80k supporter update - bout 4 2020 review

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Benjamin Todd

Feb 12, 2021, 1:39:42 PM2/12/21
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Hi everyone,

Here’s an update summarising our progress over bout 4 2020 (14th September - 6th December). See the goals we set in our previous update. We’ll send an update covering our annual review and the start of 2021 in the coming weeks.

Progress in two sentences

Our main focus was doing our internal review of impact, strategy and plans, and starting fundraising. We also released How to plan your career, addressing some important gaps in our advice, along with 9 other pieces of content, spoke to 107 people one-on-one and hired Sashika Coxhead onto our internal systems team. 

Summary metrics


All figures are approximate.

Cash reserves (end November 2020)


Average monthly costs over last 6 months (end November 2020)


Cash reserves divided by 6 month average of costs


Months’ runway (rough estimate based on expansion budget, including commitments to donate, as of end November 2020)



# of salaried employees (FTE, excluding freelancers)



4 (1 FTE)

-----------------------Full update -----------------------

Key progress over bout 4 

During bout 4, our key focus was our user survey, impact evaluation, and our annual review - which we’ll release shortly. We also started our fundraising proposal with Open Philanthropy.

In addition to the review, we also made our targets for continued delivery, which included surpassing our stretch goal for the advising team due to Habiba packing in a lot of calls:

Target for bout



Stretch goal

Difference from


Key lead metrics

Number of content releases

🎯 5 by end of bout





Advising team: Calls

Bout 🎯: 36. Stretch 🎯: 85.





The most important content we released was How to plan your career. The other releases were:

  1. Careers Questions Open Thread

  2. Tristan Harris on the need to change the incentives of social media companies

  3. Benjamin Todd on what the effective altruism community most needs

  4. Russ Roberts on whether it’s more effective to help strangers, or people you know

  5. Audio article: How much does a single vote matter?

  6. How much does a single vote matter?

  7. Hilary Greaves on Pascal’s mugging, strong longtermism, and whether existing can be good for us

  8. What actually is the argument for effective altruism?

  9. Benjamin Todd on the core of effective altruism and how to argue for it

We hired and onboarded Sashika Coxhead as junior operations specialist. We also started an engineering hiring round and made one offer, though it wasn’t accepted.

Some other progress to flag:

  • Job board delivery continued at a good pace, listing 334 vacancies and getting 19,161 clicks, just a little below average despite the annual review.

  • We also set up software to monitor all the website pages we draw jobs from and started working with a team of virtual assistants in India to help listing vacancies, roughly halving the amount of time Maria spends per vacancy. 

  • Headhunting submitted 65 candidates to organisations which has so far resulted in 3 placements at Open Philanthropy, the Governance of AI programme at Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute, and a policy non-profit in Washington, DC.

  • Reached practical completion of the renovations we made to the office. 

During the interbout period from after bout 4 until the beginning of bout 1 2021, we:

  • Completed our annual internal feedback round. 

  • Took some holiday. 

  • Started planning 2021.

'til the next update,


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