Jaan Tallinn donations made (filtered to cause areas matching Scientific research)

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 analytics.vipulnaik.com, tutorial in README, request for feedback to EA Forum.

Table of contents

Basic donor information

ItemValue
Country United States
Affiliated organizations (current or former; restricted to potential donees or others relevant to donation decisions)Centre for the Study of Existential Risk
Wikipedia pagehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaan_Tallinn
Best overview URLhttps://jaan.online/philanthropy/
Facebook username jaan.tallinn
Websitehttps://jaan.online/
Donations URLhttps://jaan.online/philanthropy/
LessWrong usernamejaan
Regularity with which donor updates donations dataannual refresh
Regularity with which Donations List Website updates donations data (after donor update)irregular
Lag with which donor updates donations datamonths
Lag with which Donations List Website updates donations data (after donor update)months
Data entry method on Donations List WebsiteManual (no scripts used)
Org Watch pagehttps://orgwatch.issarice.com/?person=Jaan+Tallinn

Brief history: Tallinn is a co-founder of Skype and Kazaa and one of the earlier wealthy supporters of organizations working in AI safety, along with Peter Thiel. In 2011, he had a conversation with Holden Karnofsky sharing his thoughts on AI safetyand in particular the work of the Singularity Institute (SI), the former name of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute. See https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/givewell/conversations/topics/287 and https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/6SGqkCgHuNr7d4yJm/thoughts-on-the-singularity-institute-si (GW, IR) for details. Tallinn played a significant role in financing the Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative (BERI)'s grantmaking operations, and later funding the Survival and Flourising Fund (SFF). In 2020, Tallinn prepared a philanthropy pledge https://jaan.online/philanthropy/ for his grantmaking for the next five years, and also indicated a plan to switch more to making direct grants using SFF's S-process, rather than giving funds to organizations such as BERI and SFF.

Brief notes on broad donor philosophy and major focus areas: https://jaan.online/philanthropy/ says: "the primary purpose of my philanthropy is to reduce existential risks to humanity from advanced technologies, such as AI. i currently believe that this cause scores the highest according to the framework used in effective altruism: (1) importance [...] (2) tractability [...] (3) neglectedness. [...] i'm likely to pass on all other opportunities — especially popular ones, like supporting education, healthcare, arts, and various social causes. [...] i'm considering (as of 2020) a few exceptions — eg, donating to more neglected climate interventions [...] i should also mention that i'm especially fond of software projects as philanthropic targets [...]"

Notes on grant decision logistics: Tallinn plans to use the Survival and Flourishing Fund (SFF)'s S-process (simulation process) to direct most of his grantmaking, as described e.g. at http://survivalandflourishing.fund/sff-2019-q4-recommendations and other grant rounds. He may also make one-off direct grants (at most $100,000 per grant) for funding needs that are time-sensitive but encourages grantees to also apply for the next SFF grant round. Tallinn has historically donated money to BERI and SFF for regranting, but does not expect to make similar donations for regranting in the future. Tallinn may also engage in small amounts of individual regranting and individual gifts.

Notes on grant financing: Tallinn donates his own money, but not always directly; in most cases (particularly when donating to US-based nonprofits) he donates money via (donor-advised funds managed by) Founders Pledge or Silicon Valley Community Foundation. He has also made direct gifts in cryptocurrency when not donating to US nonprofits.

Donor donation statistics

Cause areaCountMedianMeanMinimum10th percentile 20th percentile 30th percentile 40th percentile 50th percentile 60th percentile 70th percentile 80th percentile 90th percentile Maximum
Overall 2 147,000 323,500 147,000 147,000 147,000 147,000 147,000 147,000 500,000 500,000 500,000 500,000 500,000
Scientific research 2 147,000 323,500 147,000 147,000 147,000 147,000 147,000 147,000 500,000 500,000 500,000 500,000 500,000

Donation amounts by cause area and year

If you hover over a cell for a given cause area and year, you will get a tooltip with the number of donees and the number of donations.

Note: Cause area classification used here may not match that used by donor for all cases.

Cause area Number of donations Number of donees Total 2021
Scientific research (filter this donor) 2 1 647,000.00 647,000.00
Total 2 1 647,000.00 647,000.00

Skipping spending graph as there is at most one year’s worth of donations.

Donation amounts by subcause area and year

If you hover over a cell for a given subcause area and year, you will get a tooltip with the number of donees and the number of donations.

For the meaning of “classified” and “unclassified”, see the page clarifying this.

Subcause area Number of donations Number of donees Total 2021
Scientific research 2 1 647,000.00 647,000.00
Classified total 2 1 647,000.00 647,000.00
Unclassified total 0 0 0.00 0.00
Total 2 1 647,000.00 647,000.00

Skipping spending graph as there is at most one year’s worth of donations.

Donation amounts by donee and year

Donee Cause area Metadata Total 2021
New Science Research (filter this donor) 647,000.00 647,000.00
Total -- -- 647,000.00 647,000.00

Skipping spending graph as there is at most one year’s worth of donations.

Donation amounts by influencer and year

If you hover over a cell for a given influencer and year, you will get a tooltip with the number of donees and the number of donations.

For the meaning of “classified” and “unclassified”, see the page clarifying this.

Influencer Number of donations Number of donees Total 2021
Survival and Flourishing Fund|Beth Barnes|Oliver Habryka|Zvi Mowshowitz 1 1 500,000.00 500,000.00
Survival and Flourishing Fund|Ben Hoskin|Katja Grace|Oliver Habryka|Adam Marblestone 1 1 147,000.00 147,000.00
Classified total 2 1 647,000.00 647,000.00
Unclassified total 0 0 0.00 0.00
Total 2 1 647,000.00 647,000.00

Skipping spending graph as there is at most one year’s worth of donations.

Donation amounts by disclosures and year

Sorry, we couldn't find any disclosures information.

Donation amounts by country and year

Sorry, we couldn't find any country information.

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

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

Graph of donations and their timeframes
DoneeAmount (current USD)Amount rank (out of 2)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
New Science Research500,000.0012021-10Scientific researchhttps://survivalandflourishing.fund/sff-2021-h2-recommendationsSurvival and Flourishing Fund Beth Barnes Oliver Habryka Zvi Mowshowitz Donation process: Part of the Survival and Flourishing Fund's 2021 H1 grants based on the S-process (simulation process) that "involves allowing the Recommenders and funders to simulate a large number of counterfactual delegation scenarios using a spreadsheet of marginal utility functions. Recommenders specified marginal utility functions for funding each application, and adjusted those functions through discussions with each other as the round progressed. Similarly, funders specified and adjusted different utility functions for deferring to each Recommender. In this round, the process also allowed the funders to make some final adjustments to decide on their final intended grant amounts."

Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Donor reason for selecting the donee: Zvi Mowshowitz, one of the recommenders, writes in https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/kuDKtwwbsksAW4BG2/zvi-s-thoughts-on-the-survival-and-flourishing-fund-sff#Innovation_Station (GW, IR) "If one could reinvigorate science for real, that seems clearly on the good side, so to the extent that I saw promising such attempts I was excited. There were several proposals in this category looking to directly reinvigorate or enable science of a sort: NewScience, PrivateARPA, SocialMinds@CMU and Ought. NewScience, SocialMinds and PrivateARPA seemed like they were good ideas if we were optimistic about execution. I was able to get there on NewScience, but not on PrivateARPA or SocialMinds."

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Timing determined by timing of grant round; this is SFF's sixth grant round and the second with a grant to this grantee.

Other notes: Jed McCaleb and The Casey and Family Foundation, who also participate as funders in this grant round, do not make any grants to this grantee. Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 5.64%; announced: 2021-11-20.
New Science Research147,000.0022021-04Scientific researchhttps://survivalandflourishing.fund/sff-2021-h1-recommendationsSurvival and Flourishing Fund Ben Hoskin Katja Grace Oliver Habryka Adam Marblestone Donation process: Part of the Survival and Flourishing Fund's 2021 H1 grants based on the S-process (simulation process) that "involves allowing the Recommenders and funders to simulate a large number of counterfactual delegation scenarios using a spreadsheet of marginal utility functions. Recommenders specified marginal utility functions for funding each application, and adjusted those functions through discussions with each other as the round progressed. Similarly, funders specified and adjusted different utility functions for deferring to each Recommender. In this round, the process also allowed the funders to make some final adjustments to decide on their final intended grant amounts."

Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Timing determined by timing of grant round; this is SFF's fifth grant round and the first with a grant to this grantee.

Other notes: Jed McCaleb, the other funder participating in the grant round, grants $51,000 to the grantee. Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 1.55%.

Similarity to other donors

Sorry, we couldn't find any similar donors.