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  • Writer's pictureVicky Cox

2023 Top Charity Ideas

Below we briefly outline the 5 charities we aim to launch in early 2023. For more detail see here.

A charity that targets milkfish welfare in the Philippines

Over 50 billion fish at any given time are suffering in farms exposed to constant pain, stress, and high mortality rates. They spend the years of their lives struggling to breath due to poor water quality, high stocking densities and living in disease. The scale of the cruelty is unrivalled.

But so too is the scale of the potential. FWI (a CE charity incubated in 2019) has significantly improved the lives of nearly 2 million farmed animals.

Our research suggests that the Philippines could be particularly promising and we suspect that, in particular, improving water quality and stocking densities could be highly tractable and scalable approaches. What’s more, these solutions are a win-win as fish with higher welfare have better survival rates and increase farm efficiency

This charity would likely work directly with farmers to promote better welfare practices and their benefits to both farmers and animals. We also think that it would be promising to explore how the corporate outreach approach and government-level work could be used in this space. At scale, we think that working directly with farmers this organization could impact ~687,000 fish annually.

A charity that advocates for the banning of low-welfare imports

Description: In many western countries it is recognised in law that cruel factory farming is unacceptable. However, these same countries import animal products from other jurisdictions with lower standards of animal welfare that would be illegal to produce locally.

Local producers and consumers are starting to question this and demand change.

We think that trade could be an interesting and useful mechanism to address this practice. Places such as the EU, the UK, New Zealand, and Switzerland could increase the welfare standards in typically low-welfare countries by refusing to import from them. The low-welfare producers would thereby be incentivised to improve their standards.

This charity will advocate for the introduction of a clause in relevant animal welfare legislation that this should also be applied to imports.

WTO case law supports this and there is a body of instances where advocacy has led to successful policy change in this space. It’s hits based - with about an 18% success rate. With support from farmers and the general public growing, now may be a particularly good time for advocacy on this issue, particularly in New Zealand where the legal, social and trade conditions are optimal for large scale changes.

We project that this could impact ~8 million fish, ~500,000 pigs and ~370,000 chickens annually. Success in New Zealand could create precedent, prove what’s possible and precipitate large impacts in other countries.

A Charity that seeks the Banning of live-bait fish

Surprisingly, there are ~1.3 billion small fish sold as bait in the US alone. The welfare conditions of these bait fish are likely to be quite similar to factory-farmed fish, with very low welfare, extremely high rates of disease, morbidity and mortality.

This charity would advocate for a ban on the use of live-bait fish, most likely starting in Ohio. We think that there are ecological reasons (i.e. not introducing invasive species) and biosecurity reasons (preventing disease) on top of animal welfare reasons to advocate for this ban, likely making advocacy more tractable.

Several groups have managed to secure successes elsewhere but we could not identify any active organization working on this in the US so this work seems particularly neglected. We also believe it’s a highly promising route to impact at scale. Even if we just banned the use of live-bait in Ohio, that could save up to 80 million of these fishes from a life on a farm and use as live bait.

A Tobacco Taxation Advocacy Charity

80% of the world’s tobacco users live in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) and it kills over 8 million people yearly. Taxation has been shown to be the most cost-effective way to reduce tobacco consumption and health care costs while increasing revenue. We estimate the cost per DALY equivalent of US$27-$37, which is exceptional.

There is also strong evidence (from 38 countries, 15 of which are LMICs) that this intervention can be effectively delivered by the government and from 159 case studies, where we see an average success rate of ~27%. Two previously incubated CE charities, Good Policies and Policy Entrepreneurship Network, targeted this promising opportunity without success but their learning and perspectives will be invaluable to the next incumbents.

Our analysis suggests that focusing on Mongolia and Lebanon, increasing taxes until they reach the WHO recommended level of 75% of the retail price may be optimal.

This policy organisation is not without its challenges. There are two main funders in the space, and they favor large, well-established organizations, so funding might be a limiting factor. Also, there are strong opponents to this kind of reform. So tenacity and resilience will be important.

A Road Traffic Safety Policy Charity

Legislation is an effective tool for reducing road traffic injuries and fatalities. When speed is reduced from 100 to 90 km/h, the number of fatal accidents is reduced by 34.4%. Wearing a seat belt can reduce fatalities among front-seat occupants by ~45%. Moreover, advocacy works: 84 case studies show an average success rate of ~48%. It’s also highly cost-effective.

Challenges with this intervention include enforcement, public opposition, and ensuring we don’t encourage people to switch to cheaper but more dangerous motorcycle use.


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