This year, I met my goal of donating 50% of my income. The donation was split the same as I decided last year:
80% to my personal donor-advised fund, to be granted to a specific charity later.
18% to GiveWell’s top charities (to be allocated at GiveWell’s discretion).
2% to support GiveWell’s operations.
It feels boring/wimpy to do this, but I’m pretty disconnected from the effective altruism community right now since I’ve been living in Senegal for the whole year, so I’m definitely not up to speed on the latest and greatest potential recipients.
Last year, I considered lowering this year’s donation goal. I eventually decided against because I expect to be able to save a fair amount more next year.
Last year I was unexcited about the Effective Altruism Funds. After the recent management changes and their return to more active grantmaking (1, 2), I’m more excited. If I haven’t thought of something better to do with the money in my donor-advised funds by next year, I’d strongly consider letting the EA funds decide.
I was slightly low on cash at the end of the year again, this time because I procrastinated on getting reimbursed for a lot of very expensive work-related plane flights. Since the charitable tax deductibility cap was raised to 60% this year, I postponed part of my donation until January (but still counted it towards my 2018, not 2019, goal).
An underrated advantage of a donor-advised fund is that my bank (Ally) places a limit of $5,000 per day on outgoing ACH transfers, but my DAF allows me to initiate an ACH of unlimited size from their side. So I actually donated all of my donation to the DAF, then forwarded 20% of it to GiveWell.