Sentience Institute 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 2023. 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 sentienceinstitute
Donate page
Twitter usernamesentienceinst
Key peopleKelly Witwicki|Jacy Reese
Launch date2017-06-02

Donee donation statistics

Cause areaCountMedianMeanMinimum10th percentile 20th percentile 30th percentile 40th percentile 50th percentile 60th percentile 70th percentile 80th percentile 90th percentile Maximum
Overall 6 2,500 17,404 500 500 1,714 1,714 2,500 2,500 10,000 19,708 19,708 70,000 70,000
Animal welfare 5 2,500 16,943 500 500 500 1,714 1,714 2,500 2,500 10,000 10,000 70,000 70,000
Effective altruism 1 19,708 19,708 19,708 19,708 19,708 19,708 19,708 19,708 19,708 19,708 19,708 19,708 19,708

Donation amounts by donor and year for donee Sentience Institute

Donor Total 2018 2017
Effective Altruism Funds: Animal Welfare Fund (filter this donee) 80,000.00 80,000.00 0.00
Effective Altruism Grants (filter this donee) 19,708.46 0.00 19,708.46
Peter Hurford (filter this donee) 4,714.00 0.00 4,714.00
Total 104,422.46 80,000.00 24,422.46

Full list of documents in reverse chronological order (8 documents)

Title (URL linked)Publication dateAuthorPublisherAffected donorsAffected doneesAffected influencersDocument scopeCause areaNotes
EA orgs are trying to fundraise ~$10m - $16m (GW, IR)2019-01-06Hauke Hillebrandt Effective Altruism Forum Centre for Effective Altruism Effective Altruism Foundation Machine Intelligence Research Institute Forethought Foundation for Global Priorities Research Sentience Institute Alliance to Feed the Earth in Disasters Global Catastrophic Risk Institute Rethink Priorities EA Hotel 80,000 Hours Rethink Charity Miscellaneous commentaryThe blog post links to and discusses the spreadsheet which tabulates various organizations and their fundraising targets, along with quotes and links to fundraising posts. The blog post itself has three points, the last of which is that the EA community is relatively more funding-constrained again
EA Giving Tuesday Donation Matching Initiative 2018 Retrospective (GW, IR)2019-01-06Avi Norowitz Effective Altruism ForumAvi Norowitz William Kiely Against Malaria Foundation Malaria Consortium GiveWell Effective Altruism Funds Alliance to Feed the Earth in Disasters Effective Animal Advocacy Fund The Humane League The Good Food Institute Animal Charity Evaluators Machine Intelligence Research Institute Faunalytics Wild-Aniaml Suffering Research GiveDirectly Center for Applied Rationality Effective Altruism Foundation Cool Earth Schistosomiasis Control Initiative New Harvest Evidence Action Centre for Effective Altruism Animal Equality Compassion in World Farming USA Innovations for Poverty Action Global Catastrophic Risk Institute Future of Life Institute Animal Charity Evaluators Recommended Charity Fund Sightsavers The Life You Can Save One Step for Animals Helen Keller International 80,000 Hours Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative Vegan Outreach Encompass Iodine Global Network Otwarte Klatki Charity Science Mercy For Animals Coalition for Rainforest Nations Fistula Foundation Sentience Institute Better Eating International Forethought Foundation for Global Priorities Research Raising for Effective Giving Clean Air Task Force The END Fund Miscellaneous commentaryThe blog post describes an effort by a number of donors coordinated at to donate through Facebook right after the start of donation matching on Giving Tuesday. Based on timestamps of donations and matches, donations were matched till 14 seconds after the start of matching. Despite the very short time window of matching, the post estimates that $469,000 (65%) of the donations made were matched
2018 End of Year Summary2018-11-26Kelly Witwicki Sentience Institute Sentience Institute Donee periodic updateAnimal welfareThe blog post provides an update on the activities of the Sentience Institute in 2018. It also outlines the financial situation: a 9-month runway and a target of raising at least $120,000; if they raise $180,000, they will hire one more team member. Cross-posted to the Effective Altruism Forum at (GW, IR) (no comments)
Reducing Wild Animal Suffering Ecosystem & Directory (GW, IR)2018-10-31Evan Gaensbauer Effective Altruism Forum Effective Altruism Foundation Wild-Animal Suffering Research Animal Ethics Utility Farm Rethink Priorities The Hedonistic Imperative The Abolitionist Project Qualia Research Institute Sentience Politics Sentience Institute Animal Charity Evaluators Review of current state of cause areaAnimal welfare/wild animal welfareThe post covers the current state of the ecosystem of efforts to reduce wild-animal suffiering. It includes a diagram depicting the relations between organizations mentioned in the post
Where the ACE Staff Members Are Giving in 2017 and Why2017-12-26Allison Smith Animal Charity EvaluatorsJon Bockman Allison Smith Toni Adleberg Sofia Davis-Fogel Kieran Greig Jamie Spurgeon Erika Alonso Eric Herboso Gina Stuessy Animal Charity Evaluators The Good Food Institute Vegan Outreach A Well-Fed World Better Eating International Encompass Direct Action Everywhere Animal Charity Evaluators Recommended Charity Fund Against Malaria Foundation Animal equality The Nonhuman Rights Project AnimaNaturalis Internacional The Humane League GiveDirectly Food Empowerment Project Mercy For Animals New Harvest StrongMinds Centre for Effective Altruism Effective Altruism Funds Machine Intelligence Research Institute Donor lottery Sentience Institute Wild-Animal Suffering Research Periodic donation list documentationAnimal welfare|AI safety|Global health and development|Effective altruismContinuing an annual tradition started in 2016, Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) staff describe where they donated or plan to donate in 2017. Donation amounts are not disclosed, likely by policy
Staff Members’ Personal Donations for Giving Season 20172017-12-18Holden Karnofsky Open PhilanthropyHolden Karnofsky Alexander Berger Nick Beckstead Helen Toner Claire Zabel Lewis Bollard Ajeya Cotra Morgan Davis Michael Levine GiveWell top charities GiveWell GiveDirectly EA Giving Group Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative Effective Altruism Funds Sentience Institute Encompass The Humane League The Good Food Institute Mercy For Animals Compassion in World Farming USA Animal Equality Donor lottery Against Malaria Foundation GiveDirectly Periodic donation list documentationOpen Philanthropy Project staff members describe where they are donating this year, and the considerations that went into the donation decision. By policy, amounts are not disclosed. This is the first standalone blog post of this sort by the Open Philanthropy Project; in previous years, the corresponding donations were documented in the GiveWell staff members donation post.
Sentience Institute 2017 Accomplishments, 2018 Plans, and Room for Funding2017-12-14Kelly Witwicki Sentience Institute Sentience Institute Donee donation caseAnimal welfareThe blog post provides an update on the activities of the Sentience Institute since its launch June 2017, its plans for 2018, and its estimate of its own room for more funding ($185,000)
Four Organizations EAs Should Fully Fund for 20182017-12-12Peter Hurford Effective Altruism ForumPeter Hurford Charity Science Health Rethink Charity Sentience Institute Wild-Animal Suffering Research Donation suggestion listPeter Hurford makes the case to donate to four organizations that he plans to donate to in 2018, based on the promise of their programs as well as their room for more funding

Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (6 donations)

Graph of top 10 donors by amount, showing the timeframe of donations

Graph of donations and their timeframes
DonorAmount (current USD)Amount rank (out of 6)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
Effective Altruism Funds: Animal Welfare Fund70,000.0012018-04-30Animal welfare/factory farming Bollard Grant for building the EA animal movement. Bollard is impressed with grantee for: (1) generating relevant empirical data, like its survey on US opinion on factory farming and its compilation of global factory farming stats, (2) producing relevant case studies for EA animal advocates, e.g. on the British anti-slavery movement and the adoption of nuclear power, and (3) publishing thought pieces to advance ideas within EA circles, like Jacy’s recent post on prioritizing moral circle expansion over AI alignment. This sum is intended to be enough for the Sentience Institute to support one researcher for a year, though it has total discretion in how to use these funds. Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 9.33%.
Effective Altruism Funds: Animal Welfare Fund10,000.0032018-01-14Animal welfare/factory farming Bollard The grantee has conducted a survey related to US attitudes toward farmed animals, that Bollard finds impressive, and it has immediate funding needs. Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 6.67%.
Peter Hurford2,500.0042017-12-28Animal welfare/factory farming See (GW, IR) for more background and thinking.
Effective Altruism Grants19,708.4622017-09-29Effective altruism/movement growth Research on moral circle expansion. The work will take place at the Sentience Institute, and serve as a proof-of-concept of the cost-effectiveness of such research. Research agenda available here: See for more context about the grant program. Currency info: donation given as 14,710.00 GBP (conversion done on 2017-09-29 via Bloomberg).
Peter Hurford500.0062017-09-01Animal welfare Donation via a donation trade.
Peter Hurford1,714.0052017-08-24Animal welfare