2015 Impact Purchase

Over the course of 2015, we distributed $10,000 to completed projects which we believe will have a significant long-term humanitarian impact.

These awards are being made in exchange for certificates of impact. Here’s how it works.

  • You tell us about something good you did.
  • We offer you some money.
  • You decide whether the money would be enough to justify undoing the impact of your project. If so, you take it. (The impact of your project isn’t actually undone!)
  • In attributions, you mention that you’ve sold part of the impact in order to finance the project.

For an overview, see Ben Kuhn’s summary. For more details, see here.

Why are we buying certificates instead of making grants?  Just as market prices help coordinate and incentivize the efficient production of commercial products, they could also help coordinate and incentivize efficient altruism. We also think that paying for performance after the fact has a number of big advantages. Not convinced yet? See a more complete answer.

Applications will include an asking price, the minimum amount of money that would be enough to compensate you for undoing the humanitarian impact of the project. The actual awards will be determined by combining the asking prices with our impact assessments in a (truthful) auction. Intead of buying 100% of your project’s impact, we’ll actually buy some fraction less than 50% (at your discretion).

The awards will be made in ten $1,000 rounds, spread over the course of the year. We describe the first round results hereThe deadline for the second round is April 25. We’ll post the results of each round as they occur. New proposals can be made in between rounds. Once an application is submitted it will be considered in each round unless it is withdrawn.

If you are interested, submit an application here. The application process is designed to be as straightforward as possible. Learn about the kind of work we are most interested in, and see our other restrictions. If you have other questions, contact us at contact@impactpurchase.org.

impactpurchase.org contains other information about the project, and will describe awards as they are made.

“We” is currently Paul Christiano and Katja Grace. If you are interested in purchasing certificates of impact as part of this effort, we’d love to hear from you.