Open Philanthropy donations made to Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

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.

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: 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 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

Basic donee information

ItemValue
Country United States
Facebook page Johns-Hopkins-Center-for-Health-Security-81157515807
Websitehttp://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/
Twitter usernameUPMC_CHS
Wikipedia pagehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johns_Hopkins_Center_for_Health_Security
Open Philanthropy Project grant reviewhttp://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/center-health-security-biosecurity-global-health-security-and-global-catastrophic
Launch date1998

Full donee page for donee Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

Donor–donee relationship

Item Value

Donor–donee donation statistics

Cause areaCountMedianMeanMinimum10th percentile 20th percentile 30th percentile 40th percentile 50th percentile 60th percentile 70th percentile 80th percentile 90th percentile Maximum
Overall 5 2,744,000 8,054,720 169,600 169,600 169,600 1,860,000 1,860,000 2,744,000 2,744,000 16,000,000 16,000,000 19,500,000 19,500,000
Biosecurity and pandemic preparedness 5 2,744,000 8,054,720 169,600 169,600 169,600 1,860,000 1,860,000 2,744,000 2,744,000 16,000,000 16,000,000 19,500,000 19,500,000

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 Total 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Biosecurity and pandemic preparedness (filter this donor) 5 40,273,600.00 1,860,000.00 19,500,000.00 169,600.00 16,000,000.00 2,744,000.00
Total 5 40,273,600.00 1,860,000.00 19,500,000.00 169,600.00 16,000,000.00 2,744,000.00

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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Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (5 donations)

Graph of all donations, showing the timeframe of donations

Graph of donations and their timeframes
Amount (current USD)Amount rank (out of 5)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
1,860,000.0042020-02Biosecurity and pandemic preparednesshttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/johns-hopkins-center-health-security-masters-phd-program-supportAndrew Snyder-Beattie Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support the implementation of a Masters and PhD program. The program will focus on major biological and health security risks. This funding will support four PhD students for four years each and four masters students for one year each, as well as faculty time for advising students and a junior administrator." Intended funding timeframe in months: 48; announced: 2020-03-23.
19,500,000.0012019-09Biosecurity and pandemic preparednesshttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/center-health-security-biosecurity-health-security-gcrs-2019Andrew Snyder-Beattie Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support work on biosecurity, global catastrophic risks posed by pathogens, and other work related to CHS’s mission, and to support the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative. CHS plans to use these funds to continue to conduct policy research and continue to build communications and advocacy capacity."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): No explicit reason for amount given, but it is similar to the previous three-year support amount of $16 million

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Timing likely determined by the fact that the timeframe for the previous three-year grant (starting January 2017) is coming to an end
Intended funding timeframe in months: 36 Announced: 2019-10-04.
169,600.0052018-06Biosecurity and pandemic preparednesshttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/upmc-center-health-security-synbiobeta-2018-meetingJaime Yassif Donation process: Discretionary grant

Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: $127,600 to Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and $42,000 to SynBioBeta to support a biosecurity fellowship program and a biosecurity panel discussion at the 2018 SynBioBeta conference https://2018.synbiobeta.com/ on synthetic biology. Announced: 2018-07-26.
16,000,000.0022017-01Biosecurity and pandemic preparednesshttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/center-health-security-biosecurity-global-health-security-and-global-catastrophicJaime Yassif Donation process: According to https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/center-health-security-biosecurity-global-health-security-and-global-catastrophic#Our_process "Jaime had several conversations with CHS leadership about high-level issues relevant to the grant, reviewed materials shared by CHS, and spoke to other experts in the field to get their perspectives on its work."

Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Intended use of funds: Grant to support CHS's work on biosecurity, global health security, and global catastrophic risks posed by pathogens. Over the course of the grant, CHS plans to devote about one-third of its total funding and staff time to GCR-related projects and two-thirds to general health security and public health preparedness work

Donor reason for selecting the donee: According to https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/center-health-security-biosecurity-global-health-security-and-global-catastrophic#The_organization the grantee organization has (1) Track record of research and policy development, (2) Track record of policy impact

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): According to https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/center-health-security-biosecurity-global-health-security-and-global-catastrophic#Budget_and_room_for_more_funding "We do not have a detailed budget breakdown for the grant; it is mostly unrestricted and is designed to give CHS flexibility to pursue the projects it considers most important and to have the most impact." An approximate breakdown is given. Also: "Overall, we estimate that this grant will increase CHS’s annual budget from $5.3 million to approximately $8 million."

Donor retrospective of the donation: The September 2019 renewal https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/center-health-security-biosecurity-health-security-gcrs-2019 (3 years, for $19.5 million) suggests that Open Phil would be satisfied with the results of the grant

Other notes: Largest grant made to date by Open Phil. Grant writeup includes lengthy discussion of grant. Open Phil had previously made a grant to the organization when it was housed at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and known as the UPMC Center for Health Security. Using the grant money, the grantee would launch a bunch of projects related to Global Catastrophic Biological Risks (GCBR); see http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/about-the-center/pressroom/press_releases/2017-07-27_global-catastrophic-biological-risk-definition.html (2017-07-27) for the associated press release. Intended funding timeframe in months: 36; announced: 2017-02-08.
2,744,000.0032016-10Biosecurity and pandemic preparednesshttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/global-catastrophic-risks/biosecurity/upmc-center-health-security-emerging-leaders-biosecurity-initiativeJaime Yassif Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant to support the continuation of the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative (ELBI). For the first five years of its program, ELBI was funded by the Department of Defense (DoD). The grant page says: "Our understanding is that, for reasons unrelated to the quality of the program, DoD is not planning to renew support for it this year, and that the possibility of future DoD funding for the program is uncertain."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "Our highly positive impression of ELBI is based in part on the opinion of Jaime Yassif (our Program Officer for Biosecurity and Pandemic Preparedness), in part on our observation that the program has a strong reputation throughout the field, and in part on our favorable view of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, which runs the program. Jaime is a 2012 alumna of ELBI."

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): Likely to be based on the cost of the program

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): The grant page says: "Our understanding is that, for reasons unrelated to the quality of the program, DoD is not planning to renew support for it this year, and that the possibility of future DoD funding for the program is uncertain."
Intended funding timeframe in months: 36

Other notes: The recipient was housed at the time at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and called the UPMC Center for Health Security. The grant was made to fully support the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative (ELBI) for the next three years. The grant was based partly on the positive impression of the program by Jaime Yassif, program officer in the area who was an alumnus from 2012. Announced: 2016-10-12.