Summary of our six month evaluation

This is the final post (of a series of six) on our six month evaluation

This report overviews our entire six month evaluation. Our Six Month Review is divided into 9 sections. Click on the links to see the full reports.

You can see a commentary on this review by the trustees and external advisory board of 80,000 Hours here.

(1) Our Progress

Highlights our main achievements and mistakes in the period.

  • Our key priority was further developing our business model and content plans, and we’re pleased with our success in this area. We made two rounds of improvements, culminating with adopting the ‘case study model’ – we outline our key ideas then do further research by doing in-depth consultations on the career decisions of high potential people.

  • Our next major priority was further building 80,000 Hours and the Centre for Effective Altruism as robust, effective organisations. We made mistakes in this area, but overall I think we made strong progress. We successfully coped with almost a doubling of the number of people working at the Centre for Effective Altruism.

  • While prioritising developing our business model and organisation building, we’ve also performed strongly in outreach and content. Increasing web traffic by 47% and recruiting about 400 new members was well ahead of expectations.

  • We made many mistakes this period, but I’d classify most as minor mistakes or just ways things could have gone better. The worst mistake was that the operations team ran out of capacity in March, slowing down our overall progress.

(2) Metrics Report

Highlights our key outreach and membership metrics.

(3) Evaluation of 80,000 Hours as Project

Answers a set of crucial questions for stakeholders of 80,000 Hours.

  • We believe it’s likely but highly uncertain that our current business model and content is effective relative to GiveWell’s top recommendations, and we continue to rapidly improve our business model.

  • We continue to learn about how to function effectively as an organisation (as explained in Our Progress). One significant challenge ahead is learning how to effectively run a larger, three tier organisation.

  • We continue to rely heavily on our key staff, though we’re making progress towards reducing this reliance.

  • We’re not financially weak, but there is significant room to become more secure.

  • Our team is highly able and reports high levels of satisfaction, and we’re attracting very talented applicants, especially to our internships. Nevertheless, we are being somewhat slowed down by not being able to find enough talented staff.

(4) Trustee Performance Evaluation of 80,000 Hours

Evaluates the effectiveness of our model to date.

(5) Our Plans for the Next Six Months

  • We continue to see the top priority as further investment i.e. developing our business model, content and the organisation’s robustness.

  • The flagship goal in this area is carrying out 30 case studies, which will form the centre of our content and evaluation efforts.

  • Also important is: (i) more impact evaluation in general (ii) fundraising enough to keep up with our expanding budget (iii) increasing our talent pool through training and outreach (iv) increase the appeal of our content to successful young professionals through rebranding (v) having high quality research on our key ideas to support the case studies.

  • Outreach is less high priority, except insofar as we do enough to ensure a strong stream of candidates for case studies and internships, and build up credibility (e.g. receiving press coverage, impressive affiliations).

  • We’re also not yet focused on scaling up delivery, because we think it will be overall faster to spend more time developing our content at this stage.

(6) Finance Report

  • We spent £79,000 last year, which paid for about 2.7 full-time staff and 4.7 full-time interns.

  • 85% of our budget was spent on staff salaries and intern expenses. The majority of the remainder is spent on office costs.

  • Our central projection is to spend £160,000 over the following year

  • We have £30,000 of cash on hand, which is two months of reserves. Our target is to have at least six months of reserves.

  • Our room for funding over the next 12 months is at least £360,000.

(7) Our Latest Business Strategy

Gives an overview of our current programs, impact model, impact tracking approach, funding model and 2-5 year expansion plans.

  • Our ultimate aim is to do the most good by promoting the community that supports effective altruism.

  • The key problem we address is: People don’t have enough access to high quality information on how to make a difference with their productive time.

  • Our Vision: The most high potential people in the world are taking the most high impact opportunities to make a difference.

  • Our Mission: Move the most high potential people into the world’s most pressing talent gaps.

(8) Our Latest Summary Business Plan

Presents a summary of the investment case for 80,000 Hours.

(9) Our Team