ProPublica 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

We do not have any donee information for the donee ProPublica in our system.

Donee donation statistics

Cause areaCountMedianMeanMinimum10th percentile 20th percentile 30th percentile 40th percentile 50th percentile 60th percentile 70th percentile 80th percentile 90th percentile Maximum
Overall 18 500,000 757,861 0 0 24,000 150,000 300,000 500,000 719,500 1,000,000 1,010,000 2,208,000 3,000,000
2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Technology, Journalism 3 24,000 346,333 5,000 5,000 5,000 5,000 24,000 24,000 24,000 1,010,000 1,010,000 1,010,000 1,010,000
Working Longer 1 125,000 125,000 125,000 125,000 125,000 125,000 125,000 125,000 125,000 125,000 125,000 125,000 125,000
Special Projects 3 300,000 350,000 150,000 150,000 150,000 150,000 300,000 300,000 300,000 600,000 600,000 600,000 600,000
FIXME 6 750,000 1,083,333 250,000 250,000 500,000 500,000 750,000 750,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 3,000,000 3,000,000
Journalism 3 2,000,000 1,642,500 719,500 719,500 719,500 719,500 2,000,000 2,000,000 2,000,000 2,208,000 2,208,000 2,208,000 2,208,000

Donation amounts by donor and year for donee ProPublica

Donor Total 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2011 2010 2009 2007
MacArthur Foundation (filter this donee) 6,500,000.00 3,000,000.00 0.00 0.00 1,000,000.00 1,000,000.00 750,000.00 0.00 500,000.00 250,000.00
Knight Foundation (filter this donee) 5,966,500.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Hewlett Foundation (filter this donee) 1,050,000.00 600,000.00 0.00 300,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 150,000.00 0.00 0.00
Sloan Foundation (filter this donee) 125,000.00 0.00 125,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Isabel Arjmand (filter this donee) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Sandler Foundation (filter this donee) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total 13,641,500.00 3,600,000.00 125,000.00 300,000.00 1,000,000.00 1,000,000.00 750,000.00 150,000.00 500,000.00 250,000.00

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

Title (URL linked)Publication dateAuthorPublisherAffected donorsAffected doneesDocument scopeCause areaNotes
Staff members’ personal donations for giving season 20182018-12-10Catherine Hollander GiveWellElie Hassenfeld Natalie Crispin Josh Rosenberg Devin Jacob Catherine Hollander Andrew Martin Christian Smith Isabel Arjmand James Snowden Dan Brown Olivia Larsen Amar Radia GiveWell top charities Donor lottery GiveDirectly International Refugee Assistance Project RAICES National Immigration Law Center CALmatters Center for Investigative Reporting ProPublica Malaria Consortium Against Malaria Foundation StrongMinds Planned Parenthood Action Fund Cool Earth Causa Justa::Just Cause Initiate Justice Sorea Te Land Trust No Means No Worldwide Stonewall (UK) Afrinspire Effective Altruism Funds Periodic donation list documentationGiveWell staff members describe where they are donating in 2018. The majority are donating most of their money to GiveWell top charities (i.e., to GiveWell for discretionary regranting). A few explicitly donate to Malaria Consortium, Against Malaria Foundation, and GiveDirectly. Many staff members announce intent to donate a small fraction of their donation budget for animal welfare charities, but explicit names of animal welfare charities are not included. A number of donors mention donating small amounts to charities focused on justice-related themes and local causes. Not all employees are present in the document (participation is optional). Amounts donated are not included, per a decision by GiveWell
Staff members’ personal donations for giving season 20172017-12-11Josh Rosenberg GiveWellElie Hassenfeld Natalie Crispin Josh Rosenberg Sophie Monahan Catherine Hollander Andrew Martin Chelsea Tabart Christian Smith Isabel Arjmand James Snowden GiveWell top charities Effective Altruism Funds No Lean Season Against Malaria Foundation GiveDirectly Causa Justa::Just Cause Planned Parenthood ProPublica Earthjustice Periodic donation list documentationGiveWell staff describe where they are donating in 2017. Not all employees are present in the document (participation is optional). Amounts donated are not included, per a decision by GiveWell
Thoughts on the Sandler Foundation2015-02-24Holden Karnofsky Open Philanthropy ProjectSandler Foundation Open Philanthropy Project Center for American Progress ProPublica Center for Responsible Lending Washington Center for Equitable Growth Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Third-party coverage of donor strategyThis blog post originally appeared on the GiveWell blog at prior to the Open Phil blog launch. The post is part of Open Phil research into how different foundations structure their operations and giving. The post covers the Sandler Foundation, which has an unusual giving model, sacrificing cause-specific, domain-expert "program officers" and instead having a small staff that would opportunistically shift between researching different giving opportunities. Successes of the Sandler Foundation were noted, including forming the Center for American Progress, ProPublica, Center for Responsible Lending, and Washington Center for Equitable Growth, and providing support to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The Sandler Foundation approach was described as follows: (1) The priority placed on funding strong leadership, (2) A high level of “opportunism”: being ready to put major funding or no funding behind an idea, depending on the quality of the specific opportunity. Ultimately, the post concluded that Open Phil would probably stick with the more standard program officer model and including a mix of larger and smaller grants. Reasons given were: (a) Open Phil's policy priorities mapped less clearly to existing political platforms than the Sandler Foundation's, so it would be harder to find fully aligned leaders, (b) Open Phil sees a good deal of value in relatively small, low-confidence, low-due-diligence grants that give a person/team a chance to “get an idea off the ground.” We’ve made multiple such grants to date and we plan on continuing to do so, (c) confidence in the Sandler Foundation's track record was not very high. However, Open Phil might experiment with using generalist staff in addition to program officers; the generalists would scan across issues to find and vet opportunities
The Sandler Way: Where Big Philanthropy Meets the Art of Common Sense2015-01-27David Callahan Inside PhilanthropySandler Foundation American Civil Liberties Union ProPublica Center for Responsible Lending American Asthma Foundation University of California, San Francisco Center for American Progress Human Rights Watch Stanford University Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Third-party coverage of donor strategyThe Inside Philanthropy article discusses the giving strategy of the Sandler Foundation, backed by the wealth of Herb and Marion Sandler that they made by growing and then selling the Golden West Financial Corporation. The article identifies a few key principles of the foundation's giving: (1) focus money where it can make a big difference (in many cases, this leads to the creation of new nonprofits), (2) look for leverage points (i.e., look for cases where spending some money can lead to more resoures from others being allocated and greater long-term results), (3) obsess over due diligence, (4) back great leaders, (5) provide long term general support (in contrast to support tied to a specific program area)
Self-Made Philanthropists2008-03-09Joe Nocera New York TimesSandler Foundation Human Rights Watch American Civil Liberties Union Acorn Center for Responsible Lending Center for American Progress ProPublica University of California, San Francisco Third-party coverage of donor strategyThe New York Times Magazine article discusses the giving of couple Herb and Marion Sandler, who made a fortune off of Golden West Financial Corporation, a savings and loan operation in California. The couple began their giving in the 1980s, first as individual donors and then through the Sandler Foundation which they created. Key distinguishing features of the foundation, as highlighted in the article include: a "philanthrocapitalist" approach that relies on extensive vetting of nonprofits before making long, multi-year commitments to them, financing the creation of new nonprofits if necessary, and close engagement with grantees

Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (18 donations)

DonorAmount (current USD)Amount rank (out of 18)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
Sandler Foundation----2019--
Isabel Arjmand----2017-12-11-- One of a few organizations supported with 20% of the charity budget meant for causes of personal significance that are less impact-focused.
Hewlett Foundation600,000.00102017-09-27Special Projects For General Operating Support.
MacArthur Foundation3,000,000.00182017FIXME in support of general operations. Affected countries: United States; affected states: New York; affected cities: New York.
Sloan Foundation125,000.0052016Working Longer/ Grant investigator: Peter Gosselin; to research and publish data-driven systems investigations of the major trends, structures and programs shaping the lives of Americans age 60 forward with an eye to uncovering where these arrangements might limit opportunities or fail to adequately serve both 60-plus individuals and the broader society.
Hewlett Foundation300,000.0082015-11-16Special Projects For General Operating Support.
MacArthur Foundation1,000,000.00132014FIXME In support of general operations (over three years). Affected countries: United States; affected states: New York; affected cities: New York.
MacArthur Foundation1,000,000.00132013FIXME To support a cash reserve fund. Affected countries: United States; affected states: New York; affected cities: New York.
MacArthur Foundation750,000.00122011FIXME In support of general operations (over three years). Affected countries: United States; affected states: New York; affected cities: New York.
Hewlett Foundation150,000.0062010-03-25Special Projects For General Operating Support.
MacArthur Foundation500,000.0092009FIXME In support of general operations (over two years). Affected countries: United States; affected states: New York; affected cities: New York.
MacArthur Foundation250,000.0072007FIXME In support of the online component of a new investigative journalism project. Affected countries: United States; affected states: New York; affected cities: New York.
Knight Foundation2,208,000.0017--Journalism Grant period: 07/01/2015 - 07/30/2018; goal: To advance excellence in investigative and data journalism by improving ProPublica's audience engagement system, assisting journalists in localizing ProPublica's national investigations, and training journalists. Earmark: Audience engagement project.
Knight Foundation2,000,000.0016--Journalism Grant period: 07/01/2012 - 07/01/2015; goal: To support a rapid-response news applications team and associated training programs at ProPublica ProPublica, the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalism non-profit, will expand its industry-leading work in data-driven news applications with $1.9 million in new support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. ProPublica’s team will provide more apps across a wide range of subjects, enabled by additional staff members and the continued presence of a reporting fellow. The funding also will create a job shadowing program for journalists from across the country. One journalist per month will spend several days at ProPublica’s offices in New York, undertaking “paired programming” by developing a news application and learning best practices in the field. Participants will be chosen by a selection panel consisting of Dan Sinker, head of the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership, Clay Shirky, New York University professor and author, Scott Klein, editor of news applications at ProPublica, and Richard Tofel, ProPublica’s general manager. Those interested in applying for the ProPublica Paired Programming Project (P5) can find details at and can submit their application to [email protected]. Earmark: ProPublica Paired Programming Project (P5).
Knight Foundation24,000.004--Technology, Journalism Grant period: 01/01/2013 - 12/31/2013; goal: To support experimentation with Umbel, an analytics tool for understanding audience, to help inform journalism coverage and business development. Earmark: Experimentation with Umbel.
Knight Foundation5,000.003--Technology, Journalism Grant period: 08/01/2013 - 11/30/2013; goal: To support the results of ProPublica's Kickstarter campaign for Investigating the Intern Economy, a journalism project looking at unpaid internships. Earmark: The Intern Economy.
Knight Foundation719,500.0011--Journalism Grant period: 07/01/2009 - 11/30/2011; part of the challenge: Knight News Challenge; goal: To create a public, easily searchable index of original source documents on the Web Source documents are the foundation of investigative journalism. Yet, once used, the documents are often either locked away or thrown away. They are lost to further inquiry. In a few cases, source documents are placed on the Web. But those are in a variety of formats, difficult to search. This grant will create a new way to find, search, annotate and share documents among news organizations or individuals. It will be tested in New York in a partnership with the Gotham Gazette. The grantee will create an open standard for describing and sharing information about source documents. The project will take source documents beyond the limited search capabilities of the PDF format and make them an intrinsic part of the searchable Web. The software will be released as public, open-source code for use by others. We expect this project to make sharing and finding source documents easier through “fielded metadata,” indexing and other content notes about the documents provided by web users. This grant is being made to DocumentCloud, a new nonprofit formed by employees of ProPublica and The New York Times. But because it did […]. Earmark: Document Cloud.
Knight Foundation1,010,000.0015--Technology, Journalism Grant period: 07/01/2009 - 07/31/2012; goal: To create a sustainable business model for ProPublica ProPublica, founded in 2008, is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. To date, it has more than 30 full-time journalists in its newsroom, making it the largest new nonprofit investigative news operation in the nation. Its major investigations to date have included examinations of stimulus spending, gas drilling and nursing abuses. ProPublica is led by Paul Steiger, a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation trustee and the former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal. Knight Foundation president Alberto Ibargüen serves on the group’s board. This grant will openly create a sustainable business model that draws on diverse funding sources, including institutional philanthropy, board contributions, individual contributions, corporate philanthropy, earned revenue and investment income. By the end of the grant, ProPublica will have a mature development operation, well along in implementing a diversified development plan. Future development work will be funded out of operating funds. It is expected that this model will allow ProPublica to continue its high-quality investigative reporting for the public interest. Ultimately, we hope its success in doing so will spur other emerging investigative journalism nonprofits. Earmark: ProPublica.