OpenAI 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 December 2019. See the about page for more details. Also of interest: pageview data on, tutorial in README, request for feedback to EA Forum.

Table of contents

Basic donee information

Country United States
Facebook page openai.research
Twitter usernameopenai
Wikipedia page
Open Philanthropy Project grant review
Timelines wiki page
Org Watch page
Key peopleSam Altman|Elon Musk|Ilya Sutskever|Ian Goodfellow|Greg Brockman
Launch date2015-12-11
NotesStarted by Sam Altman and Elon Musk (with billion dollar commitment from Musk) to help with safe creation of human-level artificial intelligence in an open and robust way

Donation amounts by donor and year for donee OpenAI

Donor Total 2017
Open Philanthropy Project (filter this donee) 30,000,000.00 30,000,000.00
Total 30,000,000.00 30,000,000.00

Full list of documents in reverse chronological order (3 documents)

Title (URL linked)Publication dateAuthorPublisherAffected donorsAffected doneesDocument scopeCause areaNotes
2018 AI Alignment Literature Review and Charity Comparison2018-12-17Ben Hoskin Effective Altruism ForumBen Hoskin Machine Intelligence Research Institute Future of Humanity Institute Center for Human-Compatible AI Centre for the Study of Existential Risk Global Catastrophic Risk Institute Global Priorities Institute Australian National University Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative Ought AI Impacts OpenAI Effective Altruism Foundation Foundational Research Institute Median Group Convergence Analysis Review of current state of cause areaAI safetyCross-posted to LessWrong at This is the third post in a tradition of annual blog posts on the state of AI safety and the work of various organizations in the space over the course of the year; the previous two blog posts are at and The post has a "methodological considerations" section that discusses how the author views track records, politics, openness, the research flywheel, near vs far safety research, other existential risks, financial reserves, donation matching, poor quality research, and the Bay Area. The number of organizations reviewed is also larger than in previous years. Excerpts from the conclusion: "Despite having donated to MIRI consistently for many years as a result of their highly non-replaceable and groundbreaking work in the field, I cannot in good faith do so this year given their lack of disclosure. [...] This is the first year I have attempted to review CHAI in detail and I have been impressed with the quality and volume of their work. I also think they have more room for funding than FHI. As such I will be donating some money to CHAI this year. [...] As such I will be donating some money to GCRI again this year. [...] As such I do not plan to donate to AI Impacts this year, but if they are able to scale effectively I might well do so in 2019. [...] I also plan to start making donations to individual researchers, on a retrospective basis, for doing useful work. [...] This would be somewhat similar to Impact Certificates, while hopefully avoiding some of their issues.
Changes in funding in the AI safety field2017-02-01Sebastian Farquhar Centre for Effective Altruism Machine Intelligence Research Institute Center for Human-Compatible AI Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence Future of Life Institute Future of Humanity Institute OpenAI MIT Media Lab Review of current state of cause areaAI safetyThe post reviews AI safety funding from 2014 to 2017 (projections for 2017). Cross-posted on EA Forum at
2016 AI Risk Literature Review and Charity Comparison2016-12-13Ben Hoskin Effective Altruism ForumBen Hoskin Machine Intelligence Research Institute Future of Humanity Institute OpenAI Center for Human-Compatible AI Future of Life Institute Centre for the Study of Existential Risk Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence Global Catastrophic Risk Institute Global Priorities Project AI Impacts Xrisks Institute X-Risks Net Center for Applied Rationality 80,000 Hours Raising for Effective Giving Review of current state of cause areaAI safetyThe lengthy blog post covers all the published work of prominent organizations focused on AI risk. References for the MIRI part of it but notes the absence of information on the many other orgs. The conclusion: "The conclusion: "Donate to both the Machine Intelligence Research Institute and the Future of Humanity Institute, but somewhat biased towards the former. I will also make a smaller donation to the Global Catastrophic Risks Institute."

Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (1 donations)

DonorAmount (current USD)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
Open Philanthropy Project30,000,000.002017-03AI safety Grant for general support; 10 million dollars each over three years. Grant write-up explains reasons for this grant being larger than other grants in the cause area. External discussions include (critical tweet with replies), (Facebook post by Vipul Naik, with some comments), (Facebook post by Alasdair Pearce in Effective Altruists Facebook group, with some comments), and (Hacker News post, with some comments). Announced: 2017-03-31.