Open Philanthropy donations made to The Good Food Institute

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.

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: 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: Open Philanthropy 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 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 database are not listed on Donations List Website as being under Open Philanthropy. 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 open philanthropy 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 Open Philanthropy 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 thegoodfoodinstitute
Websitehttp://www.gfi.org/
Donate pagehttps://www.gfi.org/donate
Donation case pagehttp://www.gfi.org/why
Twitter usernameGoodFoodInst
Wikipedia pagehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Good_Food_Institute
Open Philanthropy Project grant reviewhttp://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/farm-animal-welfare/good-food-institute-general-support
Launch date2016-02

Full donee page for donee The Good Food Institute

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 3 1,500,000 2,166,667 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,500,000 1,500,000 1,500,000 4,000,000 4,000,000 4,000,000 4,000,000
Animal welfare 3 1,500,000 2,166,667 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,500,000 1,500,000 1,500,000 4,000,000 4,000,000 4,000,000 4,000,000

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 2019 2017 2016
Animal welfare (filter this donor) 3 6,500,000.00 4,000,000.00 1,500,000.00 1,000,000.00
Total 3 6,500,000.00 4,000,000.00 1,500,000.00 1,000,000.00

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 documents in reverse chronological order (3 documents)

Title (URL linked) Publication date Author Publisher Affected donors Affected donees Document scope Cause area Notes
Staff Members’ Personal Donations for Giving Season 2017 2017-12-18 Holden Karnofsky Open Philanthropy Holden Karnofsky Alexander Berger Nick Beckstead Helen Toner Claire Zabel Lewis Bollard Ajeya Cotra Morgan Davis Michael Levine GiveWell top charities GiveWell GiveDirectly EA Giving Group Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative Effective Altruism Funds Sentience Institute Encompass The Humane League The Good Food Institute Mercy For Animals Compassion in World Farming USA Animal Equality Donor lottery Against Malaria Foundation GiveDirectly Periodic donation list documentation Open Philanthropy Project staff members describe where they are donating this year, and the considerations that went into the donation decision. By policy, amounts are not disclosed. This is the first standalone blog post of this sort by the Open Philanthropy Project; in previous years, the corresponding donations were documented in the GiveWell staff members donation post.
How to end animal agriculture as soon as possible 2017-09-27 Robert Wiblin Lewis Bollard 80,000 Hours Open Philanthropy Mercy For Animals Compassion in World Farming The Humane League The Humane Society of the United States Humane Society International The Good Food Institute Animal Equality Animal Charity Evaluators Broad donor strategy Animal welfare/factory farming Podcast with interview of Lewis Bollard (Farm Animal Welfare Program Officer at the Open Philanthropy Project) by Robert Wiblin of 80000 Hours, along with transcript. The podcast covers the strategy of the Open Philanthropy Project. 80000 Hours is an Open Philanthropy Project grant recipient and Wiblin was also on the board of Animal Charity Evaluators, an animal welfare-focused grant recipient that is discussed in the podcast.
Should EAs think twice before donating to GFI? (GW, IR) 2017-08-31 Kevin Watkinson Effective Altruism Forum Open Philanthropy The Good Food Institute Third-party case against donation Animal welfare The post argues against donations to The Good Food Institute, noting its limited track record as well as the huge amount of funding it is already receiving from the Open Philanthropy Project. This post is made shortly after an exchange between the post author (Kevin Watkinson) and Holden Karnofsky of the Open Philanthropy Project in http://www.openphilanthropy.org/blog/march-2017-open-thread?page=1#comment-305 (the open thread of the Open Philanthropy Project). The post also critiques Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) for a positive assessment of GFI, and comments include a response from an ACE employee and an ACE board member (neither in an official capacity)

Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (3 donations)

Graph of all donations, showing the timeframe of donations

Graph of donations and their timeframes
Amount (current USD)Amount rank (out of 3)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
4,000,000.0012019-12Animal welfare/meat alternativeshttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/farm-animal-welfare/good-food-institute-international-workAmanda Hungerford Intended use of funds (category): Direct project expenses

Intended use of funds: Grant "to support its international work. GFI promotes alternatives to animal products. This funding will support GFI’s international expansion of its mission to create a sustainable, healthy, and just global food system."

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says the funding is "to create a sustainable, healthy, and just global food system."

Other notes: Intended funding timeframe in months: 24.
1,500,000.0022017-11Animal welfare/meat alternativeshttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/farm-animal-welfare/good-food-institute-general-support-2017Lewis Bollard Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Donor reason for selecting the donee: The grant page says: "Our Program Officer for Farm Animal Welfare, Lewis Bollard, considers GFI to be the leading nonprofit promoting alternatives to industrial farmed animal products and has been particularly impressed with its strategic support (for example, providing branding guidance, facilitating venture capital connections, conducting market research, and consulting on media rollout plans) for early-stage companies producing plant-based products, such as Good Dot and Good Catch. GFI has also achieved growing influence as a think tank and resource provider. GFI expects to use much of this new funding for programmatic expansion by hiring new staff."

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): The timing of the grant is about a year after the previous grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/farm-animal-welfare/good-food-institute-general-support and roughly around the timeframe when that grant funding is about to run out.

Donor retrospective of the donation: The followup grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/farm-animal-welfare/good-food-institute-international-work suggests continued satisfaction with the grantee.

Other notes: Announced: 2018-01-05.
1,000,000.0032016-09Animal welfare/meat alternativeshttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/farm-animal-welfare/good-food-institute-general-supportLewis Bollard Donation process: The Good Food Institute submitted three proposals: https://www.openphilanthropy.org/files/Grants/Good_Food_Institute/GFI_Corporate_Engagement_Proposal_9-9-16.pdf (corporate engagement), https://www.openphilanthropy.org/files/Grants/Good_Food_Institute/GFI_Innovation_Proposal_9-9-16.pdf (innovation), and https://www.openphilanthropy.org/files/Grants/Good_Food_Institute/GFI_Science_%26_Tech_Proposal_9-9-16.pdf (science and technology).

Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Intended use of funds: The grant page says: "The Good Food Institute plans to use this grant to expand its work promoting alternatives to animal products. It may also hire additional staff and create an operating reserve." It also links to three proposals: https://www.openphilanthropy.org/files/Grants/Good_Food_Institute/GFI_Corporate_Engagement_Proposal_9-9-16.pdf (corporate engagement), https://www.openphilanthropy.org/files/Grants/Good_Food_Institute/GFI_Innovation_Proposal_9-9-16.pdf (innovation), and https://www.openphilanthropy.org/files/Grants/Good_Food_Institute/GFI_Science_%26_Tech_Proposal_9-9-16.pdf (science and technology).

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The grant proposals include requests for the following amounts annually: $210,000 for corporate engagement, $200,000 for innovation, and $325,000 for science and technology. The total amount of $1,000,000 covers expenses for about 1.5 years at these rates.

Donor retrospective of the donation: Followup grants https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/farm-animal-welfare/good-food-institute-general-support-2017 and https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/farm-animal-welfare/good-food-institute-international-work suggest continued satisfaction with the grantee.

Other notes: Announced: 2016-10-25.