80,000 Hours has a funding gap

NOTE: This piece is now out of date. More current information on our plans and impact can be found on our Evaluations page.

Over the past three years, we’ve grown almost 36-fold, more than tripling each year. This is measured in terms of our key metric – the number of impact-adjusted significant plan changes each month. At the same time, our budget has only increased 27% per year.

Given this success, we think it’s time to take 80,000 Hours to the next level of funding.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be preparing our full annual review and fundraising documents, but here’s a preview.


Overall, the 2017 target is to triple, measured in terms of impact-adjusted significant plan changes per month (which will mean over 3,000 over the year). We’ll do this by continuing to improve the advice, and starting to scale up marketing, with the aim of becoming the default source of career advice for talented, socially-motivated graduates.

Concretely, here’s some priorities we could pursue:

  • Dramatically improve the career reviews and problem profiles, so we have in-depth profiles of all the best options. This will help our existing users make better changes, and bring in more traffic.
  • Upgrading – develop mentors and specialist content for the most high-potential users, such as those who want to work on AI risk, policy, EA orgs and so on. We now have a large base of engaged users (1300+ through the workshop, 80,000+ on newsletter), so there’s a lot of follow-up we could do to get more valuable plan changes from them.
  • Create an advanced career guide to better advise the most engaged users.
  • Make the basic online guide more engaging and visible (e.g. by adding video content, putting it on Coursera), which we think could increase usage at least two-fold.
  • Make our annual fall outreach campaign twice as big, reaching a larger fraction of students at top universities.
  • Use digital advertising to double the rate of new subscribers.

To do this, we’d like to raise at least £1.6m, which will let us:

  • Cover our existing commitments to 6 full-time staff over 2017.
  • Maintain at least 12 months’ reserves over 2017.
  • Increase salaries to match comparable organisations and attract better staff.
  • Hire two additional entry-level staff members to work on writing career reviews, giving workshops, or design (or a smaller number of senior staff and freelancers).
  • Create a £150,000 budget for marketing.

We expect to raise about £900,000 from existing donors, so we expect to have a funding gap of at least £700,000.

This wouldn’t exhaust our room for more funding. If we raised more, we could pursue these expansion opportunities more aggressively (e.g. hire more, larger marketing budget), and/or increase reserves to 18 months, which would give us more financial security.

If you would like to help us fill this gap, and get us back to work sooner (rather than fundraising!), you can do so here.

Before we release our annual review, you can see our last review in June 2016, and monthly updates since then here.