Open Philanthropy donations made (filtered to cause areas matching Macroeconomic stabilization policy)

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)GiveWell Good Ventures
Best overview URLhttps://causeprioritization.org/Open%20Philanthropy%20Project
Facebook username openphilanthropy
Websitehttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/
Donations URLhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants
Twitter usernameopen_phil
PredictionBook usernameOpenPhilUnofficial
Page on philosophy informing donationshttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/about/vision-and-values
Grant application process pagehttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/guide-for-grant-seekers
Regularity with which donor updates donations datacontinuous updates
Regularity with which Donations List Website updates donations data (after donor update)continuous updates
Lag with which donor updates donations datamonths
Lag with which Donations List Website updates donations data (after donor update)days
Data entry method on Donations List WebsiteManual (no scripts used)

Brief history: Open Philanthropy (Open Phil for short) spun off from GiveWell, starting as GiveWell Labs in 2011, beginning to make strong progress in 2013, and formally separating from GiveWell as the "Open Philanthropy Project" in June 2017. In 2020, it started going by "Open Philanthropy" dropping the "Project" word.

Brief notes on broad donor philosophy and major focus areas: Open Philanthropy is focused on openness in two ways: open to ideas about cause selection, and open in explaining what they are doing. It has endorsed "hits-based giving" and is working on areas of AI risk, biosecurity and pandemic preparedness, and other global catastrophic risks, criminal justice reform (United States), animal welfare, and some other areas.

Notes on grant decision logistics: See https://www.openphilanthropy.org/blog/our-grantmaking-so-far-approach-and-process for the general grantmaking process and https://www.openphilanthropy.org/blog/questions-we-ask-ourselves-making-grant for more questions that grant investigators are encouraged to consider. Every grant has a grant investigator that we call the influencer here on Donations List Website; for focus areas that have Program Officers, the grant investigator is usually the Program Officer. The grant investigator has been included in grants published since around July 2017. Grants usually need approval from an executive; however, some grant investigators have leeway to make "discretionary grants" where the approval process is short-circuited; see https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/discretionary-grants for more. Note that the term "discretionary grant" means something different for them compared to government agencies, see https://www.facebook.com/vipulnaik.r/posts/10213483361534364 for more.

Notes on grant publication logistics: Every publicly disclosed grant has a writeup published at the time of public disclosure, but the writeups vary significantly in length. Grant writeups are usually written by somebody other than the grant investigator, but approved by the grant investigator as well as the grantee. Grants have three dates associated with them: an internal grant decision date (that is not publicly revealed but is used in some statistics on total grant amounts decided by year), a grant date (which we call donation date; this is the date of the formal grant commitment, which is the published grant date), and a grant announcement date (which we call donation announcement date; the date the grant is announced to the mailing list and the grant page made publicly visible). Lags are a few months between decision and grant, and a few months between grant and announcement, due to time spent with grant writeup approval.

Notes on grant financing: See https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/guide-for-grant-seekers or https://www.openphilanthropy.org/about/who-we-are for more information. Grants generally come from the Open Philanthropy Fund, a donor-advised fund managed by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, with most of its money coming from Good Ventures. Some grants are made directly by Good Ventures, and political grants may be made by the Open Philanthropy Action Fund. At least one grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/criminal-justice-reform/working-families-party-prosecutor-reforms-new-york was made by Cari Tuna personally. The majority of grants are financed by the Open Philanthropy Project Fund; however, the source of financing of a grant is not always explicitly specified, so it cannot be confidently assumed that a grant with no explicit listed financing is financed through the Open Philanthropy Project Fund; see the comment https://www.openphilanthropy.org/blog/october-2017-open-thread?page=2#comment-462 for more information. Funding for multi-year grants is usually disbursed annually, and the amounts are often equal across years, but not always. The fact that a grant is multi-year, or the distribution of the grant amount across years, are not always explicitly stated on the grant page; see https://www.openphilanthropy.org/blog/october-2017-open-thread?page=2#comment-462 for more information. Some grants to universities are labeled "gifts" but this is a donee classification, based on different levels of bureaucratic overhead and funder control between grants and gifts; see https://www.openphilanthropy.org/blog/october-2017-open-thread?page=2#comment-462 for more information.

Miscellaneous notes: Most GiveWell-recommended grants made by Good Ventures and listed in the Open Philanthropy database are not listed on Donations List Website as being under Open Philanthropy. Specifically, GiveWell Incubation Grants are not included (these are listed at https://donations.vipulnaik.com/donor.php?donor=GiveWell+Incubation+Grants with donor GiveWell Incubation Grants), and grants made by Good Ventures to GiveWell top and standout charities are also not included (these are listed at https://donations.vipulnaik.com/donor.php?donor=Good+Ventures%2FGiveWell+top+and+standout+charities with donor Good Ventures/GiveWell top and standout charities). Grants to support GiveWell operations are not included here; they can be found at https://donations.vipulnaik.com/donor.php?donor=Good+Ventures%2FGiveWell+support with donor "Good Ventures/GiveWell support".The investment https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/farm-animal-welfare/impossible-foods in Impossible Foods is not included because it does not fit our criteria for a donation, and also because no amount was included. All other grants publicly disclosed by open philanthropy that are not GiveWell Incubation Grants or GiveWell top and standout charity grants should be included. Grants disclosed by grantees but not yet disclosed by Open Philanthropy are not included; some of them may be listed at https://issarice.com/open-philanthropy-project-non-grant-funding

Donor donation statistics

Cause areaCountMedianMeanMinimum10th percentile 20th percentile 30th percentile 40th percentile 50th percentile 60th percentile 70th percentile 80th percentile 90th percentile Maximum
Overall 33 400,000 580,786 31,500 73,368 100,000 200,000 300,000 400,000 500,000 700,000 1,000,000 1,200,000 4,000,000
Macroeconomic stabilization policy 33 400,000 580,786 31,500 73,368 100,000 200,000 300,000 400,000 500,000 700,000 1,000,000 1,200,000 4,000,000

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 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Macroeconomic stabilization policy (filter this donor) 33 13 19,165,947.00 5,073,368.00 2,567,079.00 3,150,000.00 2,450,000.00 1,405,000.00 1,906,500.00 2,179,000.00 435,000.00
Total 33 13 19,165,947.00 5,073,368.00 2,567,079.00 3,150,000.00 2,450,000.00 1,405,000.00 1,906,500.00 2,179,000.00 435,000.00

Graph of spending by cause area and year (incremental, not cumulative)

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Graph of spending by cause area and year (cumulative)

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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 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Macroeconomic stabilization policy 30 12 18,915,947.00 5,073,368.00 2,517,079.00 3,150,000.00 2,250,000.00 1,405,000.00 1,906,500.00 2,179,000.00 435,000.00
Macroeconomic stabilization policy/automatic fiscal stabilizers 3 3 250,000.00 0.00 50,000.00 0.00 200,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Classified total 33 13 19,165,947.00 5,073,368.00 2,567,079.00 3,150,000.00 2,450,000.00 1,405,000.00 1,906,500.00 2,179,000.00 435,000.00
Unclassified total 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total 33 13 19,165,947.00 5,073,368.00 2,567,079.00 3,150,000.00 2,450,000.00 1,405,000.00 1,906,500.00 2,179,000.00 435,000.00

Graph of spending by subcause area and year (incremental, not cumulative)

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Graph of spending by subcause area and year (cumulative)

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Donation amounts by donee and year

Donee Cause area Metadata Total 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Center for Popular Democracy (filter this donor) WP 5,644,000.00 0.00 465,000.00 600,000.00 1,200,000.00 1,100,000.00 0.00 2,179,000.00 100,000.00
Dezernat Zukunft (filter this donor) 4,302,079.00 4,000,000.00 202,079.00 100,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Employ America (filter this donor) 3,550,000.00 1,000,000.00 1,250,000.00 1,300,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Economic Policy Institute (filter this donor) FB Tw WP Site 1,750,000.00 0.00 550,000.00 0.00 700,000.00 0.00 500,000.00 0.00 0.00
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (filter this donor) FB Tw WP Site 1,110,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 350,000.00 0.00 425,000.00 0.00 335,000.00
Washington Center for Equitable Growth (filter this donor) 850,000.00 0.00 0.00 750,000.00 100,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Peterson Institute for International Economics (filter this donor) FB Tw WP Site 650,000.00 0.00 0.00 400,000.00 0.00 0.00 250,000.00 0.00 0.00
Center for American Progress (filter this donor) FB Tw WP Site 500,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 500,000.00 0.00 0.00
Center for Popular Democracy Action Fund (filter this donor) 436,500.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 100,000.00 305,000.00 31,500.00 0.00 0.00
Roosevelt Institute (filter this donor) FB Tw WP Site 200,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 200,000.00 0.00 0.00
Positive Money Europe (filter this donor) 73,368.00 73,368.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
The Center on Poverty and Inequality (filter this donor) 50,000.00 0.00 50,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Urban Institute (filter this donor) FB Tw WP Site 50,000.00 0.00 50,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total -- -- 19,165,947.00 5,073,368.00 2,567,079.00 3,150,000.00 2,450,000.00 1,405,000.00 1,906,500.00 2,179,000.00 435,000.00

Graph of spending by donee and year (incremental, not cumulative)

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Graph of spending by donee and year (cumulative)

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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 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Alexander Berger 32 13 15,165,947.00 1,073,368.00 2,567,079.00 3,150,000.00 2,450,000.00 1,405,000.00 1,906,500.00 2,179,000.00 435,000.00
Peter Favaloro 1 1 4,000,000.00 4,000,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Classified total 33 13 19,165,947.00 5,073,368.00 2,567,079.00 3,150,000.00 2,450,000.00 1,405,000.00 1,906,500.00 2,179,000.00 435,000.00
Unclassified total 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total 33 13 19,165,947.00 5,073,368.00 2,567,079.00 3,150,000.00 2,450,000.00 1,405,000.00 1,906,500.00 2,179,000.00 435,000.00

Graph of spending by influencer and year (incremental, not cumulative)

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Graph of spending by influencer and year (cumulative)

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Donation amounts by disclosures and year

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Donation amounts by country and year

If you hover over a cell for a given country 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.

Country Number of donations Number of donees Total 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
United States 29 11 14,790,500.00 1,000,000.00 2,365,000.00 3,050,000.00 2,450,000.00 1,405,000.00 1,906,500.00 2,179,000.00 435,000.00
Europe 3 2 4,173,368.00 4,073,368.00 0.00 100,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Germany 1 1 202,079.00 0.00 202,079.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Classified total 33 13 19,165,947.00 5,073,368.00 2,567,079.00 3,150,000.00 2,450,000.00 1,405,000.00 1,906,500.00 2,179,000.00 435,000.00
Unclassified total 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total 33 13 19,165,947.00 5,073,368.00 2,567,079.00 3,150,000.00 2,450,000.00 1,405,000.00 1,906,500.00 2,179,000.00 435,000.00

Graph of spending by country and year (incremental, not cumulative)

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Graph of spending by country and year (cumulative)

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

Title (URL linked)Publication dateAuthorPublisherAffected donorsAffected doneesAffected influencersDocument scopeCause areaNotes
Open Philanthropy Project Update: U.S. Policy2015-03-10Holden Karnofsky Open PhilanthropyOpen Philanthropy Broad donor strategyCause prioritization,Criminal justice reform,Animal welfare,Macroeconomic stabilization policy,Migration policy,Drug policyOriginally published on the GiveWell blog at https://blog.givewell.org/2015/03/10/open-philanthropy-project-update-u-s-policy/ where comments can still be found. This is an annual update on where the Open Philanthropy Project stands on its investigation of United States policy issues. Some of the cause areas covered under what they call United States policy would later include grants to outside the United States (in particular, animal welfare), while others, such as criminal justice reform and macroeconomic stabilization policy, would remain within the United States.
Potential U.S. Policy Focus Areas2014-05-29Holden Karnofsky Open PhilanthropyOpen Philanthropy Broad donor strategyCause prioritization|Criminal justice reform|Drug policy|Migration policy|Macroeconomic stabilization policy|Global health and development|Climate change|Tax policyThe blog post reviews the current understanding of the Open Philanthropy Project of various cause areas that they are considering for their grantmaking. They break up the cause areas discussed as: Windows of opportunity: outstanding tractability (i.e., "the time is right"), Ambitious longshots: outstanding importance, and Green fields: outstanding "room for more philanthropy". Other causes of interest (that do not neatly fit into one of these boxes) are also discussed.
Macroeconomic policy2014-05-01Open PhilanthropyOpen Philanthropy Review of current state of cause areaMacroeconomic stabilization policyInitial findings from a medium-depth investigation into the current state of macroeconomic stabilization policy.

Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (33 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 33)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
Dezernat Zukunft4,000,000.0012021-07Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/dezernat-zukunft-general-support-and-regrantingPeter Favaloro Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support|Regranting

Intended use of funds: Grant "for general support and re-granting to budding and established organizations working on monetary and fiscal policy throughout Europe. Dezernat Zukunft is a nonpartisan German think tank that focuses on European monetary and fiscal policy, prioritizing employment gains, widely shared prosperity, and a more sustainable macroeconomic environment."

Other notes: Intended funding timeframe in months: 24; affected countries: Europe.
Employ America1,000,000.0062021-05Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/employ-america-general-support-2021Alexander Berger Donation process: This is a total across two grants.

Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Intended use of funds: The grant page says: "Employ America makes the public and intellectual case for policies that support full employment and seeks to build a broad set of allies to further that goal. It produces research and analysis on the state of the labor market and current and potential macroeconomic policies and policymakers. Employ America was founded by Sam Bell, who has consulted for us and our grantee Fed Up."

Other notes: Affected countries: United States.
Positive Money Europe73,368.00302021-01Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/positive-money-europeAlexander Berger Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support research and advocacy on macroeconomic policy in the Eurozone."

Other notes: Currency info: donation given as 60,000.00 EUR; affected countries: Europe.
Dezernat Zukunft202,079.00232020-11Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/dezernat-zukunft-monetary-and-fiscal-policy-2020Alexander Berger Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant to support "work on monetary and fiscal policy in Europe. Dezernat Zukunft is a nonpartisan German think tank that seeks to gear European monetary and fiscal policies toward encouraging employment gains and sharing prosperity more widely. Dezernat Zukunft plans to use these funds to hire staff to encourage fiscal expansion in Germany."

Donor retrospective of the donation: The followup grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/dezernat-zukunft-general-support-and-regranting (2021-07) suggests continued satisfaction with the grantee.

Other notes: Currency info: donation given as 170,000.00 EUR (conversion done via donor calculation); affected countries: Germany.
Urban Institute50,000.00312020-11Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/urban-institute-counter-cyclical-state-funding-mechanismsAlexander Berger Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support a report on implementing countercyclical state funding mechanisms as a means to support states and localities in managing the effects of economic shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic and recession."

Other notes: Affected countries: United States.
Economic Policy Institute550,000.00122020-08Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/economic-policy-institute-macroeconomic-policy-research-2020Alexander Berger Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: The grant page says: "EPI plans to use these funds to continue to produce policy-relevant research on the ways in which macroeconomic policy can boost living standards for working Americans, including work on different aspects of the relationships between unemployment, wage growth, inflation, and productivity."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): No explicit reasons are given for the amount; it is a little less than the amount ($700,000) of the previous two-year grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/economic-policy-institute-macroeconomic-policy-research-2018 (2018-07).

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): The grant is made right around the end of the timeframe of the previous two-year grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/economic-policy-institute-macroeconomic-policy-research-2018 (2018-07).
Intended funding timeframe in months: 24

Other notes: Affected countries: United States.
Employ America1,250,000.0032020-07Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/employ-america-general-support-2020Alexander Berger Donation process: This is a total across two grants.

Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Intended use of funds: The grant page says: "Employ America makes the public and intellectual case for policies that support full employment and seeks to build a broad set of allies to further that goal. It produces research and analysis on the state of the labor market and current and potential macroeconomic policies and policymakers. Employ America is led by Sam Bell, who has consulted for us and our grantee Fed Up."

Donor retrospective of the donation: The followup grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/employ-america-general-support-2021 (2021-05) suggests continued satisfaction with the grantee.

Other notes: Affected countries: United States.
Center for Popular Democracy465,000.00152020-06Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-up-campaign-2020Alexander Berger Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support the “Fed Up” campaign. The campaign aims to encourage more accommodative monetary policies and greater transparency and public engagement in the governance of the Federal Reserve. Fed Up plans to use this funding to build up grassroots support for policies that prioritize full employment during and following the current economic crisis."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page does not discuss reasons, but a reasonable inference based on the information on the page as well as the previous grant page https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-up-campaign-2019 is that the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic motivated the grant. A goal of the Fed Up campaign is to make the Fed care more about unemployment, and the COVID-19-induced recession is a time when this concern becomes particularly salient.

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): This is not a renewal grant; the time period for the preceding two-year grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-up-campaign-2019 (2019-11) is still ongoing. Based on the grant description, the timing of this grant seems to be due to the COVID-19-induced economic recession; the grant is made about three months after the COVID-19-induced decline in economic activity.

Other notes: Affected countries: United States.
The Center on Poverty and Inequality50,000.00312020-01Macroeconomic stabilization policy/automatic fiscal stabilizershttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/georgetown-university-center-on-poverty-and-inequalityAlexander Berger Donation process: The grant is via Georgetown University, where the Center on Poverty ad Inequality is housed.

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support the Center on Poverty and Inequality’s work on enhancing automatic fiscal stabilizers. Automatic fiscal stabilizers are taxes and government programs that respond automatically to changing economic conditions, and do not require additional Congressional action."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says, of the research topic: "We believe [automatic fiscal stabilizers] are important for mitigating the effects of economic downturns."

Other notes: Affected countries: United States.
Dezernat Zukunft100,000.00252019-12Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/dezernat-zukunft-macroeconomic-stabilizationAlexander Berger Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant to support "work on monetary and fiscal policy in Europe. Currently run by volunteers, Dezernat Zukunft is a nonpartisan German think tank that seeks to gear European monetary and fiscal policies towards encouraging employment gains and sharing prosperity more widely. Dezernat Zukunft plans to use these funds to increase its organizational capacity, specifically by hiring a full-time staff person, and to support its ability to disseminate innovative macroeconomic policy proposals among policymakers, the press, and the general public."

Donor retrospective of the donation: Followup grants https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/dezernat-zukunft-monetary-and-fiscal-policy-2020 (2020-11) and https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/dezernat-zukunft-general-support-and-regranting (2021-07) suggest continued satisfaction with the grantee.

Other notes: Currency info: donation given as 91,000.00 EUR (conversion done via donor calculation); affected countries: Europe.
Center for Popular Democracy600,000.00112019-11Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-up-campaign-2019Alexander Berger Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support the “Fed Up” campaign. The campaign aims to encourage more accommodative monetary policies and greater transparency and public engagement in the governance of the Federal Reserve."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "As labor market conditions have improved, we’ve become less confident about the appropriate short term stance of monetary policy, but we continue to believe it to be worthwhile to support the campaign through the next recession, when its advocacy might be especially useful and when we could better evaluate its impact."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The amount, this time for two years, is significantly less than the amounts of previous one-year grants in 2016, 2017, and 2018 (over $1 million each).

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): The grant is made after the end of the 2018 grant, but not immediately afterward; it is made in late 2019. The reasons for the gap in timing are unclear.
Intended funding timeframe in months: 24

Donor thoughts on making further donations to the donee: The grant page notes that the next recession would be an occasion to better evaluate the impact of the Fed Up campaign.

Donor retrospective of the donation: The followup grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-up-campaign-2020 (2020-06) is made in light of the recession induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other notes: Unlike the two preceding grants to CPD, this grant is not accompanied by any (publicly announced) grant to CPD Action. Affected countries: United States.
Washington Center for Equitable Growth750,000.0082019-11Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/washington-center-for-equitable-growth-macroeconomic-policy-researchAlexander Berger Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to hire a director of macroeconomic policy and research staff. The Washington Center for Equitable Growth conducts and funds research on the effect of economic inequality on economic growth and stability in the United States. It recently partnered with the Hamilton Project to publish the book Recession Ready: Fiscal Policies to Stabilize the American Economy, which proposes policies for preparing for and mitigating the long-term effects of the next economic recession."

Other notes: Intended funding timeframe in months: 24; affected countries: United States.
Employ America1,000,000.0062019-10Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/employ-america-general-support-october-2019Alexander Berger Donation process: This is a total across two grants.

Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Intended use of funds: The grant page says: "Employ America makes the public and intellectual case for policies that support full employment and seeks to build a broad set of allies to further that goal. It produces research and analysis on the state of the labor market and current and potential macroeconomic policies and policymakers. Employ America is led by Sam Bell, who has consulted for us and our grantee Fed Up."

Donor retrospective of the donation: Followup grants such as https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/employ-america-general-support-2020 (2020-07) suggest continued satisfaction with the grantee.

Other notes: Affected countries: United States.
Employ America300,000.00202019-04Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/employ-america-start-upAlexander Berger Donation process: This is a total across two grants, one of which is being made by the Open Philanthropy Action Fund.

Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Intended use of funds: Grant "to help launch Employ America and cover a six-month pilot period." The grant page says: "Employ America will focus on making the public and intellectual case for policies that support full employment and building a broader set of allies to further that goal, especially with an eye to the next economic downturn. In order to do so, it will produce research and analysis on the state of the labor market and current and potential macroeconomic policies and policymakers. It will be led by Sam Bell, who has previously consulted for us and our grantee Fed Up."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "As labor market conditions have improved over the last few years, we’ve become less confident about the appropriate short term stance of monetary policy, but we continue to believe it is worthwhile to support research and advocacy like this, at least through the next recession."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The amount is likely determined based on how much is needed for an initial 6-month startup.

Donor retrospective of the donation: Several followup grants starting with https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/employ-america-general-support-october-2019 (2019-10) suggest continued satisfaction with the grantee.

Other notes: Intended funding timeframe in months: 6; affected countries: United States; announced: 2019-05-29.
Peterson Institute for International Economics (Earmark: Karen Dynan|Jason Furman)400,000.00172019-01Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/peterson-institute-international-economics-macroeconomic-projectsAlexander Berger Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: The grant funds two projects by nonresident fellows: (1) "Karen Dynan, a PIIE nonresident senior fellow, Harvard professor, and former chief economist at the Treasury Department, will study the optimal design of automatic stabilizer programs — taxes and government programs that respond automatically to changing economic conditions." (2) "Jason Furman, a PIIE nonresident senior fellow and formerly chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, will study the costs and benefits of allowing employment to exceed some estimates of full employment."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "We see these both as crucially important questions in macroeconomic stabilization policy and believe Dynan and Furman are especially well-placed to address them in an influential and informative fashion."

Other notes: Intended funding timeframe in months: 24; affected countries: United States; announced: 2019-05-17.
Washington Center for Equitable Growth100,000.00252018-10Macroeconomic stabilization policy/automatic fiscal stabilizershttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/washington-center-for-equitable-growth-automatic-stabilizers-conferenceAlexander Berger Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to host a conference, in partnership with the Hamilton Project, on a framework for thinking about optimal design of automatic stabilizer programs as well as specific suggestions for reforms. Automatic fiscal stabilizers are taxes and government programs that respond automatically to changing economic conditions, and do not require additional Congressional action. [...] The conference will bring together macroeconomists who are interested in automatic stabilizers as a way to fight recession and academics and advocates who focus on the mechanics of various programs, such as the unemployment insurance system."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: On the subject (automatic fiscal stabilizers) that this grant is funding a conference for, the grant page says: "We believe [automatic fiscal stabilizers] are important for mitigating the effects of economic downturns. [...] will hopefully complement work in this area (by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities." https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-budget-and-policy-priorities-automatic-stabilizers is the linked grant to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Other notes: Intended funding timeframe in months: 1; affected countries: United States; announced: 2018-11-26.
Economic Policy Institute700,000.00102018-07Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/economic-policy-institute-macroeconomic-policy-research-2018Alexander Berger Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: The grant page says: "EPI plans to use these funds primarily to continue producing policy-relevant research on the ways in which macroeconomic policy can boost living standards for working Americans, including work on different aspects of the relationships between unemployment, wage growth, inflation, and productivity."

Donor retrospective of the donation: The followup grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/economic-policy-institute-macroeconomic-policy-research-2020 (2020-08) suggests continued satisfaction with the grantee.

Other notes: Intended funding timeframe in months: 24; affected countries: United States; announced: 2018-08-15.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities250,000.00212018-07Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-budget-and-policy-priorities-full-employment-project-2018Alexander Berger Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support the Full Employment Project."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: This is an exit grant; the grant page says: "We continue to think the Project’s work is important but do not have a clear sense of how much of a difference marginal funding makes in driving that work forward. This grant will bring us to five years of supporting the Full Employment Project, and at this point we want to take the opportunity to step back and see if other funders may be interested in supporting the Project."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The amount is likely determined to be enough to provide about a year of support, as is typical for exit grants.

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): The timing is likely determined by the previous grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-budget-and-policy-priorities-full-employment-project-2016 (2016-07) running out.
Intended funding timeframe in months: 12

Donor thoughts on making further donations to the donee: This is an exit grant, so there are no plans for further grants for the Full Employment Project. Open Philanthropy also made a grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-budget-and-policy-priorities-automatic-stabilizers (2018-05) to CBPP for automatic fiscal stabilizers, so it doesn't look like Open Philanthropy is exiting all grantmaking to CBPP.

Other notes: Affected countries: United States; announced: 2018-08-02.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities100,000.00252018-05Macroeconomic stabilization policy/automatic fiscal stabilizershttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-budget-and-policy-priorities-automatic-stabilizersAlexander Berger Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support work on enhancing automatic fiscal stabilizers. Automatic fiscal stabilizers are taxes and government programs that respond automatically to changing economic conditions, and do not require additional Congressional action."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "[Automatic fiscal stabilizers] are important for mitigating the effects of economic downturns. We believe CBPP, which has done work in this area before, is a strong candidate to advance these policies given its combination of relevant relationships and deep knowledge of these issues."

Other notes: Affected countries: United States; announced: 2018-06-21.
Center for Popular Democracy Action Fund100,000.00252018-02Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-action-fund-fed-campaign-2018Alexander Berger Donation process: Grant made via the Open Philanthropy Action Fund; this complements the grant made by Open Philanthropy directly to the Center for Popular Democracy (the associated 501(c)(3)) at https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-action-fund-fed-campaign-2018 (2018-02).

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support the “Fed Up” campaign. The campaign aims to encourage more accommodative monetary policies and greater transparency and public engagement in the governance of the Federal Reserve. [...] CPD Action expects to use this funding primarily for lobbying activities associated with the campaign."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "As labor market conditions have improved, we’ve become less confident about the appropriate short term stance of monetary policy, but we continue to believe it to be worthwhile to support the campaign through the next recession, when its advocacy might be especially useful and when we could better evaluate its impact." It also links to the corresponding CPD grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-action-fund-fed-campaign-2018 for more context.

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): No explicit reasons are given for the amount; it is 1/12 of the amount for the corresponding CPD grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-action-fund-fed-campaign-2018 (2018-02) of about $1.2 million.

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): The timing is coordinated with the corresponding CPD grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2017 whose timing in turn is based on an annual cadence of granting.
Intended funding timeframe in months: 12

Donor retrospective of the donation: As of November 2021, Open Philanthropy has made no further grants to the CPD Action Fund, though it has made two further grants to CPD. The reasons for ending the practice of complementary graants to the Action Fund are not clear.

Other notes: Affected countries: United States; announced: 2018-03-23.
Center for Popular Democracy1,200,000.0042018-02Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2018Alexander Berger Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support the “Fed Up” campaign. The campaign aims to encourage more accommodative monetary policies and greater transparency and public engagement in the governance of the Federal Reserve."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "As labor market conditions have improved, we’ve become less confident about the appropriate short term stance of monetary policy, but we continue to believe it to be worthwhile to support the campaign through the next recession, when its advocacy might be especially useful and when we could better evaluate its impact."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): No specific reasons are given for the amount, but it roughly matches the amounts of the previous years: $1,100,000 for 2017 and $1,429,000 for 2016.

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): The previous grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2017 was for the 2017 year, so with the end of the year, funds are needed for 2017's Fed Up campaign.
Intended funding timeframe in months: 12

Donor thoughts on making further donations to the donee: The grant page notes that the next recession would be an occasion to better evaluate the impact of the Fed Up campaign.

Donor retrospective of the donation: Followup grants include https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-up-campaign-2019 (2019-11) and https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-up-campaign-2020 (2020-06). The latter grant is made in light of the recession induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other notes: An associated grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-action-fund-fed-campaign-2018 is made to the CPD Action Fund by the Open Philanthropy Action Fund. Affected countries: United States; announced: 2018-03-23.
Center for Popular Democracy Action Fund305,000.00192017-02Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-action-fund-fed-campaign-2017Alexander Berger Donation process: Grant made via the Open Philanthropy Action Fund; this complements the grant made by Open Philanthropy directly to the Center for Popular Democracy (the associated 501(c)(3)) at https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2017 (2017-02).

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support the “Fed Up” campaign. The campaign aims to encourage more accommodative monetary policies and greater transparency and public engagement in the governance of the Federal Reserve, and specifically in the selection of regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents and leaders. [...] CPD Action expects to use this funding primarily for lobbying activities associated with the campaign."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page links to the corresponding CPD grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2017 that says: "We decided to renew our support based primarily on CPD’s continued success drawing attention for its agenda from the press, Congress, and the Fed; ongoing opportunities to potentially influence the appointment or priorities of new Federal Reserve governors and regional Fed presidents; and our intention to provide the campaign with enough sustainable funding to last through the next recession, when CPD’s advocacy might be especially useful and when we could better evaluate its performance."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): No explicit reasons are given for the amount; it is about 27% of the amount ($1,100,000) for the corresponding CPD grant, and likely reflects the expected amount of lobbying costs to support the campaign's other costs.

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): The timing is coordinated with the corresponding CPD grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2017 whose timing in turn is based on an annual cadence of granting.
Intended funding timeframe in months: 12

Donor retrospective of the donation: The followup grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-action-fund-fed-campaign-2018 (2018-02, $100,000) suggests continued satisfaction with the grantee, though the size of the followup grant (both absolute and in proportion to the CPD grant) is substantially smaller.

Other notes: As explained at https://groups.google.com/a/openphilanthropy.org/forum/#!topic/newly.published/F-AE_gVn6Zg the grant announcement was delayed till Open Philanthropy was completely separate from GiveWell. Affected countries: United States; announced: 2017-12-28.
Center for Popular Democracy1,100,000.0052017-02Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2017Alexander Berger Donation process: This renewal grant for CPD's Fed Up campaign is based on a review of the campaign's performance so far as well as changes to the political and economic environment.

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support the “Fed Up” campaign. The campaign aims to encourage more accommodative monetary policies and greater transparency and public engagement in the governance of the Federal Reserve, and specifically in the selection of regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents and leaders. [...] CPD expects to use this funding toward campaign expenses such as salaries, travel, sub-grants, and overhead."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "We decided to renew our support based primarily on CPD’s continued success drawing attention for its agenda from the press, Congress, and the Fed; ongoing opportunities to potentially influence the appointment or priorities of new Federal Reserve governors and regional Fed presidents; and our intention to provide the campaign with enough sustainable funding to last through the next recession, when CPD’s advocacy might be especially useful and when we could better evaluate its performance. [...] However, our primary reason for continuing to support the campaign is that we believe it may be able to potentially prevent extraordinary harm during the next recession, when we think it will be more likely to have a meaningful short-term influence (as compared to the current gradual tightening cycle)."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): No specific reasons are given for the amount; it is less than the $1,429,000 given the previous year.

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): The previous grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2016 was for the 2016 year, so with the end of the year, funds are needed for 2017's Fed Up campaign.
Intended funding timeframe in months: 12

Donor retrospective of the donation: A followup grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2018 suggests continued satisfaction with the grantee, though it notes: "As labor market conditions have improved, we’ve become less confident about the appropriate short term stance of monetary policy." There are further followup grants in 2019 and 2020.

Other notes: The grant page says: "Since our last grant, one new area of uncertainty introduced for the campaign is the degree to which the Trump administration and a unified Republican Congress might support policies that reduce the need for expansionary monetary policy. Additionally, as unemployment rates have declined, we have become less confident in the appropriate short-term stance of monetary policy, and could imagine disagreeing with the Fed Up campaign about the appropriate direction for interest rates to move." An associated grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-action-fund-fed-campaign-2017 is made to the CPD Action Fund by the Open Philanthropy Action Fund. Affected countries: United States; announced: 2017-12-28.
Center for Popular Democracy Action Fund31,500.00332016-10Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-action-fund-fed-campaign-october-2016Alexander Berger Donation process: Discretionary grant made via the Open Philanthropy Action Fund; this complements grants made by Open Philanthropy directly to the Center for Popular Democracy (the associated 501(c)(3)) such as https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2016 (2015-12).

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support the “Fed Up” campaign. The campaign aims to encourage more accommodative monetary policies and greater transparency and public engagement in the governance of the Federal Reserve, and specifically in the selection of regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents and leaders. [...] CPD Action expects to use this funding primarily for lobbying activities associated with the campaign."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "We have written in more detail about our rationale for supporting this campaign on our 2014, 2015, and 2016 grant pages to the Center for Popular Democracy, a 501(c)(3) affiliated with CPD Action." The rationale for the most recent grant to CPD as of that time is provided at https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2016#Case_for_this_grant and includes details on why Open Phil thinks the Fed is too focused on the risk of inflation and not enough on unemployment, and that the campaign being funded can help shift the balance.

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): No specific reasons are given for the amount; for context, it is only about 2% of the corresponding grant to CPD ($1,429,000) and likely reflects the expected costs of lobbying activities to properly complement the campaign. Note that since the grant is made late in te year compared to the CPD grant, it likely only covers 4 months of the year, so after normalizing for time it is about 6% of the CPD grant.

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): The timing is likely partly determined by the timing of the Fed Up campaign, but the campaign is ongoing so this doesn't really help narrow down the timing much.
Intended funding timeframe in months: 4

Donor retrospective of the donation: Larger followup grants https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-action-fund-fed-campaign-2017 (2017-02) and https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-action-fund-fed-campaign-2018 (2018-02) suggest continued satisfaction with the grantee.

Other notes: As explained at https://groups.google.com/a/openphilanthropy.org/forum/#!topic/newly.published/FrHyHKPNy-M the grant announcement was delayed till Open Philanthropy was completely separate from GiveWell. Affected countries: United States; announced: 2018-01-19.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities425,000.00162016-07Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-budget-and-policy-priorities-full-employment-project-2016Alexander Berger Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant to support the Full Employment Project. It renews the original grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-budget-and-policy-priorities-full-employment-project made in 2014. Open Philanthropy describes two main areas supported by these grants: (1) "Preparing for the next U.S. recession, which we would guess is likely to occur before interest rates return to “normal” levels." (2) "Making the case for the importance of continued focus on reducing unemployment and against premature monetary tightening today." The grant page also says: "Our understanding is that our marginal funding will support CBPP to undertake a project commissioning outside macroeconomists to develop their own estimates of potential output of the U.S. economy, based on the possibility that the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate may be too low."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "It is also one in a series of grants attempting to build up the capacity of progressive think tanks on macroeconomic policy issues we see as important. [...] Our key uncertainty for this grant, along with our other grants to think tanks for work on macroeconomic policy, is whether work by think tanks on these issues is likely to sway decisionmakers at the Fed or in Congress. We would guess that the work we support is relatively unlikely to affect policy, but that if it did our support would be justified many times over, and we see that as a bet worth taking."

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): No explicit reasons for timing are given, but it looks like CBPP has found opportunities to expand the scope of the Full Employment Project around the end of its original 28-month duration.
Intended funding timeframe in months: 24

Donor retrospective of the donation: The followup grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-budget-and-policy-priorities-full-employment-project-2018 (2018-07) is an exit grant, where Open Philanthropy writes: "We continue to think the Project’s work is important but do not have a clear sense of how much of a difference marginal funding makes in driving that work forward."

Other notes: Affected countries: United States; announced: 2016-10-25.
Economic Policy Institute500,000.00132016-06Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/economic-policy-institute-macroeconomic-policy-researchAlexander Berger Donation process: The grantee submitted a proposal available at https://www.openphilanthropy.org/files/Grants/EPI/EPI_Open_Phil.pdf that includes proposed research investigations and activities.

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: The grant page describes two main areas supported by the grant: (1) "Preparing for the next U.S. recession, which we would guess is likely to occur before interest rates return to “normal” levels." (2) "Making the case for the importance of continued focus on reducing unemployment and against premature monetary tightening today." https://www.openphilanthropy.org/files/Grants/EPI/EPI_Open_Phil.pdf has more details on proposed activities.

Donor retrospective of the donation: Followup grants https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/economic-policy-institute-macroeconomic-policy-research-2018 (2018-07) and https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/economic-policy-institute-macroeconomic-policy-research-2020 (2020-08) suggest continued satisfaction with the grantee.

Other notes: Affected countries: United States; announced: 2016-10-25.
Roosevelt Institute200,000.00242016-06Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/roosevelt-institute-macroeconomic-policy-researchAlexander Berger Donation process: Roosevelt Institute submitted a concept paper https://www.openphilanthropy.org/files/Grants/Roosevelt_Institute/Roosevelt_Concept_Paper_Mar_2016-final.pdf for the grant in March 2016.

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: The grant page identifies two main areas supported by the grants: (1) "Preparing for the next U.S. recession, which we would guess is likely to occur before interest rates return to “normal” levels." (2) "Making the case for the importance of continued focus on reducing unemployment and against premature monetary tightening today." It continues: "Our funding will allow existing Roosevelt staff to focus on these issues, as well as supporting the hiring of an additional staff economist and part-time research assistant. These researchers plan to undertake two projects on the topics listed above: one to build out the monetary policy toolkit available to the Fed (“Monetary Policy Toolkit”), and one to investigate the potential for continued recovery from the Great Recession (“Anti-Hysteresis”). More about these projects is laid out in Roosevelt’s concept paper https://www.openphilanthropy.org/files/Grants/Roosevelt_Institute/Roosevelt_Concept_Paper_Mar_2016-final.pdf for this grant."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "This is one in a series of grants attempting to build up the capacity of progressive think tanks on macroeconomic policy issues we see as important. [...] Our key uncertainty for this grant, along with our other grants to think tanks for work on macroeconomic policy, is whether work by think tanks on these issues is likely to sway decisionmakers at the Fed or in Congress. We would guess that the work we support is relatively unlikely to affect policy, but that if it did our support would be justified many times over, and we see that as a bet worth taking."

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): The timing may have been determined by the timing of the submission of the Roosevelt Institute's concept paper https://www.openphilanthropy.org/files/Grants/Roosevelt_Institute/Roosevelt_Concept_Paper_Mar_2016-final.pdf (March 2016).

Donor retrospective of the donation: As of late 2021, Open Philanthropy has not made any further grants to Roosevelt Institute in the cause area.

Other notes: Affected countries: United States; announced: 2016-10-25.
Peterson Institute for International Economics250,000.00212016-04Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/peterson-institute-international-economics-macroeconomic-stabilizationAlexander Berger Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant to support work on macroeconomic stabilization

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "We are considering making a larger grant to support PIIE to do substantially more work in this area (which is a focus area of ours), and are thinking of the present funding as an opportunity to try working with the organization while we (and they) think more about potential future engagement."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The grant is a relatively small one and is intended to kickstart a relationship with the donee, to decide on whether to make a bigger grant later.

Donor thoughts on making further donations to the donee: The grant page says: "We are considering making a larger grant to support PIIE to do substantially more work in this area (which is a focus area of ours), and are thinking of the present funding as an opportunity to try working with the organization while we (and they) think more about potential future engagement."

Donor retrospective of the donation: A later grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/peterson-institute-international-economics-macroeconomic-projects (2019-01) for $400,000 suggests continued satisfaction with the grantee.

Other notes: Affected countries: United States; announced: 2016-04-29.
Center for American Progress500,000.00132016-03Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-american-progress-macroeconomic-stabilizationAlexander Berger Donation process: The grant page's "Our Process" section says: "Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute had mentioned CAP to us in 2014 as an organization to consider supporting for macroeconomic policy work, but we had not prioritized a conversation because of CAP’s limited work in the area to date. However, when we first spoke with Marc Jarsulic in 2015, he expressed interest in hiring someone to work on macroeconomic stabilization and told us that lack of resources had been the main barrier to prioritizing work in the area. After several subsequent conversations, we decided to recommend a grant of $500,000 over two years." Linked sources include https://www.openphilanthropy.org/files/Grants/CAP/OPP_Monetary_Policy_Plan.pdf (CAP's monetary policy plan) and https://files.givewell.org/files/conversations/Konczal%201-23-14%20(public).pdf (2014-01-23 conversation with Mike Konczal).

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: CAP's plans include: "(1) Hold convenings to better understand the field (2) Produce research reports documenting important factors in macroeconomic stabilization (e.g. the impact of the Taylor rule on income distribution) (3) Produce policy proposals (4) Use its network and outreach capacity to share its research and proposals with the media, Congress, presidential administration, and Federal Reserve."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "CAP provided us with a list of proposed research topics, all of which struck us as potentially worthwhile. Our primary goal for this grant is to increase progressive capacity and attention around macroeconomic policy and business cycle issues. Our impression is that, while there are many labor economists working at progressive think tanks, significantly less attention has been devoted to monetary policy and other macroeconomic stability issues, and that CAP plays a particularly prominent role in setting, and reflecting, the progressive agenda."

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): The timing seems to be determined by the evolution of conversatioons between Open Phil and CAP. The grant page's "Our Process" section says: "Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute had mentioned CAP to us in 2014 as an organization to consider supporting for macroeconomic policy work, but we had not prioritized a conversation because of CAP’s limited work in the area to date. However, when we first spoke with Marc Jarsulic in 2015, he expressed interest in hiring someone to work on macroeconomic stabilization and told us that lack of resources had been the main barrier to prioritizing work in the area. After several subsequent conversations, we decided to recommend a grant of $500,000 over two years."
Intended funding timeframe in months: 24

Donor thoughts on making further donations to the donee: Further grants are not explicitly discussed; the grant page says: "To follow up on this grant, we expect to have a conversation with CAP staff every 6-12 months for the next two years, with public notes if the conversation warrants it. Towards the end of the grant, we plan to attempt a written update about how we see the grant overall."

Donor retrospective of the donation: As of late 2021, there are no further grants from Open Phil to the grantee in this area.

Other notes: The grant page lists three main reservations: (1) "Our basic theory of the case could be wrong for any number of reasons [...]" (2) "CAP could be the wrong partner. [...] macroeconomic stabilization policy could turn out to be a bad fit for the organization." (3) "As always within this area, we could be mistaken about which sorts of policy changes would be beneficial.". Affected countries: United States; announced: 2016-04-19.
Center for Popular Democracy1,429,000.0022015-12Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2016Alexander Berger Donation process: The grant page says: "We monitored the campaign throughout 2015 and had conversations with Ady Barkan of CPD about the campaign’s plans and progress. We followed the media surrounding Fed Up and its interactions with policymakers. Karl Smith, who worked with us in 2015 as a consultant, attended the Jackson Hole Symposium and reviewed some of the campaign’s 2015 activities with us." Elsewhere, it says: "The initial 2016 budget given to us by Fed Up was for $4 million, but we also requested budgets for $2 million and $3 million"

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant supports about half the cost of the Fed Up campaign for 2016. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2016#Budget_and_proposed_activities says: "We expect Fed Up would spend a $3 million budget approximately as follows: $1.5 million regranted to local partners, $650,000 for national staff, $250,000 to national partners, $600,000 for other costs, including events, polling, lobbying, and overhead."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2016#Case_for_this_grant describes reasons for the grant, centered mostly around the Federal Reserve's heavy focus on reducing inflation in the inflation-unemployment tradeoff, and the desire to shift to having it care more about unemployment. It also talks about the benefits of increasing transparency and accountability in the regional Federal Reserve Banks, one of the other areas the Fed Up campaign focuses on.

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The amount is about half of the planned $3 million budget for the campaign in 2016. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2016#Budget_and_proposed_activities says: "The initial 2016 budget given to us by Fed Up was for $4 million, but we also requested budgets for $2 million and $3 million. Each of these budgets would be a substantial increase from 2015. [...] After discussion with CPD, we don’t believe the support from these funders is likely to dramatically increase in the near future."

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): The previous grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2015 was for the 2015 year, so with the end of the year, funds are needed for 2016's Fed Up campaign.
Intended funding timeframe in months: 12

Donor thoughts on making further donations to the donee: https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2016#Plans_for_learning_and_follow-up lists follow-up questions, and says: "When the next recession occurs, we plan to attempt a more holistic and detailed evaluation of the grant’s performance. We may check the transcripts of 2016 FOMC meetings after they are released in 2022 to see whether any of the FOMC members discuss meetings with workers that inform their perspectives on policy."

Donor retrospective of the donation: Followup conversations with Ady Barkan and Shawn Sebastian of grantee organization at https://www.openphilanthropy.org/sites/default/files/Fed_Up_07-14-16_and_08_31_16_and_09_02_16_%28public%29.pdf on 2016-07-14, 2016-08-31, and 2016-09-02. A followup grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2017 (2017) and further grants in later years suggest continued satisfaction with the grantee, though these followup grant writeups reflect more reservations as a result of further improvements in labor market conditions.

Other notes: Conversation with Ady Barkman of grantee organization around the time of the grant allocation at https://www.openphilanthropy.org/sites/default/files/Ady_Barkan_12-8-15_%28public%29.pdf on 2015-12-08. Affected countries: United States; announced: 2016-04-06.
Center for Popular Democracy750,000.0082015-01Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2015Alexander Berger Donation process: https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2015#Our_process refers to the previous grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/center-popular-democracy-federal-reserve-campaign that helped the Fed Up campaign get started. It says: "Prior to deciding about this grant, we had a number of further conversations with Ady Barkan of CPD about the campaign’s plans, followed the initial progress of the campaign in drawing press attention, and looked more deeply into research on monetary policy." https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2015#Process_for_forming_and_vetting_views_on_monetary_policy includes some of the influences in Open Phil's formation of views on monetary policy.

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant for the "campaign (“Fed Up”) that aims to prevent premature tightening of monetary policy and encourage greater transparency and public engagement in the governance of the Federal Reserve." It supports 75% of the campaign's 1-year $1 million budget.

Donor reason for selecting the donee: https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2015#Case_for_this_grant gives three parts to the case for the grant: (1) "A slim probability of moving monetary policy in a marginally more dovish (i.e., lower unemployment, higher inflation) direction." (2) "A reasonable chance of achieving some of the campaign’s procedural goals, including raising the level of transparency around how regional Fed presidents and board member are selected." (3) "Enabling CPD to experiment with an advocacy campaign in this area, potentially laying the groundwork for future advocacy efforts in the area, and testing our hypothesis that advocacy around macroeconomic policy is a promising and relatively neglected philanthropic area." The first consideration dominates the decision to make the grant.

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The grant page says: "We anticipate that this grant will make up roughly 75% of the campaign’s overall funding for the year." https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2015#Room_for_more_funding_and_fungibility says: "The initial budget we saw projected expenses of around $1.5 million, and we decided to contribute roughly half that amount. [...] We take the fact that the budget was revised downward [to $1 million] after our commitment to support the notion that CPD wouldn’t be able to find the amount of funding that we’ve contributed from other sources, and that accordingly our contribution is largely non-fungible.

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): The timing seems largely determined by the initial seed funding grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/center-popular-democracy-federal-reserve-campaign running out and the need to finance the continuation of the campaign.
Intended funding timeframe in months: 12

Donor thoughts on making further donations to the donee: https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2015#Plans_for_learning_and_follow-up lists follow-up questions and says: "Towards the end of the duration of the grant, we plan to attempt a more holistic and detailed evaluation of the grant’s performance, aiming to answer the questions above. As mentioned above, we may check the transcripts of 2015 FOMC meetings after they are released in 2021 to see whether any of the FOMC members discuss meetings with workers that inform their perspectives on policy."

Donor retrospective of the donation: Continued funding by Open Phil of the Fed Up campaign in the later years, starting with https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2016 (2015-12) suggests continued satisfaction with the grantee.

Other notes: The grant page says: "Unlike much of our other output, the complexity of the debates in this area has made it impractical for other GiveWell staff to construct and check a complete trail of evidence and counterarguments for each claim in this review." It also lists https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2015#Process_for_forming_and_vetting_views_on_monetary_policy lists the following economists whose blogs influenced Open Phil's initial impressions on the issue: Paul Krugman, Brad DeLong, Tim Duy, Scott Sumner, and Tyler Cowen. Affected countries: United States; announced: 2015-02-27.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities335,000.00182014-09Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-budget-and-policy-priorities-full-employment-projectAlexander Berger Donation process: https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-budget-and-policy-priorities-full-employment-project#Our_review_process says: "CBPP approached us for support for the project after we had a general conversation about their history and track record and expressed interest in potentially funding advocacy around macroeconomic policy. We shared a draft version of this page with CBPP staff prior to the grant being finalized." https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-budget-and-policy-priorities-full-employment-project#Grant_documents lists a bunch of grant documents submitted.

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant is for the Full Employment Project, with a total budget of $1,0005,000. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-budget-and-policy-priorities-full-employment-project#Grant_documents lists goals of the project, including: getting to full employment, setting a policy agenda for the next recession, and repairing ongoing damage from the Great Recession. Several anticipated activities include commissioning papers, developing options for strengthening automatic stabilizers, assessing and developing policy proposals, and making the case for "full employment" as a day-to-day goal. https://files.givewell.org/files/labs/macroeconomic-policy/CBPP%20Full%20Employment%20Project%20Proposal.pdf has more details.

Donor reason for selecting the donee: https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-budget-and-policy-priorities-full-employment-project#Case_for_this_grant lists reasons: (1) "CBPP’s proposed projects comport well with our provisional take on important topics for research and advocacy in macroeconomic policy." (2) "Because of the above point, we are comfortable with the potential fungibility of this grant." (3) "Beyond direct impact, there are notable benefits to making some early grants in a cause we are exploring (as is the case with macroeconomic policy)."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The amount recommended for the grant, $335,000, is one-third of the total budget of $1,005,000 for the funded project (the Full Employment Project). The grant page says this is "[b]ased in part on the fact that CBPP was planning to approach three funders for this project".

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): The timing seems determined by the timing of CBPP approaching Open Philanthropy with the idea of the grant, and also by Open Philanthropy starting to explore grantmaking in the area.
Intended funding timeframe in months: 28

Donor thoughts on making further donations to the donee: Since this fully funds one-third of the cost of the Full Employment Project, that is for a limited duration, it doesn't look like Open Philanthropy plans to provide follow-up funding for the project. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-budget-and-policy-priorities-full-employment-project#Plans_for_learning_and_follow-up lists some questions and plans for follow-up.

Donor retrospective of the donation: Followup conversation with Jared Bernstein and Ben Spielberg of grantee organization at https://www.openphilanthropy.org/sites/default/files/Jared_Bernstein_and_Ben_Spielberg_10-21-15_%28public%29.pdf on 2015-10-21. A followup grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-budget-and-policy-priorities-full-employment-project-2016 for the Full Employment Project suggests continued satisfaction with the project.

Other notes: Grant in two tranches. The grant page says: "Since we see support for this project as largely fungible with CBPP general support, we expect to make the grant formally unrestricted.". Affected countries: United States; announced: 2014-09-19.
Center for Popular Democracy100,000.00252014-08Macroeconomic stabilization policyhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-federal-reserve-campaignAlexander Berger Donation process: Grantee submitted a proposal at https://files.givewell.org/files/labs/macroeconomic-policy/CPD%20Federal%20Reserve%20Campaign%20Paper%20v2.pdf for the Fed Up Campaign, and Open Philanthropy reviewed it and ultimately decided to provide funds to help kickstart the campaign.

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to launch a campaign to educate the public about monetary policy and encourage the Federal Reserve to give more attention to the full employment portion of its mandate." The campaign would later become known as the Fed Up campaign. The stated rimary goals of the campaign are: (1) Ensure that monetary policy contributes to sustained growth and prosperity. (2) Engage Fed officials in a discussion of the meaning of its “dual mandate.” (3) Ensure that the American public is properly represented on the Boards of Directors of the regional Feds.

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page gives reasons for supporting a shift toward focus on unemployment, also called a "dovish" stance compared to the "hawkish" stance of caring primarily about inflation. It gives two reasons: (a) this stance is better suited to the state of the economy, and (b) current advocacy influencing the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is significantly hawkish since it comes mostly from corporations and the financial industry. The grant page also is more in favor of the third primary goal of more representation of the American public: "there seems to be a strong procedural presumption in favor of a more credible, transparent selection process for regional Federal Reserve Bank board members and, in turn, presidents." The grant is also viewed as a learning grant for Open Philanthropy's exploration of macroeconomic stabilization policy.

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The grant amount seems to have been chosen on the low end ($100,000) and the grant page says "We’re unusually uncertain about this grant" suggesting that this uncertainty was a reason for not making a larger upfront commitment to the campaign.

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): The timing seems to have been determined by a mix of the grantee shopping the grant proposal around and Open Phil becoming interested in grantmaking in the macroeconomic stabilization policy space.

Donor thoughts on making further donations to the donee: The grant page says: "we’re planning to investigate the considerations above in more depth in the coming months (conditional on retaining macroeconomic policy as a high-priority cause) to reach a decision about whether to contribute a more significant portion of the campaign’s overall budget."

Donor retrospective of the donation: A followup conversation https://files.givewell.org/files/conversations/Brian%20Kettenring%2010-16-14%20(public).pdf is published with Brian Kettenring of the grantee organization. Open Phil ultimately decides to fund the Fed Up Campaign at a much larger level starting 2015 with https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2015 (2015-01, $750,000) and writes at https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/macroeconomic-policy/center-popular-democracy-fed-campaign-2015#Campaign_progress_to_date about the campaign progress. Open Phil continues with this funding for several years.

Other notes: The grant was made and the grant page published before the launch of the Open Philanthropy website, and was originally written on the GiveWell website. It includes extensive discussion of the grant and links to several sources that informed the thinking behind the grant. Affected countries: United States; announced: 2014-09-25.

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