Open Philanthropy Project donations made to 80,000 Hours

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)
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 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 Project

Basic donee information

ItemValue
Country United Kingdom
Facebook page 80000Hours
Websitehttps://80000hours.org/
Donate pagehttps://80000hours.org/support-us/donate/
Donors list pagehttps://80000hours.org/about/donors/
Transparency and financials pagehttps://80000hours.org/about/credibility/evaluations/
Donation case pagehttp://effective-altruism.com/ea/15d/why_donate_to_80000_hours/
Twitter username80000hours
Wikipedia pagehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/80%2C000_Hours
Key peopleWilliam MacAskill|Benjamin Todd|Robert Wiblin
Launch date2011-11

Full donee page for donee 80,000 Hours

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 4 1,125,000 2,472,022 510,000 510,000 510,000 1,125,000 1,125,000 1,125,000 3,457,284 3,457,284 4,795,803 4,795,803 4,795,803
Effective altruism 4 1,125,000 2,472,022 510,000 510,000 510,000 1,125,000 1,125,000 1,125,000 3,457,284 3,457,284 4,795,803 4,795,803 4,795,803

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
Effective altruism (filter this donor) 4 9,888,087.00 3,457,284.00 4,795,803.00 510,000.00 1,125,000.00
Total 4 9,888,087.00 3,457,284.00 4,795,803.00 510,000.00 1,125,000.00

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 (4 donations)

Amount (current USD)Amount rank (out of 4)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
3,457,284.0022020-02Effective altruism/movement growth/career counselinghttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/80000-hours-general-support-2020Committee for Effective Altruism Support Donation process: The decision of whether to donate seems to have followed the Open Philanthropy Project's usual process, but the exact amount to donate was determined by the Committee for Effective Altruism Support using the process described at https://www.openphilanthropy.org/committee-effective-altruism-support

Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Intended use of funds: 80,000 Hours aims to solve skill bottlenecks for career paths in what it considers to be the world’s most pressing problems. It does this by providing online research, in-person advice, and support with the goal of helping talented graduates age 20-40 enter high-impact careers.

Donor reason for selecting the donee: Open Phil's grant writeup says: "we see the basic pros and cons of this support similarly to what we’ve presented in past writeups on the matter" with the most recent similar grant being https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/80000-hours-general-support-2019 (February 2019) and the most recent grant with a detailed writeup being https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/80000-hours-general-support-2018 (February 2018)

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The amount is decided by the Committee for Effective Altruism Support https://www.openphilanthropy.org/committee-effective-altruism-support but individual votes and reasoning are not public.

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Reasons for timing are not discussed, but this is likely the time when the Committee for Effective Altruism Support does its 2020 allocation. Two other grants decided by CEAS at around the same time are: Machine Intelligence Research Institute ($7,703,750),Centre for Effective Altruism ($4,146,795), and Ought ($1,593,333) Announced: 2020-03-09.
4,795,803.0012019-02Effective altruism/movement growth/career counselinghttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/80000-hours-general-support-2019Committee for Effective Altruism Support Donation process: The decision of whether to donate seems to have followed the Open Philanthropy Project's usual process, but the exact amount to donate was determined by the Committee for Effective Altruism Support using the process described at https://www.openphilanthropy.org/committee-effective-altruism-support

Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Intended use of funds: 80,000 Hours aims to solve skill bottlenecks for career paths in what it considers to be the world’s most pressing problems. It does this by providing online research, in-person advice, and support with the goal of helping talented graduates age 20-40 enter high-impact careers.

Donor reason for selecting the donee: Open Phil's grant writeup says: "we see the basic pros and cons of this support similarly to what we’ve presented in past writeups on the matter" and links to the February 2018 support https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/80000-hours-general-support-2018

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): The amount is decided by the Committee for Effective Altruism Support https://www.openphilanthropy.org/committee-effective-altruism-support but individual votes and reasoning are not public. Two other grants with amounts decided by the Committee for Effective Altruism Support, made at the same time and therefore likely drawing from the same money pot, are to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute ($2,112,5000) and Centre for Effective Altruism ($2,756,250)

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Reasons for timing are not discussed, but likely include (1) It is about a year since the last grant to 80,000 Hours, and the grants are generally expected to last a year, so a renewal is due, (2) The Committee for Effective Altruism Support https://www.openphilanthropy.org/committee-effective-altruism-support did its first round of money allocation, so the timing is determined by the timing of that allocation round
Intended funding timeframe in months: 24

Donor retrospective of the donation: The February 2020 grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/80000-hours-general-support-2020 with very similar reasoning suggests that the Open Philanthropy Project and Committee for Effective Altruism Support would continue to stand by the reasoning behind the grant Announced: 2019-03-28.
510,000.0042018-02Effective altruism/movement growth/career counselinghttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/80000-hours-general-support-2018Nick Beckstead Nicole Ross Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Intended use of funds: No explicitly listed priority uses of the funds, but likely similar to the grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/80000-hours-general-support that it is renewing

Donor reason for selecting the donee: Likely the same reasons as for the 2017 grant that this is renewing; see https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/80000-hours-general-support#Case_for_the_grant The key reason is that Open Phil finds impressive the large number of impact-adjusted significant plan changes (IASPCs) that 80,000 Hours claims to have brought about, and broadly agrees with 80,000 Hours' calculation of their IASPCs

Donor reason for donating that amount (rather than a bigger or smaller amount): Amount determined by the amount ($510,000) raised from other donors in 2017, which turned out to be the smallest of the three constraining amounts described in the previous grant page https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/80000-hours-general-support#Case_for_the_grant "We expect to recommend another grant to 80,000 Hours at the beginning of 2018, with the amount recommended being whichever of the following is smallest: (1) $1.25 million (2) The amount 80,000 Hours raises from other donors in 2017 (3) The amount necessary for 80,000 Hours to have $3.75 million in its bank account"

Donor reason for donating at this time (rather than earlier or later): Timing as pre-committed on the previous grant page https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/80000-hours-general-support#Case_for_the_grant "We expect to recommend another grant to 80,000 Hours at the beginning of 2018"

Donor retrospective of the donation: The followup grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/80000-hours-general-support-2019 for $4,795,803 in February 2019 (amount determined by the Committee for Effective Altruism Support) suggests general satisfaction with the grantee and the grant Announced: 2018-02-22.
1,125,000.0032017-03Effective altruism/movement growth/career counselinghttps://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/80000-hours-general-supportNick Beckstead Intended use of funds (category): Organizational general support

Intended use of funds: According to https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/80000-hours-general-support#Budget_and_proposed_activities grantee plans to use the grant to fund the following activities: (1) Hiring four new junior staff members to (a) improve career guides and career profiles, (b) do career coaching, (c) replacing a departing part-time software engineer, (d) research/career coaching/marketing. (2) Increasing staff salaries by 30% to be competitive in the Bay Area, to which it recently moved. (3) Marketing activities including online retargeting advertisements, Facebook advertisements for workshops targeted at universities, and giving away books. (4) Holding funds in reserve for year 2

Donor reason for selecting the donee: https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/80000-hours-general-support#Case_for_the_grant explains the reasons. The key reason is that Open Phil finds impressive the large number of impact-adjusted significant plan changes (IASPCs) that 80,000 Hours claims to have brought about, and broadly agrees with 80,000 Hours' calculation of their IASPCs

Donor thoughts on making further donations to the donee: According to https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/80000-hours-general-support#Case_for_the_grant "We expect to recommend another grant to 80,000 Hours at the beginning of 2018, with the amount recommended being whichever of the following is smallest: (1) $1.25 million (2) The amount 80,000 Hours raises from other donors in 2017 (3) The amount necessary for 80,000 Hours to have $3.75 million in its bank account"

Donor retrospective of the donation: The renewal grant https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/80000-hours-general-support-2018 of $510,000 is consistent with the expectations set during this grant; the constraining factor in determining the amount for the renewal is "The amount 80,000 Hours raises from other donors in 2017" Announced: 2017-05-16.