Peter Hurford donations made to Rethink Priorities

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, tutorial in README, request for feedback to EA Forum.

Table of contents

Basic donor information

Country United States
Affiliated organizations (current or former; restricted to potential donees or others relevant to donation decisions).impact Animal Charity Evaluators Charity Science Health
Facebook username peterhurford
LinkedIn username peterhurford8
Donations URL
Twitter usernamepeterhurford
LessWrong usernamepeter_hurford
Effective Altruism Forum usernamePeter_Hurford
Effective Altruism Hub usernamepeter-hurford
GitHub usernamepeterhurford
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 datadays
Lag with which Donations List Website updates donations data (after donor update)months
Data entry method on Donations List WebsiteManual (no scripts used)

Brief history: Peter Hurford was involved in effective altruism from his college days and started donating a significant share of his income as soon as he started earning. He has used his donations both to donate to established charities in global health and animal welfare, and to provide funds for new, fledgling charities in the domains of global health and effective altruism/movement growth

Brief notes on broad donor philosophy and major focus areas: Focus is a mix of global health and development, animal welfare, and effective altruism/movement growth. For the last of these, Hurford has historically focused on new charities, whereas for the first two, he has generally focused more on somewhat more established charities. Also some small donations to other causes, such as civil liberties and political campaigns, as a "good citizen"

Notes on grant decision logistics: For larger grants, Hurford decides the grant amount based on discussion with the recipient charity, and often posts the amount with a TBD before actually making it. In many cases, he writes blog posts covering his reasons for the grant

Notes on grant financing: Hurford finances donations from his personal funds, and may make the actual donation several months after deciding, based on the arrangement of his finances and the needs of the donee. Where there are transaction fees, he may add to the donation amount so that the donee finally gets the amount he would like the donee to get

Miscellaneous notes: Donations entered on Donations List Website are almost entirely a copy of with a few differences: $220 for "Help an EA go to EA Global" on 2017-08-03 is omitted. Also, the donee for contract work is listed in the source as "Rethink Priorities" or "Charity Entrepreneurship" but is listed as the actual contract worker on Donations List Website. This means that part of the total that Hurford's page attributes to these two charities is attributed to specific contract workers on the Donations List Website. After accounting for these omissions and discrepancies, consistency of totals against the listed totals by year and by donee at was last verified on 2019-01-21

Full donor page for donor Peter Hurford

Basic donee information

Country United States
Key peopleMarcus A. Davis|Peter Hurford
Launch date2018-03-02

Full donee page for donee Rethink Priorities

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 2 37 6,269 37 37 37 37 37 37 12,500 12,500 12,500 12,500 12,500
Effective altruism 2 37 6,269 37 37 37 37 37 37 12,500 12,500 12,500 12,500 12,500

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 2018 2017
Effective altruism (filter this donor) 2 12,537.00 12,500.00 37.00
Total 2 12,537.00 12,500.00 37.00

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 (4 documents)

Title (URL linked)Publication dateAuthorPublisherAffected donorsAffected doneesAffected influencersDocument scopeCause areaNotes
Rethink Priorities - 2021 Impact and 2022 Strategy (GW, IR)2021-11-15Peter Hurford Rethink Priorities Rethink Priorities Donee periodic updateCause prioritization|Animal welfare|Effective altruism|Global catastrophic risks|Global health and developmentIn this post, originally published at on the Rethink Priorities website, the Rethink Priorities team goes into detail on what they've accomplished in 2021 as well as budgets for 2022 and 2023, with a breakdown by cause area, under three scenarios: low, high, and maximally ambitious.
We're Rethink Priorities. AMA. (GW, IR)2019-12-12Peter Hurford Rethink Priorities Rethink Priorities Donee AMACause prioritization|Animal welfareThis is an Ask Me Anything (AMA) conducted by Rethink Priorities on the Effective Altruism Forum. People on the Rethink Priorities replying in this AMA include Saulius Šimčikas, Jason Schukraft, Nell Dullaghan, Peter Hurford, Marcus A. Davis, David Moss, and Luisa Rodriguez. Questions asked include topics like the purpose of having the Rethink Priorities umbrella, the interaction with academia, the work on nuclear threat, counterfactuals, interactions with animal welfare advocacy groups, short-term and long-term impact, choice of the EA Forum for distributing research, and more
Rethink Priorities 2019 Impact and Strategy (GW, IR)2019-12-02Peter Hurford Rethink Priorities Rethink Priorities Donee periodic updateCause prioritization|Animal welfare|Effective altruism|Global catastrophic risksPeter Hurford describes the work and impact in 2019 of Rethink Priorities, an organization he co-founded. For impact, he links to a previously published post (GW, IR) giving the results of an impact survey conducted by Rethink Priorities. He also lists key initiatives that Rethink Priorities may take on in 2020. Regarding funding, the post says: "We are heavily funding constrained and have the management capacity and hiring pool to quickly grow if given more money. Our budget for 2020-2021 is between $1,174,000 and $2,384,000 over two years. If funded at the minimum level, we would cover our existing operations through 2021, pay for necessary operational support and buy 10 more hours a week working time from our existing research team." More detailed budget estimates are included in the post
Rethink Priorities Plans for 2019 (GW, IR)2018-12-17Peter Hurford Rethink Priorities Rethink Priorities Donee periodic updateCause prioritization|Animal welfare|Effective altruism|Global catastrophic risksPeter Hurford outlines the budget and plans for the priorities research group Rethink Priorities for 2019. The budget is $447,000, of which $153,000 has been raised already. The blog post discusses the sort of research that Rethink Priorities plans to conduct: analysis of the impact of ballot initiatives on animal welfare, understanding corporate campaigns for animal welfare, identifying ways to improve wild animal welfare, doing surveys and polling, understanding EA movement growth, understanding mental health interventions, analysis of catastrophic risk reduction. See (GW, IR) for the 2019 follow-up post that reports on work and impact in 2019 and plans for 2020

Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (2 donations)

Graph of all donations, showing the timeframe of donations

Graph of donations and their timeframes
Amount (current USD)Amount rank (out of 2)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
12,500.0012018-01-08Effective altruism/cause prioritization See (GW, IR) for more background and thinking.
37.0022017-04-18Effective altruism Research materials.