Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense donations received

This is an online portal with information on donations that were announced publicly (or have been shared with permission) that were of interest to Vipul Naik. The git repository with the code for this portal, as well as all the underlying data, is available on GitHub. All payment amounts are in current United States dollars (USD). The repository of donations is being seeded with an initial collation by Issa Rice as well as continued contributions from him (see his commits and the contract work page listing all financially compensated contributions to the site) but all responsibility for errors and inaccuracies belongs to Vipul Naik. Current data is preliminary and has not been completely vetted and normalized; if sharing a link to this site or any page on this site, please include the caveat that the data is preliminary (if you want to share without including caveats, please check with Vipul Naik). We expect to have completed the first round of development by the end of March 2020. See the about page for more details. Also of interest: pageview data on analytics.vipulnaik.com, tutorial in README, request for feedback to EA Forum.

Table of contents

Basic donee information

ItemValue
Country United States
Facebook page biodefensestudy
Websitehttp://www.biodefensestudy.org
Donors list pagehttp://www.biodefensestudy.org/sponsors
Donation case pagehttp://www.biodefensestudy.org/impact
Twitter usernameBiodefenseStudy
Wikipedia pagehttps//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Ribbon_Study_Panel_on_Biodefense
Open Philanthropy Project grant reviewhttp://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-general-support
Key peopleJohn Brennan
Launch date2014-12-04

Donee donation statistics

Cause areaCountMedianMeanMinimum10th percentile 20th percentile 30th percentile 40th percentile 50th percentile 60th percentile 70th percentile 80th percentile 90th percentile Maximum
Overall 5 500,000 937,732 500 500 500 300,000 300,000 500,000 500,000 1,300,000 1,300,000 2,588,162 2,588,162
World peace 1 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500
Biosecurity and pandemic preparedness 4 500,000 1,172,041 300,000 300,000 300,000 500,000 500,000 500,000 1,300,000 1,300,000 2,588,162 2,588,162 2,588,162

Donation amounts by donor and year for donee Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense

Donor Total 2018 2017 2016 2015
Open Philanthropy Project (filter this donee) 4,688,162.00 2,588,162.00 500,000.00 1,300,000.00 300,000.00
Jacob Steinhardt (filter this donee) 500.00 0.00 0.00 500.00 0.00
Total 4,688,662.00 2,588,162.00 500,000.00 1,300,500.00 300,000.00

Full list of documents in reverse chronological order (2 documents)

Title (URL linked)Publication dateAuthorPublisherAffected donorsAffected doneesDocument scopeCause areaNotes
The effective altruism guide to donating this giving season2016-12-28Robert Wiblin 80,000 Hours Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense Cool Earth Alliance for Safety and Justice Cosecha Centre for Effective Altruism 80,000 Hours Animal Charity Evaluators Compassion in World Farming USA Against Malaria Foundation Schistosomiasis Control Initiative StrongMinds Ploughshares Fund Machine Intelligence Research Institute Future of Humanity Institute Evaluator consolidated recommendation listBiosecurity and pandemic preparedness,Global health and development,Animal welfare,AI risk,Global catastrophic risks,Effective altruism/movement growthRobert Wiblin draws on a number of annual charity evaluations and reviews, as well as staff donation writeups, from sources such as GiveWell and Animal Charity Evaluators, to provide an "effective altruism guide" for 2016 Giving Season donation
Suggestions for Individual Donors from Open Philanthropy Project Staff - 20162016-12-14Holden Karnofsky Open Philanthropy ProjectJaime Yassif Chloe Cockburn Lewis Bollard Daniel Dewey Nick Beckstead Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense Alliance for Safety and Justice Cosecha Animal Charity Evaluators Compassion in World Farming USA Machine Intelligence Research Institute Future of Humanity Institute 80,000 Hours Ploughshares Fund Donation suggestion listAnimal welfare|AI safety|Biosecurity and pandemic preparedness|Effective altruism|Migration policyOpen Philanthropy Project staff describe suggestions for best donation opportunities for individual donors in their specific areas

Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (5 donations)

DonorAmount (current USD)Amount rank (out of 5)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
Open Philanthropy Project2,588,162.0012018-01Biosecurity and pandemic preparednesshttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-general-support-2018Jaime Yassif Intended use of funds: Grantee advocates for improvements to U.S. biodefense policy through a variety of activities, including hosting public meetings, publishing reports, and conducting outreach to members of Congress and the executive branch.

Donor reason for selecting the donee: Likely similar reason as for the 2016 grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-general-support that it is renewing. An earlier renewal/top-up was done in January 2017

Other notes: Intended funding timeframe in months: 1; announced: 2018-02-16.
Open Philanthropy Project500,000.0032017-01Biosecurity and pandemic preparednesshttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-general-support-2017-- Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Intended use of funds: Grant to enable it to continue its advocacy for biodefense policy improvements. Grant is a top-up to previous grant of 1300000 in 2016-08 described at https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-general-support

Donor reason for selecting the donee: Likely similar reason as for the 2016 grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-general-support

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Likely because the earlier funds of $1.3 million granted in August 2016 are running out

Donor retrospective of the donation: The grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-general-support-2018 suggests that the Open Philanthropy Project is happy with the results of the grant

Other notes: Announced: 2017-02-27.
Jacob Steinhardt500.0052016-12-28World peacehttps://jsteinhardt.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/donations-for-2016/Jaime Yassif Although donation was announced on this day we do not know when it was made. Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 100.00%.
Open Philanthropy Project1,300,000.0022016-08Biosecurity and pandemic preparednesshttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-general-support-- Donation process: According to https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-general-support#Our_process "Jaime Yassif, our Program Officer for Biosecurity and Pandemic Preparedness, had three phone conversations with Study Panel staff, reviewed the Study Panel’s 2015 report, and evaluated the policy impact of the Study Panel’s phase-1 activities using materials provided by its staff."

Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Intended use of funds: Grant of $1,300,000 via Potomac Institute for Policy Studies to enable it to continue its efforts started with a $300,000 grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-grant in April2015 through the end of 2017.

Donor reason for selecting the donee: According to https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-general-support#Case_for_the_grant (a) This grant hopefully influences the US government, which is the biggest biodefense policy spender. (b) The Study Panel's track record to date gives some confidence that the next phase of its work will be effective.

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): According to https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-general-support#Budget "The Study Panel’s phase-1 work had a budget of $600,000. The budget for its second phase has grown due to an increase in project length and scaled-up efforts in this second phase."

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Timing determined by the completion of Phase 1, which cost $600,000 and was partly funded by the $300,000 grant by the Open Philanthropy Project
Intended funding timeframe in months: 16

Donor retrospective of the donation: The January 2017 top-up grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-general-support-2017 suggests that the Open Philanthropy Project was happy with the progress of the grant, but wanted to top up the amount

Other notes: Grant via Potomac Institute of Policy Studies. Announced: 2016-11-10.
Open Philanthropy Project300,000.0042015-04Biosecurity and pandemic preparednesshttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-grant-- Donation process: According to https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-grant#Our_process "We learned about this funding opportunity from Bruce Altevogt, who at the time was a senior program officer at the Institute of Medicine. Our investigation process for this grant included speaking with Dr. Robert Kadlec and other Study Panel staff about the Study Panel’s proposed activities and strategy, speaking with other potential funders about their thoughts on this opportunity, and having Open Philanthropy Project Program Officer Howie Lempel attend three of the Study Panel’s panel sessions."

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: According to https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-grant#Budget "The Study Panel’s total expected budget is about $570K. About 70% of its costs come from three major line items: (1) Honoraria (~$8-10K per person per event): $196K (2) Study Panel and administrative staff salaries: $102.5K (3)Funding for public relations firms to support outreach activities, a press conference launch event, and related publicity activities: $104K

Donor reason for selecting the donee: According to https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-grant#Case_for_this_grant (1) The grant has a reasonable chance of influencing US biosecurity policy. (2) There is too little philanthropic funding for biosecurity policy design. (3) This grant may help clarify Open Philanthropy Project's biosecurity and pandemics grantmaking strategy. (4) Open Phil has a positive impression of the grantee.

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The total budget for the work that is being funded by the grant is $570K. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-grant#Room_for_more_funding explains how, in light of the funding already secured, $300K is enough to fully fund the work, and that is the amount the Open Philanthropy Project is funding

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Timing determined by the current state of progress of the work and the funding situation

Donor retrospective of the donation: The grant page for the August 2016 grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/blue-ribbon-study-panel-biodefense-general-support cites the success of this grant

Other notes: The Panel convened four meetings and intended to release a report in October 2015 using this grant. The Open Philanthropy Project published a detailed writeup justifying the grant. Announced: 2015-10-27.