Total expenditure for the Wild-Animal Suffering Research project in 2017 was: $21,592 USD
- For 2017, our only expenses were staff salaries. Operations and IT expenses were covered by the Effective Altruism Foundation (EAF).
- Between 1 May 2017 – 30 November 2017 the project spent: $18,893.
- Based on our monthly average, we can expect an additional $2699 to be spent in December.
As of 1 December 2017 we received the following revenue (all amounts are in USD):
- $30,000 grant from EA Funds.
- $6400 grant from the ACE Animal Advocacy Research Fund.
- $11,652 USD in individual donations.
Our roll-over amount for 2018 is: $26,460.
Room for more funding
We estimate we can use up to $161,205 for the next 18 months in additional funding to continue and expand our research. We will also begin paying for operations and IT services provided by EAF from January 2018. Additional funding would go to meet the following expenses.
Increase the hours of our research associates
Our three research associates contribute between 10 – 20 hours per week to the Wild-Animal Suffering Research project. For two of our associates, this is due to our limited funding. We would like to expand our research activities by offering these research associates the opportunity to work up to 40 hours per week.
Increase the hourly rates of our research associates
We have been very fortunate to have talented and passionate research associates willing to work on this project despite being paid below market rate for their skills. Currently researchers earn between $10USD – $15USD per hour (with the variance based on minimum living wages in their country of residence and personal finances). As all researchers are hired as contractors, they do not receive health insurance, retirement contributions, nor accrue paid leave.
To retain these researchers and continue attracting skilled team members, we believe it is important to raise hourly rates to $16USD. This would bring wages to a rate on par with organizations conducting similar work. In addition, we believe it is important that researchers have the opportunity to accrue 20 days of paid annual leave or elect to receive a lump sum following every 12 month period of employment.
Hire a researcher with domain expertise or offer freelance opportunities to researchers with domain expertise
Wild-animal suffering is an unusual cause area in very early days. In building our team, we looked for generalist skills in research, alignment to effective altruism principles, pre-existing knowledge or experience, and intellectual curiosity. Having now established our goals and identified promising areas of research, we are at a point where we believe it would be valuable to have the knowledge and skills of researchers with domain expertise.
We can utilize the expertise of these researchers by hiring an additional researcher or offering freelance opportunities up to the equivalent amount of time per week.
One of our goals for 2018 is to build a community of active researchers and advocates. This requires attendance at events and conferences to stay up to date with progress in animal advocacy research, give presentations, and speak to academics, research institutes, and other not-for-profit organizations.
We currently do not have any auxiliary funds to cover conference tickets, flights, and accommodation to attend such events. To send one WAS Research representative to an average of 5 conferences per year, we estimate a need for an additional $5500 USD.
Guidelines on effective practices for not-for-profits suggest organizations should have a minimum of 3-6 months and no more than 24 months in reserves. With plans to scale up our activities, our expenses increase from (an average of) $2699 per month to $10,426 per month. This leaves us with the equivalent of slightly less than 3 months in reserves. To meet an 18 month1In our first version of this post, we settled on 12 months in reserves. After speaking to other not-for-profit project managers with experience growing a small project, we updated towards needing 18 months in reserves to ensure financial stability. average in reserves, we can use up to $161,205 in additional funding.
|↑1||In our first version of this post, we settled on 12 months in reserves. After speaking to other not-for-profit project managers with experience growing a small project, we updated towards needing 18 months in reserves to ensure financial stability.|