We’re currently fundraising $1,200,000 to support our general activities (excluding marketing and grantmaking) until the middle of 2024.

This webpage has more information about us, our track record, and our current fundraising round. If you’d like to donate, you can:

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About us

At 80,000 Hours, we provide research and support to help students, recent graduates, and others have high-impact careers.

Our goal is to get talented people working on the world’s most pressing problems. We focus on problems that threaten the long-term future, including risks from artificial intelligence and catastrophic pandemics.

To achieve our goal, we:

  1. Reach people who might be interested through marketing, engaging and user-friendly content, and word-of-mouth.
  2. Introduce people to information, frameworks, and ideas which are useful for having a high-impact career and help them get excited about contributing to solving pressing global problems.
  3. Support people in transitioning to careers that contribute to solving pressing global problems.

We provide four main services:

Our leadership team is made up of Brenton Mayer, Arden Koehler, Niel Bowerman, and Michelle Hutchinson.

We’re currently running a selection process for a long-term CEO; we have three internal candidates and an open advertisement for external candidates. We expect to know the outcome of this selection process in the next month or two.

80,000 Hours is currently a project of the Effective Ventures group, though we are in the process of spinning out into our own entity. You can read more about our decision here and Effective Ventures’ plans here.

Our track record

We think that donating to 80,000 Hours is a promising way for people with similar priorities as us to have an impact.

We have a strong track record of encouraging people to change their career plans to focus on pressing problems, helping them find impactful positions, and introducing them to the effective altruism community.

Here, we’ll go through a few recent sources of evidence about our impact. You may also want to explore our repository of organisation evaluations, which cover our historical impact and progress, and you can reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions.

Plan changes

We have tracked hundreds of cases where people have made a major decision to pursue a higher-impact path – such as deciding to go to grad school, switching causes, or taking a particular job – which they say they might not have done without us.

We call these plan changes. Because careers are so long, we think an average plan change influences how someone spends tens of thousands of hours. We estimate that this is equivalent to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of value to the world over the course of each person’s lifetime.

As of the end of 2022, we had tracked 604 plan changes. We estimate that the true number of plan changes for this period was closer to 2,000, because we only expect to find out about a fraction of all plan changes.

Here are four examples of plan changes:


Top organisations working on global catastrophic risk reduction regularly tell us that we’re their best source of referrals.

The table below shows some of the roles people have found on our job board — though we expect this to underestimate the true number of placements attributable to us.

job board placements

We also know about 27 times where our headhunting service introduced an organisation to a candidate who they hadn’t already been considering and then that person was hired for the role.1

Open Philanthropy’s 2020 survey

Open Philanthropy recognised 80,000 Hours as one of seven organisations and individuals that “seemed to have been most impactful on our respondents robustly, across multiple metrics,” highlighting the influence of all of our programmes.

According to Open Philanthropy’s overall impact-weighted measure2 of how influential different factors have been:

  • Engagement with 80,000 Hours was tied as the most mentioned factor in the free text questions about what increased respondents’ positive impact on the world. When respondents were asked to name the top four of these factors that influenced them, 80,000 Hours was the 4th most mentioned factor.

  • When respondents were prompted to assign influence to a list of factors, 80,000 Hours was the 2nd most influential factor.

The 2023 Open Philanthropy survey has not yet been published. But they have shared with us that over the years 2020-2022, we have positively influenced the careers of a similar proportion of survey respondents, and, they think, a greater absolute number of people.

2022 EA survey

When survey respondents were asked which factors were “important for getting involved in EA,” 58% mentioned 80,000 Hours, making it the most commonly mentioned factor.

When respondents were asked which factors had helped them have an impact and connect with other EAs, 31% mentioned 80,000 Hours, making it the 2nd most commonly mentioned factor.

80,000 Hours’ work on AI safety

Some of our donors have asked whether 80,000 Hours is a strong donation opportunity from the perspective of AI safety. This section outlines some of our work in this area.

Right now, we think that the risk of an AI-related catastrophe is the most pressing problem that many of our users could work on.

Here’s a snapshot of the kind of work we’ve done on AI safety so far in 2023 (up to November 9).

This kind of work means that we have a history of helping people on their path to working on AI safety. Neel is one example of this.

If you’d like more information about our work on AI or another particular cause area, please contact [email protected].

What we’re fundraising for

Briefly: we’re fundraising for the final 20% of nine months’ worth of our general budget, including hiring but excluding marketing and grantmaking – coming to $1,200,000.

In more detail, we’re fundraising for:

  • Our general budget — we’re seeking to cover the costs of our general budget, which supports our staff and products.
    • It does not include our paid marketing and grantmaking, which we have already received funding for. If you’d like to know more about those budgets, please contact [email protected].
  • Nine months of our general budget — in this fundraising round, we’re aiming to cover our general budget for the period Q4 2023 to Q2 2024.
    • As we’re currently running a selection process for a long-term CEO, we think this shorter-term maintenance approach is appropriate so that the long-term CEO can contribute to our longer-term planning and next fundraising round.
    • We currently aim to keep 12 months of “keeping the lights on” runway in reserves, because it’s difficult to change our income and expenses quickly. Through some underspend and reduced expansion in 2023, our existing reserves already cover the runway for the 12 months after Q2 2024, so we’re not fundraising for this now. Our reserves also slightly reduce the amount we’re asking for from our budget — which you can see in the tables below.
  • 20% of our general budget for that period — we’ve already fundraised for 80% of our general budget from Open Philanthropy, so we’re fundraising for the final 20%. We value having diverse funding sources and are excited to grow our network of donors.
  • Hiring — we will continue to grow our team so that we can overcome capacity constraints and increase the impact of our existing programmes. In particular, we are currently hiring for people to join our one-on-one team in advising, headhunting, and systems capacities, and we expect to grow our internal systems and web teams in the near future.

This is our general budget for Q4 2023 – Q2 2024, compared to our actuals in the preceding nine months.
general budget

This is how we calculated our fundraising ask:
fundraising ask

As staff costs take up a large proportion of our budget, here is a visualisation of the full-time-equivalent staff working on 80,000 Hours and our forecast for 2024:

* Includes long term contractors and 80,000 Hours’ share of Effective Ventures’ operations staff.

To contextualise how this staff growth affects our output and impact, here are our annual key lead metrics3 for the same period:

You can see our financial accounts here.

How to donate

We provide our services free of charge, so we are dependent upon the support of generous donors.

If you’d like to donate, you can:

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Notes and references

  1. Note that most (>70%) of these placements are attributable to our headhunting efforts between 2018 and 2020. In 2023, we began re-investing in headhunting, but don’t yet have much placement feedback for these due to hiring lead times.

  2. Open Philanthropy reported both weighted and unweighted rankings for each of the different influence factors. The rankings reported above are based on the weighted rankings, which include Open Philanthropy’s quantitative assessment of the value of the respondents career.

    Here’s a breakdown of how 80,000 Hours’ ranking differ when using the unweighted rankings:
    Weighted vs unweighted

  3. We’ve used our key lead metrics here. While the information in our track record gives a better picture of our historical impact, our lead metrics show the outputs of our growing team. We don’t think our track record captures this growth because we estimate that there’s a 1–4 year lag between the primary year that people engage with our service and the time of their plan change.