Commentary & Analysis

Donor Spotlight: Playing Fantasy Sports for a Cause

While other kids were content to set up lemonade stands with their friends, Martin Crowley was thinking about how to hack new systems to make money. “I was always doing whatever I could to make a buck,” Martin said.

He learned how to hock his parents’ stuff on Ebay. He built a thriving business that helped promote accounts on YouTube and Twitter. And then, just as sites like FanDuel and DraftKings started to take off, he found daily fantasy sports. 

From there, he moved to the top of the leader board. 

It’s probably no surprise that Martin found such a lucrative business for himself, given his obsession with systems and making money. But what might surprise you is what he does with his wealth.

He gives it away.

“I have always been enthralled with making money,” Martin said. “But I have never had any desire to spend it,” he continued. 

Martin often works more than 60 hours a week playing daily fantasy. He does this all with the goal of making as much money as possible so that he can donate it to the most effective organizations he can find. Organizations like The Center for Election Science (CES). 

“CES takes a systems-level approach to improving our elections and political systems,” Martin said, explaining why he chose to invest $100,000 in the organization’s work to empower voters with a better ballot.

And it’s that systems-level approach that has always driven him that reassured Martin that he was making a good bet.

“If it isn’t systematized, it won’t improve, Martin said, “And CES has taken the data and the math and used that research to determine the best way to systematically reform our government.”


Martin Crowley is a member of the Effective Altruism community and strongly believes in earning to give. He also supports causes that promise to use each dollar for the most good—like the election reform work we do here at CES. Want to be like Martin and earn to give? Contact Kirsten for more information on how you can invest in fixing our broken elections.