Open Philanthropy Project donations made (filtered to cause areas matching Rationality improvement)

This is an online portal with information on donations that were announced publicly (or have been shared with permission) that were of interest to Vipul Naik. The git repository with the code for this portal, as well as all the underlying data, is available on GitHub. All payment amounts are in current United States dollars (USD). The repository of donations is being seeded with an initial collation by Issa Rice as well as continued contributions from him (see his commits and the contract work page listing all financially compensated contributions to the site) but all responsibility for errors and inaccuracies belongs to Vipul Naik. Current data is preliminary and has not been completely vetted and normalized; if sharing a link to this site or any page on this site, please include the caveat that the data is preliminary (if you want to share without including caveats, please check with Vipul Naik). We expect to have completed the first round of development by the end of December 2019. See the about page for more details. Also of interest: pageview data on 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)
Org Watch pagehttps://orgwatch.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

Donor donation statistics

Cause areaCountMedianMeanMinimum10th percentile 20th percentile 30th percentile 40th percentile 50th percentile 60th percentile 70th percentile 80th percentile 90th percentile Maximum
Overall 4 340,000 669,750 304,000 304,000 304,000 340,000 340,000 340,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,035,000 1,035,000 1,035,000
Rationality improvement 4 340,000 669,750 304,000 304,000 304,000 340,000 340,000 340,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,035,000 1,035,000 1,035,000

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 2018 2017 2016
Rationality improvement (filter this donor) 4 1 2,679,000.00 1,000,000.00 340,000.00 1,339,000.00
Total 4 1 2,679,000.00 1,000,000.00 340,000.00 1,339,000.00

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 2018 2017 2016
Rationality improvement 2 1 1,340,000.00 1,000,000.00 340,000.00 0.00
Rationality improvement/effective altruism/movement growth 2 1 1,339,000.00 0.00 0.00 1,339,000.00
Classified total 4 1 2,679,000.00 1,000,000.00 340,000.00 1,339,000.00
Unclassified total 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total 4 1 2,679,000.00 1,000,000.00 340,000.00 1,339,000.00

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 2018 2017 2016
Center for Applied Rationality (filter this donor) Rationality FB Tw WP Site TW 2,679,000.00 1,000,000.00 340,000.00 1,339,000.00
Total -- -- 2,679,000.00 1,000,000.00 340,000.00 1,339,000.00

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 2018 2017
Nick Beckstead 2 1 1,340,000.00 1,000,000.00 340,000.00
Classified total 2 1 1,340,000.00 1,000,000.00 340,000.00
Unclassified total 2 1 1,339,000.00 0.00 0.00
Total 4 1 2,679,000.00 1,000,000.00 340,000.00

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

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
Luke Muehlhauser 2 1 1,339,000.00 1,339,000.00
Unknown, generic, or multiple 1 1 1,035,000.00 1,035,000.00
Carl Shulman 1 1 1,035,000.00 1,035,000.00
Helen Toner 1 1 304,000.00 304,000.00
Holden Karnofsky 1 1 304,000.00 304,000.00
Jacob Steinhardt 1 1 304,000.00 304,000.00
Nick Beckstead 1 1 304,000.00 304,000.00
Paul Christiano 1 1 304,000.00 304,000.00
Classified total 2 1 1,339,000.00 1,339,000.00
Unclassified total 2 1 1,340,000.00 0.00
Total 4 1 2,679,000.00 1,339,000.00

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

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 2016
United States|Europe 1 1 1,035,000.00 1,035,000.00
United States 1 1 304,000.00 304,000.00
Classified total 2 1 1,339,000.00 1,339,000.00
Unclassified total 2 1 1,340,000.00 0.00
Total 4 1 2,679,000.00 1,339,000.00

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

Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (4 donations)

DoneeAmount (current USD)Amount rank (out of 4)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
Center for Applied Rationality1,000,000.0022018-01Rationality improvementhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/center-applied-rationality-general-support-2018Nick Beckstead Grant for general support. Grantee primarily organizes workshops and develops underlying material and tools to improve rationality. Grant is based on the belief that CFAR workshops help connect people better to the effective altruism movement and grow the talent pipeline in AI safety. Also, Open Phil considers CFAR to have met the milestones set with the 2016 grant. Announced: 2018-03-01.
Center for Applied Rationality340,000.0032017-05Rationality improvementhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/center-applied-rationality-european-summer-program-rationalityNick Beckstead Grant for the European Summer Program on Rationality. Announced: 2017-09-27.
Center for Applied Rationality1,035,000.0012016-07Rationality improvement/effective altruism/movement growthhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/center-applied-rationality-general-support-- Grant over two years. Usage split: 915000 will support workshops and organizational improvements, and 120000 will fund a pilot version of EuroSPARC, an eight-day summer program in Europe run by CFAR for mathematically gifted high school students, modeled on SPARC (see also https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/center-applied-rationality-sparc the separate grant to SPARC). Reasons for grants include value alignment, improving rationality, highlighting risks for advanced AI and other GCRs, successful pipeline-building to things like the effective altruism movement. Affected countries: United States|Europe; announced: 2016-09-06.
Center for Applied Rationality304,000.0042016-05Rationality improvement/effective altruism/movement growthhttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/center-applied-rationality-sparc-- Grant supports the Summer Program on Applied Rationality and Cognition (SPARC), a two-week summer program for high school students. Students selected to participate in the program typically show exceptional ability in mathematics, with many scoring highly among US participants in national or international math competitions. Grant covers the program for two years, with 137000 for 2016 and 167000 for 2017. Detailed writeup available. Affected countries: United States; announced: 2016-07-07.

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 3 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
Aaron Gertler 1 1 1 1.0000 1 1
Loren Merritt 1 1 1 1.0000 1 1
EA Giving Group 3 1 3 0.3333 0.5774