In a nutshell: Because some of the best opportunities for having an impact may lie centuries or millennia in the future, investing resources now — in order to have many more resources available at that future time — might be extremely valuable. Given that we currently have no way of (effectively and securely) investing resources over long time periods, figuring out how to set up and manage long-term philanthropic funds might be very valuable.

Sometimes recommended — under-researched

This career is potentially high-impact, but we haven't yet researched it enough to recommend it confidently.

Review status

Based on a shallow investigation 

Why might creating a long-term philanthropic fund be high impact?

Some have argued that the best opportunities for making a difference may lie far in the future. If so, investing resources now in order to have many more resources available at that future time might be the best thing we can do.

However, right now we have no way of effectively and securely investing resources over such long time periods. In particular, there are few (if any) financial vehicles that can be reliably expected to persist for more than 100 years, and stay committed to their intended use — while also earning good investment returns. Figuring out how to set up and manage such a fund seems like it might be very worthwhile.

Founders Pledge — an organisation that encourages effective giving for entrepreneurs — has launched one such fund. It seems likely that only a few people will be able to be involved in a project like this, as it’s not clear there will be room for multiple funds or a large staff. But for the right person, we think this could be a great opportunity. Especially if you have a background in finance or relevant areas of law, this might be a promising path for you to explore.

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Read next: Learn about other high-impact careers

Want to consider more paths? See our list of the highest-impact career paths according to our research.

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