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 2022. 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)||GiveWell Good Ventures|
|Best overview URL||https://causeprioritization.org/Open%20Philanthropy%20Project|
|Page on philosophy informing donations||https://www.openphilanthropy.org/about/vision-and-values|
|Grant application process page||https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/guide-for-grant-seekers|
|Regularity with which donor updates donations data||continuous updates|
|Regularity with which Donations List Website updates donations data (after donor update)||continuous updates|
|Lag with which donor updates donations data||months|
|Lag with which Donations List Website updates donations data (after donor update)||days|
|Data entry method on Donations List Website||Manual (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: 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 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 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
Full donor page for donor Open Philanthropy
|Open Philanthropy Project grant review||http://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/potential-risks-advanced-artificial-intelligence/uc-berkeley-center-human-compatible-ai|
|Timelines wiki page||https://timelines.issarice.com/wiki/Timeline_of_Center_for_Human-Compatible_AI|
|Org Watch page||https://orgwatch.issarice.com/?organization=Center+for+Human-Compatible+AI|
|Key people||Stuart Russell|Bart Sellman|Michael Wellman|Andrew Critch|
|Notes||Received a 5.5 million dollar grant from the Open Philanthropy Project at the time of founding, with a 50% probability estimate that it would be a respected AI-related organization in two years|
Full donee page for donee Center for Human-Compatible AI
|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||2019||2016|
|AI safety (filter this donor)||3||17,110,796.00||11,355,246.00||200,000.00||5,555,550.00|
Graph of spending by cause area and year (incremental, not cumulative)
Graph of spending by cause area and year (cumulative)
Graph of all donations, showing the timeframe of donations
|Amount (current USD)||Amount rank (out of 3)||Donation date||Cause area||URL||Influencer||Notes|
|11,355,246.00||1||AI safety||https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/potential-risks-advanced-artificial-intelligence/uc-berkeley-center-human-compatible-ai-2021||Nick Beckstead||Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support
Intended use of funds: The grant page says "The multi-year commitment and increased funding will enable CHAI to expand its research and student training related to potential risks from advanced artificial intelligence."
Other notes: This is a renewal of the original founding grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/potential-risks-advanced-artificial-intelligence/uc-berkeley-center-human-compatible-ai made August 2016. Intended funding timeframe in months: 60.
|200,000.00||3||AI safety||https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/potential-risks-advanced-artificial-intelligence/uc-berkeley-center-human-compatible-ai-2019||Daniel Dewey||Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support
Intended use of funds: The grant page says "CHAI plans to use these funds to support graduate student and postdoc research."
Other notes: Open Phil makes a $705,000 grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/potential-risks-advanced-artificial-intelligence/berkeley-existential-risk-initiative-chai-collaboration-2019 to the Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative (BERI) at the same time (November 2019) to collaborate with CHAI. Intended funding timeframe in months: 24; announced: 2019-12-20.
|5,555,550.00||2||AI safety||https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/potential-risks-advanced-artificial-intelligence/uc-berkeley-center-human-compatible-ai||--||Donation process: The grant page section https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/potential-risks-advanced-artificial-intelligence/uc-berkeley-center-human-compatible-ai#Our_process says: "We have discussed the possibility of a grant to support Professor Russell’s work several times with him in the past. Following our decision earlier this year to make this focus area a major priority for 2016, we began to discuss supporting a new academic center at UC Berkeley in more concrete terms."
Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support
Intended use of funds: https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/potential-risks-advanced-artificial-intelligence/uc-berkeley-center-human-compatible-ai#Budget_and_room_for_more_funding says: "Professor Russell estimates that the Center could, if funded fully, spend between $1.5 million and $2 million in its first year and later increase its budget to roughly $7 million per year." The funding from Open Phil will be used toward this budget. An earlier section of the grant page says that the Center's research topics will include value alignment, value functions defined by partially observable and partially defined terms, the structure of human value systems, and conceptual questions including the properties of ideal value systems.
Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page gives these reasons: (1) "We expect the existence of the Center to make it much easier for researchers interested in exploring AI safety to discuss and learn about the topic, and potentially consider focusing their careers on it." (2) "The Center may allow researchers already focused on AI safety to dedicate more of their time to the topic and produce higher-quality research." (3) "We hope that the existence of a well-funded academic center at a major university will solidify the place of this work as part of the larger fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence." Also, counterfactual impact: "Professor Russell would not plan to announce a new Center of this kind without substantial additional funding. [...] We are not aware of other potential [substantial] funders, and we believe that having long-term support in place is likely to make it easier for Professor Russell to recruit for the Center."
Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The amount is based on budget estimates in https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/potential-risks-advanced-artificial-intelligence/uc-berkeley-center-human-compatible-ai#Budget_and_room_for_more_funding "Professor Russell estimates that the Center could, if funded fully, spend between $1.5 million and $2 million in its first year and later increase its budget to roughly $7 million per year."
Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Timing seems to have been determined by the time it took to work out the details of the new center after Open Phil decided to make AI safety a major priority in 2016. According to https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/potential-risks-advanced-artificial-intelligence/uc-berkeley-center-human-compatible-ai#Our_process "We have discussed the possibility of a grant to support Professor Russell’s work several times with him in the past. Following our decision earlier this year to make this focus area a major priority for 2016, we began to discuss supporting a new academic center at UC Berkeley in more concrete terms."
Intended funding timeframe in months: 24
Donor retrospective of the donation: The followup grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/potential-risks-advanced-artificial-intelligence/uc-berkeley-center-human-compatible-ai-2019 in November 2019, five-year renewal https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/potential-risks-advanced-artificial-intelligence/uc-berkeley-center-human-compatible-ai-2021 in January 2021, as well as many grants to Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative (BERI) to collaborate with the grantee, suggest that Open Phil would continue to think highly of the grantee, and stand by its reasoning.
Other notes: Note that the grant recipient in the Open Phil database has been listed as UC Berkeley, but we have written it as the name of the center for easier cross-referencing. Announced: 2016-08-29.