Open Philanthropy Project donations made (filtered to cause areas matching Global catastrophic risks)

This is an online portal with information on donations that were announced publicly (or have been shared with permission) that were of interest to Vipul Naik. The git repository with the code for this portal, as well as all the underlying data, is available on GitHub. All payment amounts are in current United States dollars (USD). The repository of donations is being seeded with an initial collation by Issa Rice as well as continued contributions from him (see his commits and the contract work page listing all financially compensated contributions to the site) but all responsibility for errors and inaccuracies belongs to Vipul Naik. Current data is preliminary and has not been completely vetted and normalized; if sharing a link to this site or any page on this site, please include the caveat that the data is preliminary (if you want to share without including caveats, please check with Vipul Naik). We expect to have completed the first round of development by the end of December 2018. See the about page for more details.

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)
AI Watch pagehttps://aiwatch.issarice.com/?organization=Open+Philanthropy+Project

Brief history: The Open Philanthropy Project (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 in June 2017

Brief notes on broad donor philosophy and major focus areas: The Open Philanthropy Project 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. 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 Project 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 Project database are not listed on Donations List Website as being under Open Philanthropy Project. 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 the Open Philanthropy Project 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 the Open Philanthropy Project are not included; some of them may be listed at https://issarice.com/open-philanthropy-project-non-grant-funding

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 2017 2016 2015
Global catastrophic risks (filter this donor) 11 9 12,787,960.00 9,118,301.00 3,169,659.00 500,000.00
Total 11 9 12,787,960.00 9,118,301.00 3,169,659.00 500,000.00

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 2017 2016 2015
Global catastrophic risks/climate change/geoengineering 3 3 3,076,234.00 0.00 2,576,234.00 500,000.00
Global catastrophic risks/climate/HFC 1 1 3,000,000.00 3,000,000.00 0.00 0.00
Global catastrophic risks/nuclear war 1 1 2,982,206.00 2,982,206.00 0.00 0.00
Global catastrophic risks 3 3 2,360,000.00 2,360,000.00 0.00 0.00
Global catastrophic risks/climate engineering governance 1 1 776,095.00 776,095.00 0.00 0.00
Global catastrophic risks/geomagnetic currents and power systems 1 1 493,425.00 0.00 493,425.00 0.00
Global catastrophic risks/general research 1 1 100,000.00 0.00 100,000.00 0.00
Classified total 11 9 12,787,960.00 9,118,301.00 3,169,659.00 500,000.00
Unclassified total 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total 11 9 12,787,960.00 9,118,301.00 3,169,659.00 500,000.00

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 2017 2016 2015
ClimateWorks Foundation (filter this donor) 3,000,000.00 3,000,000.00 0.00 0.00
Rutgers University (filter this donor) FB Tw WP Site 2,982,206.00 2,982,206.00 0.00 0.00
Harvard University (filter this donor) FB Tw WP Site 2,500,000.00 0.00 2,500,000.00 0.00
Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative (filter this donor) 2,500,000.00 2,000,000.00 0.00 500,000.00
UCLA School of Law (filter this donor) Tw WP Site 776,095.00 776,095.00 0.00 0.00
University of Cape Town (filter this donor) FB Tw WP Site 493,425.00 0.00 493,425.00 0.00
Center for a New American Security (filter this donor) 260,000.00 260,000.00 0.00 0.00
Future of Life Institute (filter this donor) AI safety/other global catastrophic risks FB Tw WP Site 200,000.00 100,000.00 100,000.00 0.00
Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment (filter this donor) 76,234.00 0.00 76,234.00 0.00
Total -- -- 12,787,960.00 9,118,301.00 3,169,659.00 500,000.00

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 2017
Claire Zabel 1 1 2,000,000.00 2,000,000.00
Helen Toner 1 1 260,000.00 260,000.00
Nick Beckstead 1 1 100,000.00 100,000.00
Classified total 3 3 2,360,000.00 2,360,000.00
Unclassified total 8 8 10,427,960.00 6,758,301.00
Total 11 9 12,787,960.00 9,118,301.00

Skipping spending graph as there is fewer than one year’s worth of donations.

Donation amounts by disclosures and year

If you hover over a cell for a given disclosures 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.

Disclosures Number of donations Number of donees Total 2016
Claire Zabel 1 1 2,500,000.00 2,500,000.00
Classified total 1 1 2,500,000.00 2,500,000.00
Unclassified total 10 8 10,287,960.00 669,659.00
Total 11 9 12,787,960.00 3,169,659.00

Skipping spending graph as there is fewer than one year’s worth of donations.

Donation amounts by country and year

Sorry, we couldn't find any country information.

Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (11 donations)

DoneeAmount (current USD)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative2,000,000.002017-09Global catastrophic riskshttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/miscellaneous/solar-radiation-management-governance-initiative-general-support-2017Claire Zabel Grant awarded via the Environmental Defense Fund for general support. The funding is intended to help support SRMGI’s on-going governance work related to solar radiation management (SRM), and will additionally help support a new research fund for modeling the impacts of SRM across the developing world, called the Developing Country Impacts Modeling Analysis for SRM (DECIMALS). Announced: 2017-10-09.
Center for a New American Security (Earmark: Richard Danzig)260,000.002017-08Global catastrophic riskshttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/miscellaneous/center-for-a-new-american-security-richard-danzig-outreach-on-technological-riskHelen Toner Grant awarded to support outreach by Richard Danzig,1 former Secretary of the Navy, on technological risks. Specifically, this funding will allow Mr. Danzig to revise and publish an already-drafted manuscript exploring and providing guidance on issues facing the US government related to potential risks from advanced technology (e.g., biosecurity, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence risks). Announced: 2017-10-16.
Future of Life Institute100,000.002017-05Global catastrophic riskshttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/miscellaneous/future-life-institute-general-support-2017Nick Beckstead Grant awarded for increasing awareness of global catastrophic risks. Announced: 2017-09-27.
UCLA School of Law (Earmark: Edward Parson)776,095.002017-04Global catastrophic risks/climate engineering governancehttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/miscellaneous/ucla-climate-engineering-governance-- Grant to support research and meetings on climate engineering governance led by Professor Edward Parson. Parson plans to use this grant to hire one or two fellows for three years to do academic research, publish papers, and hold meetings and workshops on climate engineering governance with relevant policymakers. Announced: 2017-04-19.
Rutgers University (Earmark: Alan Robock)2,982,206.002017-03Global catastrophic risks/nuclear warhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/miscellaneous/rutgers-university-nuclear-conflict-climate-modeling-- Grant over three years to support a series of modeling studies on the climatological and subsequent ecological and social effects of large nuclear conflict. Research to beconducted by Alan Robock of Rutgers University and Owen Brian Toon of the University of Colorado Boulder. Announced: 2017-04-19.
ClimateWorks Foundation3,000,000.002017-03Global catastrophic risks/climate/HFChttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/miscellaneous/climateworks-montreal-protocol-energy-cooling-office-- Grant agreed upon in 2016-09, but not awarded; the grant date of 2017-03 is provisional. Grant intended to contribute to the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program, which was created recently to assist with a phase-down of the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in developing nations, in connection with the passing of an amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Announced: 2017-03-08.
Harvard University (Earmark: Solar Geoengineering Research Program)2,500,000.002016-12Global catastrophic risks/climate change/geoengineeringhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/miscellaneous/harvard-university-solar-geoengineering-research-program-- Grant over five years to support the founding of the Solar Geoengineering Research Program (SGRP) as part of the Harvard University Center for the Environment. This program will be a coordinated research effort focusing on solar geoengineering research, governance, and advocacy led by Professor David Keith and Dr. Gernot Wagner (formerly the Environmental Defense Fund’s lead senior economist). Other founding funders include Bill Gates, the Hewlett Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Plans for the grant include: researching ways to improve our understanding, reduce the risks, and increase the benefits of geoengineering; developing solar geoengineering technology; increasing transparency in solar geoengineering research; engaging with policy makers and the broader public; and creating a broad blueprint for solar geoengineering research going forward. Announced: 2017-04-14.
University of Cape Town (Earmark: Trevor Gaunt)493,425.002016-09Global catastrophic risks/geomagnetic currents and power systemshttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/miscellaneous/university-cape-town-geomagnetics-research-- Grant over three years to Professor Trevor Gaunt, Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa, to research the potential risks that geomagnetic storms could pose to the electric power system. Announced: 2016-10-06.
Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment76,234.002016-05Global catastrophic risks/climate change/geoengineeringhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/miscellaneous/american-university-forum-climate-engineering-assessment-- Donation via American University. Detailed write-up available. Announced: 2016-05-27.
Future of Life Institute100,000.002016-03Global catastrophic risks/general researchhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/miscellaneous/future-life-institute-general-support-- Grant for general support. Recipient organization does research and outreach on global catastrophic risks (GCRs) at a broad level. Announced: 2016-03-18.
Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative500,000.002015-07Global catastrophic risks/climate change/geoengineeringhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/miscellaneous/solar-radiation-management-governance-initiative-general-support-- Solar Radiation Management (SRM) eeks to investigate ways to deflect solar radiation from the earth. One of many geoengineering approaches. The governance initiative works to promote the good governance of SRM by building capacity and understanding around it, especially in the developing world. It is not for or against SRM per se. Followup conversation with grantee team at https://www.openphilanthropy.org/sites/default/files/SRMGI_09-02-16_%28public%29.pdf on 2016-09-02. Announced: 2016-02-10.

Similarity to other donors

The following table uses the Jaccard index and cosine similarity to compare the similarity of donors. We are showing the top 1 donors by the Jaccard index because we show up to 30 donors and show only donors with at least one donee in common.

Donor Number of distinct donees Number of donees in common (intersection) Union size Jaccard similarity Cosine similarity Weighted cosine similarity
EA Giving Group 1 1 9 0.1111 0.3333