliated with the Effective Altruism community. As an alternative to donating directly, donors can give money to the fund in order to encourage future donations. 100% of the money given to the DMF will be donated to effective charities.
My rationale behind the DMF is the following:
- I hope to encourage people around me to donate money to effective charities.
- Many of those people will not have yet donated to an EA charity. Offering to match a donation might be an important first step towards that direction.
- Offering to publicly name people who have donated might be a decent incentive
- I hope that people will start to talk about this which leads to more awareness for the EA cause
- Publicly committing my own money towards this, as well as the fact that donation matching is usually not done by private citizens might help me in persuading people around me
- I also hope to divert money to more effective causes than those that would otherwise have benefited from potential donations
I am aware of some criticism of the idea of donation matching. For further discussions, look here and here. I still think the idea is worth pursuing.
- In a sense, the DMF does not constitute real donation matching, as every cent in the DMF would go to charity anyway. However, I hope to encourage more people to actively contribute
- At the moment my audience is younger people who most likely have never donated ‘larger’ sums to EA charities, or to charities at all. I therefore believe that the effect of getting first-time donors to donate far outweighs the risk of making people dependent on donation matching for their charitable actions.
If you have any additional thoughts on this, please feel free to comment!