Effective Altruism Foundation (EAF) strives for full transparency. This page serves as a comprehensive overview of EAF’s activities and finances.
Anonymous feedback can be given using this link.
- Organization and goals
- Important documents
- Conflicts of interest
Organization and goals
EAF is a charitable foundation located in Basel, Switzerland, and Berlin, Germany. Its board members are Lukas Gloor (President), Jonas Vollmer (Vice President), David Althaus, Ruairí Donnelly, Tobias Baumann, Max Daniel and Caspar Oesterheld. EAF’s purpose, according to its foundation charter, is as follows:
English (translated version):
Article 2: Purpose
The Foundation’s purpose is to improve the quality of the lives of as many sentient beings as extensively as possible, making use of scientific methods in order to do so. As a think tank, it contributes to the development of fundamental understandings of effective ethical behavior and action.
In particular, it is committed to evidence-based poverty reduction, the reduction of animal suffering, the improvement of international cooperation and stability, and the promotion of responsible approaches to future technologies. It promotes the philosophy and social movement effective altruism. The Foundation is active domestically and internationally.
The Foundation pursues no commercial interest and is exclusively not-for-profit.
Pursuant to Article 86a of the Swiss Civil Code (ZGB), the founder explicitly reserves the right to change the Foundation’s purpose.
German (original text):
Art. 2 Zweck
Die Stiftung bezweckt, die Lebensqualität möglichst vieler empfindungsfähiger Wesen möglichst umfassend zu verbessern. Sie bedient sich dazu wissenschaftlicher Methoden. Als Denkfabrik leistet sie einen Beitrag zur Erarbeitung der Grundlagen effektiven ethischen Handelns.
Insbesondere engagiert sie sich für eine evidenzbasierte Armutsbekämpfung, die Reduktion des Tierleids, internationale Kooperation und Stabilität sowie einen verantwortungsbewussten Umgang mit Zukunftstechnologien. Sie fördert die Philosophie und soziale Bewegung des effektiven Altruismus.
Sie ist im In- und Ausland tätig.
Sie verfolgt keinen Erwerbszweck und ist ausschliesslich gemeinnützig tätig.
Der Stifter behält sich gemäss Art. 86a ZGB ausdrücklich das Recht vor, den Stiftungszweck zu ändern.
EAF has two predecessors: GBS Switzerland and Effective Altruism Switzerland (EACH). GBS Switzerland was an organization (Verein) located in Basel, Switzerland, and a local chapter of the German gbs. GBS Switzerland transferred all of its activities and funds to EAF in November 2015 and has since been inactive. Effective Altruism Switzerland (EACH) was an organization (Verein) located in Basel, Switzerland, and was dissolved on 15 December 2015.
We receive the majority of our funding from individual supporters who pledged to donate a percentage of their income to effective charities. We are fully independent and do not receive significant contributions from institutional donors.
Stiftung für Effektiven Altruismus
Foundation based in Basel, Switzerland
- Foundation charter: certified English translation (German original)
- Confirmation of tax exemption (German) (List of tax exempt organizations Canton of Basel) (Netherlands fiscal number/RSIN: 824165822)
- Trade register entry (UID: CHE-224.216.939 / trade register number: CH-270.7.003.183-6)
Stiftung für Effektiven Altruismus e.V.
Club based in Berlin, Germany
Effektiver Altruismus Österreich
Club based in Vienna, Austria
Effective Altruism Foundation, Inc.
Nonprofit corporation based in San Francisco, USA
Activities in 2018
Financials in 2018
Activities in 2017
Financials in 2017
- Effective Altruism Foundation (consolidated): Balance Sheet 2017, Profit and Loss 2017, Breakdown of Expenses by Project 2017
- Effective Altruism Foundation (Switzerland): Annual Financial Statement 2017, Audit Report 2017 (German)
- Stiftung für Effektiven Altruismus e.V. (Germany): Annual Financial Statement 2017
- Budget 2017
In 2017, total expenses by project were as follows:
Activities in 2016
- Activity Report 2016
- Highlights 2016
- Activity Planning 2016 (German)
- Stiftungsratssitzung 05/24 (German)
- Newsletters (German): see archive
Raising for Effective Giving (REG)
- REG annual transparency report 2016
- REG semiannual report on money moved – S1 2016
- REG semiannual report on money moved – S2 2016
Financials in 2016
- Effective Altruism Foundation: Annual Financial Statement 2016, Audit Report 2016 (German), Budget 2016 (German)
- Raising for Effective Giving: Annual Financial Statement 2016
- Foundational Research Institute: Annual Financial Statement 2016
- Outreach: Annual Financial Statement 2016
- Sentience Politics: Annual Financial Statement 2016
In 2016, total expenses by project were as follows:
EAF received CHF 877,918 in unrestricted donations. Taking into account the interest and preferences of the donors as well as the board’s judgment of the relative effectiveness and the room for more funding of the projects, we allocated these donations as follows: CHF 69,073 to REG, CHF 90,630 to Sentience Politics, CHF 279,592 to Outreach, and CHF 438,622 to FRI. In addition, EAF received CHF 372,375 in restricted donations: CHF 134,621 for REG, CHF 134,687 for Sentience Politics, CHF 50,672 for Outreach, and CHF 52,394 for FRI. (Other income sources, including differences in exchange rates, account for an additional income of CHF 31,244 for REG, CHF 31,560 for Sentience Politics, CHF 49,906 for Outreach, and CHF 75,563 for FRI.)
Activities in 2015
Raising for Effective Giving (REG)
- REG report on money moved – Q1 2015
- REG report on money moved – Q2 2015
- Newsletters: Q1 2015 review/update, Q4 2015 review/update
Financials in 2015
- Effective Altruism Foundation: Annual Financial Statement 2015, Audit Report 2015 (German)
- GBS Switzerland: Budget, Compensation policy, Annual Financial Statement 2015 (Balance Sheet), Annual Financial Statement 2015 (Profit and Loss), Audit Report 2015 (German)
- Effective Altruism Switzerland: Budget, Annual Financial Statement 2015, Audit Report 2015 (German)
In 2015, total expenses by project were as follows:
|Project||GBS Switzerland||EACH||EAS||Total||% of total|
|Raising for Effective Giving (REG)||70,714||4,452||0||75,166||6.7%|
|Foundational Research Institute (FRI)||64,039||8,222||0||72,261||6.5%|
|Transfers to EAS||289,006||6,502||-295,509||0||0%|
All amounts are in Swiss francs (CHF).
Activities in 2014
- GBS Switzerland: Annual Activity Report 2014
- Effective Altruism Switzerland: Annual Activity Report 2014
Raising for Effective Giving (REG)
- REG report on money moved – Q3 2014
- REG report on money moved – Q4 2014
- REG expenses for 2014
- Newsletter: 2014 in review
GBS Switzerland conducts research in collaboration with the Foundational Research Institute (FRI). Research has been published on two platforms:
Movement Building & Operations
- Local chapters: frei denken uni basel (20 talks & meetups), THINK at the University of St. Gallen (9 talks & meetups), THINK University of Bern (11 talks & meetups)
- Events, Camps, Conferences: Several talks at other universities, six networking meetups, two three-day camps, a conference (co-organized Denkfest)
- GBS Switzerland Blog: published around 70 blog posts
- Movement building & networking: Outreach via social networks, one-on-one follow-ups with people interested in EA, founding of the advisory board and much more
- Operations: Among other things, furnishing and setting up an office space. Operations costs that are directly attributable to specific projects are not included here.
- Finances, Accounting, Fundraising (if not attributable to the main projects)
- Communications (if not attributable to the main projects), including the newsletter (German):
Donors could donate to our effective altruism project and specify which international effective altruism charities they would like to support. The board has been able to fulfill all of these wishes.
Financials in 2014
- GBS Switzerland: Financial statement, Audit report (German)
- Effective Altruism Switzerland: Budget & financial statement, Audit report (German)
Note: Since EACH has received tax deductible status a bit earlier than GBS Switzerland, some major early donations were given to EACH instead of GBS Switzerland. As a result, some employees were hired via EACH instead of GBS Switzerland and the projects have been funded by both organizations. This is reflected in the chart below.
In 2014, donations to GBS Switzerland and EACH were allocated as follows:
|Project||GBS Switzerland||EACH||Total||% of total|
|Raising for Effective Giving (REG)||37,883||9,929||47,812||6.0%|
|Movement Building & Operations||65,397||45,497||110,894||13.9%|
All amounts are in Swiss francs (CHF).
Activities in 2013
- GBS Switzerland: Annual Activity Report 2013
- Effective Altruism Switzerland: Annual Activity Report 2013 (German)
Financials in 2013
In 2013, about 70% of all expenses were used as grants to other organizations and about 25% were spent for the project “Sentience Politics”. 93% of all income was donations from individuals; the remaining 7% was membership fees.
Conflicts of interest
EAF aims to effectively identify, disclose and manage any actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest to protect the integrity of EAF and manage risk.
A conflict of interest occurs when someone’s personal interests conflict with their responsibility to act in the best interests of EAF. Personal interests include direct interests as well as those of family, friends, or other organizations a person may be involved with or have an interest in (for example, as a shareholder). It also includes a conflict between a board member’s duty to EAF and another duty that the board member has (for example, to another charity).
These situations present the risk that a person will make a decision based on, or affected by, these influences, rather than in the best interests of the charity, and must be managed accordingly. The board is responsible for identifying, disclosing, and managing conflicts of interest across the charity.
Register of interests:
- Jonas Vollmer is simultaneously a board member and the Executive Director at EAF. (Note: We are currently investigating the legal ramifications of making Jonas Vollmer a non-voting board member.)
- Lukas Gloor, Jonas Vollmer, David Althaus, Ruairí Donnelly and Caspar Oesterheld are board members and simultaneously paid employees at EAF.
While we understand that these conflicts of interest have downsides, we value the strong commitment of the current board members—both concerning time investment as well as their depth of understanding of EAF’s mission—and think that the benefits outweigh the costs.