Cofounder @ Manifold Markets
2508 karmaJoined Jul 2020San Francisco, CA, USA


Hey there~ I'm Austin, currently building https://manifold.markets. Always happy to meet people; reach out at akrolsmir@gmail.com, or find a time on https://calendly.com/austinchen/manifold !


For sure, I think a slightly more comprehensive comparison of grantmakers would include the stats for the number of grants, median check size, and amount of public info for each grant made.

Also, perhaps # of employees, or ratio of grants per employee? Like, OpenPhil is ~120 FTE, Manifund/EA Funds are ~2, this naturally leads to differences in writeup-producing capabilities.

So, as a self-professed mechanism geek,  I feel like the Shapley Value stuff should be my cup of tea, but I must confess I've never wrapped my head around it. I've read Nuno's post and played with the calculator, but still have little intuitive sense of how these things work even with toy examples, and definitely no idea on how they can be applied in real-world settings.

I think delineating impact assignment for shared projects is important, though I generally look to the business world for inspiration on the most battle-tested versions of impact assignment (equity, commissions, advertising fees, etc). Startup/tech company equity & compensation, for example, at least provides a clear answer to "how much does the employer value your work". The answer is suboptimal in many ways (eg my guess is startups by default assign too much equity to the founders), but at least it provides a simple starting point; better to make up numbers and all that.

Thanks for updating your post and for the endorsement! (FWIW, I think the LTFF remains an excellent giving opportunity, especially if you're in less of a position to evaluate specific regrantors or projects.)

Answer by AustinApr 01, 202417

Manifund is pretty small in comparison to these other grantmakers (we've moved ~$3m to date), but we do try to encourage transparency for all of our grant decisions; see for example here and here.

A lot of our transparency just comes from the fact that we have our applicants post their application in public -- the applications have like 70% of the context that the grantmaker has. This is a pretty cheap win; I think many other grantmakers could do if they just got permission from the grantees. (Obviously, not all applications are suited for public posting, but I would guess ~80%+ of EA apps would be.)

This is awesome! I've been a fan of Timothy's since his Full Stack Economics days, and it's great to see more collaborations between the forecasting world and journalism. AI journalism is an especially pivotal area, and so I'm glad for the additional rigor in the form of Metaculus question operationalizations.

Hey Ben! I'm guessing you're asking because the Collins's don't seem particularly on-topic for the conference? For Manifest, we'll typically invite a range of speakers & guests, some of whom don't have strong pre-existing connections to forecasting; perhaps they have interesting things to share from outside the realm of forecasting, or are otherwise thinkers we respect, and are curious to learn more about prediction markets. 

(Though in this specific case, Simone and Malcolm have published a great book covering different forms of governance, which is topical to our interest in futarchy; and I believe their education nonprofit makes use of internal prediction markets for predicting student outcomes!)

In principle we'd be happy to forward donations to RP, CLTR or other charities (in principle any 501c3, doesn't have to be EA); in practice the operational costs of tracking these things mean that we don't really want to be doing this except for larger donation sizes.

Although since EA Philippines has set its minimum project threshold at a fairly low $500, I'd 95% expect them to succeed and that this wouldn't come up.

Thanks for the feedback!

(2) hm, we could pay $10/mo for the professional tier to change the supabase URL address, the Scrooge in me didn't think it was worth it but perhaps...

(3) interesting -- I don't think we've considered an option to let people pledge without funds added yet; will see if that makes sense.

Hey Dawn! At Manifund we support crypto-based donations for adding to your donation balance; USDC over Eth or Solana is preferred but we could potentially process other crypto depending on the size you have in mind. We generally prefer to do this for larger donation sizes (eg $5k+) because of the operational overhead, but I'd be willing to make an exception in this case to help support the EA Philippines folks. More details here.

Hi there, Austin from Manifund here! I can't speak for the EA Philippines team, but some reasons we think our platform is a good way for raising donations:

  • For users like you, registering should be pretty fast, <2min (you can sign up with any email or Google account). And you can easily add money via credit card; we also support bank transfers, DAF, and crypto for larger donation sizes.
  • As we're set up as a 501c3, US-based donors can get a tax deduction for donating to projects that we host.
  • On Manifund, we have a network of donors who already have their budgets loaded on our site, and sometimes regrantors as well -- last year, our regrantors had $2m to recommend to projects.
    • One comparable project to EA Philippines might be AI Safety Camp, who launched with an EA Forum post like this one, and went on to raise $56k on Manifund!
  • We've established a track record of reliable payouts & operational support; we've paid out ~$3m to 128 projects over the last year or so.

I'd love to hear if you have any troubles using the Manifund platform; or if you have experiences with other platforms that you think serve this function better, as we're always trying to improve.

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