The GiveWell Blog

Our business is your business

The Clear Fund has no secrets. If I’m ever being a jerk about disclosing information, you can quote me on that.

I’ve just added a Board records section to the Clear Fund website. It includes a link to the full minutes and audio recording for our last Board meeting, along with all the written materials we used in the meeting. I was late to the meeting and out of breath, and I say many stupid things in the meeting, and those materials were for our use rather than public disclosure, but we’re publishing it all anyway. We’ll see what horrible things come of showing such weakness. I’m willing to take the risk; I figure that we’re taxpayer-subsidized to operate in the public interest, so everything we do should be public. Foundations, I am looking suggestively at you and coughing and clearing my throat violently right now.

So that stuff is sort of in lieu of a long blog post for tonight. I predict a doozy on Tuesday: I’ve spent a day combing through academic research relating to Cause 3, and after another day or two, I’m going to share my first impressions and opinions of what we should be looking for within this cause.


  • Straw Man on July 21, 2007 at 11:24 pm said:

    Sure, easy for you – disclose all your records. Your project is like 3 months old and there are probably 5 people who even know you exist. You don’t have any reputation to protect. If you ever reach the age and stature of the Ford Foundation, we’ll see if you’re still publishing recordings and rough drafts.

  • Holden on July 21, 2007 at 11:28 pm said:

    Young, idealistic Holden is putting things like “Our business is your business” in writing, to prevent any future Holden from doing exactly what you’re describing.

    But more importantly, why do foundations want to protect their reputations anyway? They don’t even fundraise. I think that the Ford Foundation’s publishing its meetings would improve its reputation, but let’s say I’m wrong, and the revelation that its members sometimes disagree or say silly things turns the Ford Foundation into the laughingstock of the world. So what? Ford still has the same amt to grant that it had before, and now the world benefits from some additional information. In terms of its mission (not its ego), that would still be a net gain.

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