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.
|Affiliated organizations (current or former; restricted to potential donees or others relevant to donation decisions)||Centre for the Study of Existential Risk|
|Best overview URL||https://jaan.online/philanthropy/|
|Regularity with which donor updates donations data||annual refresh|
|Regularity with which Donations List Website updates donations data (after donor update)||irregular|
|Lag with which donor updates donations data||months|
|Lag with which Donations List Website updates donations data (after donor update)||months|
|Data entry method on Donations List Website||Manual (no scripts used)|
|Org Watch page||https://orgwatch.issarice.com/?person=Jaan+Tallinn|
Brief history: Tallinn is a co-founder of Skype and Kazaa and one of the earlier wealthy supporters of organizations working in AI safety, along with Peter Thiel. In 2011, he had a conversation with Holden Karnofsky sharing his thoughts on AI safetyand in particular the work of the Singularity Institute (SI), the former name of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute. See https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/givewell/conversations/topics/287 and https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/6SGqkCgHuNr7d4yJm/thoughts-on-the-singularity-institute-si (GW, IR) for details. Tallinn played a significant role in financing the Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative (BERI)'s grantmaking operations, and later funding the Survival and Flourising Fund (SFF). In 2020, Tallinn prepared a philanthropy pledge https://jaan.online/philanthropy/ for his grantmaking for the next five years, and also indicated a plan to switch more to making direct grants using SFF's S-process, rather than giving funds to organizations such as BERI and SFF.
Brief notes on broad donor philosophy and major focus areas: https://jaan.online/philanthropy/ says: "the primary purpose of my philanthropy is to reduce existential risks to humanity from advanced technologies, such as AI. i currently believe that this cause scores the highest according to the framework used in effective altruism: (1) importance [...] (2) tractability [...] (3) neglectedness. [...] i'm likely to pass on all other opportunities — especially popular ones, like supporting education, healthcare, arts, and various social causes. [...] i'm considering (as of 2020) a few exceptions — eg, donating to more neglected climate interventions [...] i should also mention that i'm especially fond of software projects as philanthropic targets [...]"
Notes on grant decision logistics: Tallinn plans to use the Survival and Flourishing Fund (SFF)'s S-process (simulation process) to direct most of his grantmaking, as described e.g. at http://survivalandflourishing.fund/sff-2019-q4-recommendations and other grant rounds. He may also make one-off direct grants (at most $100,000 per grant) for funding needs that are time-sensitive but encourages grantees to also apply for the next SFF grant round. Tallinn has historically donated money to BERI and SFF for regranting, but does not expect to make similar donations for regranting in the future. Tallinn may also engage in small amounts of individual regranting and individual gifts.
Notes on grant financing: Tallinn donates his own money, but not always directly; in most cases (particularly when donating to US-based nonprofits) he donates money via (donor-advised funds managed by) Founders Pledge or Silicon Valley Community Foundation. He has also made direct gifts in cryptocurrency when not donating to US nonprofits.
Full donor page for donor Jaan Tallinn
|Key people||Oliver Habryka|Ben Pace|Raymond Arnold|
Full donee page for donee Lightcone Infrastructure
|Cause area||Count||Median||Mean||Minimum||10th percentile||20th percentile||30th percentile||40th percentile||50th percentile||60th percentile||70th percentile||80th percentile||90th percentile||Maximum|
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||Total||2021||2020|
|Rationality improvement (filter this donor)||3||1,545,000.00||1,435,000.00||110,000.00|
Graph of spending by cause area and year (incremental, not cumulative)
Graph of spending by cause area and year (cumulative)
|Title (URL linked)||Publication date||Author||Publisher||Affected donors||Affected donees||Affected influencers||Document scope||Cause area||Notes|
|Zvi’s Thoughts on the Survival and Flourishing Fund (SFF) (GW, IR)||2021-12-14||Zvi Mowshowitz||LessWrong||Survival and Flourishing Fund Jaan Tallinn Jed McCaleb The Casey and Family Foundation||Effective Altruism Funds:Long-Term Future Fund Center on Long-Term Risk Alliance to Feed the Earth in Disasters The Centre for Long-Term Resilience Lightcone Infrastructure Effective Altruism Funds: Infrastructure Fund Centre for the Governance of AI Ought New Science Research Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative AI Objectives Institute Topos Institute Emergent Ventures India European Biostasis Foundation Laboratory for Social Minds PrivateARPA Charter Cities Institute||Survival and Flourishing Fund Beth Barnes Oliver Habryka Zvi Mowshowitz||Miscellaneous commentary||Longtermism|AI safety|Global catastrophic risks||In this lengthy post, Zvi Mowshowitz, who was one of the recommenders for the Survival and Flourishing Fund's 2021 H2 grant round based on the S-process, describes his experience with the process, his impressions of several of the grantees, and implications for what kinds of grant applications are most likely to succeed. Zvi says that the grant round suffered from the problem of Too Much Money (TMM); there was way more money than any individual recommender felt comfortable granting, and just about enough money for the combined preferences of all recommenders, which meant that any recommender could unilaterally push a particular grantee through. The post has several other observations and attracts several comments.|
Graph of all donations, showing the timeframe of donations
|Amount (current USD)||Amount rank (out of 3)||Donation date||Cause area||URL||Influencer||Notes|
|380,000.00||2||Rationality improvement||https://survivalandflourishing.fund/sff-2021-h2-recommendations||Survival and Flourishing Fund Beth Barnes Oliver Habryka Zvi Mowshowitz||Donation process: Part of the Survival and Flourishing Fund's 2021 H2 grants based on the S-process (simulation process) that "involves allowing the Recommenders and funders to simulate a large number of counterfactual delegation scenarios using a table of marginal utility functions. Recommenders specified marginal utility functions for funding each application, and adjusted those functions through discussions with each other as the round progressed. Similarly, funders specified and adjusted different utility functions for deferring to each Recommender. In this round, the process also allowed the funders to make some final adjustments to decide on their final intended grant amounts. [...] [The] system is designed to generally favor funding things that at least one recommender is excited to fund, rather than things that every recommender is excited to fund." https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/kuDKtwwbsksAW4BG2/zvi-s-thoughts-on-the-survival-and-flourishing-fund-sff (GW, IR) explains the process from a recommender's perspective.
Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support
Donor reason for selecting the donee: Zvi Mowshowitz, one of the recommenders in the grant round, writes in https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/kuDKtwwbsksAW4BG2/zvi-s-thoughts-on-the-survival-and-flourishing-fund-sff#Lightcone_Infrastructure (GW, IR) "We decided I had a conflict of interest here, so I didn’t have the option to fund them, but if I’d had that option I would have happily done that." He then describes more of this thinking around how Lightcone Infrastructure, through its work on LessWrong and other projects, helps remove trivial inconveniences to people doing the right thing.
Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Timing determined by timing of grant round; this is SFF's sixth grant round and the fourth one with a grant to this grantee.
Other notes: The grant round also includes a $500,000 grant to the grantee from the Casey and Family Foundation, that is participating as a funder in the SFF process for the first time. Although Jed McCaleb also participates as a funder in this round, and has previously granted money to Lightcone Infrastructure, he does not make any grants to Lightcone Infrastructure in this round. Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 4.29%; announced: 2021-11-20.
|1,055,000.00||1||Rationality improvement||https://survivalandflourishing.fund/sff-2021-h1-recommendations||Survival and Flourishing Fund Ben Hoskin Katja Grace Oliver Habryka Adam Marblestone||Donation process: Part of the Survival and Flourishing Fund's 2021 H1 grants based on the S-process (simulation process) that "involves allowing the Recommenders and funders to simulate a large number of counterfactual delegation scenarios using a spreadsheet of marginal utility functions. Recommenders specified marginal utility functions for funding each application, and adjusted those functions through discussions with each other as the round progressed. Similarly, funders specified and adjusted different utility functions for deferring to each Recommender. In this round, the process also allowed the funders to make some final adjustments to decide on their final intended grant amounts."
Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support
Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Timing determined by timing of grant round; this is SFF's fifth grant round and the third one with a grant to this grantee.
Donor retrospective of the donation: Followup grants in the next grant round https://survivalandflourishing.fund/sff-2021-h2-recommendations from both Jaan Tallinn and the Casey and Family Foundation, suggest continued satisfaction with the grantee, though the grant amounts ($380,000 and $500,000 respectively) total to less than this grant.
Other notes: At the time, the grantee is known as LessWrong, and listed as such in the grants database. Although Jed McCaleb also participates in this grant round as a funder, he does not make any grants to this grantee. Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 11.09%.
|110,000.00||3||Rationality improvement||https://jaan.online/philanthropy/donations.html||Survival and Flourishing Fund Alex Zhu Andrew Critch Jed McCaleb Oliver Habryka||Donation process: Part of the Survival and Flourishing Fund's 2020 H1 grants https://survivalandflourishing.fund/sff-2020-h1-recommendations based on the S-process (simulation process). A request for grants was made at https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/wQk3nrGTJZHfsPHb6/survival-and-flourishing-grant-applications-open-until-march (GW, IR) and open till 2020-03-07. The S-process "involves allowing the recommenders and funders to simulate a large number of counterfactual delegation scenarios using a spreadsheet of marginal utility functions. Funders were free to assign different weights to different recommenders in the process; the weights were determined by marginal utility functions specified by the funders (Jaan Tallinn, Jed McCaleb, and SFF). In this round, the process also allowed the funders to make some final adjustments to decide on their final intended grant amounts."
Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support
Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Timing determined by timing of grant round; this 2020 H1 round of grants is SFF's third round; the grantee had also received a grant in the first round.
Donor retrospective of the donation: A further grant of a much larger amount ($1,055,000) as part of a later grant round https://survivalandflourishing.fund/sff-2021-h1-recommendations (2021 H1) suggests continued satisfaction with the grantee.
Other notes: At the time, the grantee is known as LessWrong, and listed as such in the grants database. The grant round also includes grants from the Survival and Flourishing Fund ($290,000) and Jed McCaleb ($30,000) to the grantee. Percentage of total donor spend in the corresponding batch of donations: 11.96%.