Open Philanthropy Project

About the Open Philanthropy Project

The Open Philanthropy Project identifies outstanding giving opportunities, makes grants, follows the results, and publishes their findings. Their main funders are Cari Tuna and Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of Facebook and Asana

How they work

The Open Philanthropy Project is made up of several related organizations that research potential focus areas, investigate giving opportunities, make grants and investments, evaluate our impact, and share what they learn.

What "open" means

Open to many possibilities

Some common advice when it comes to giving is “focus on something you’re passionate about.” In the case of the Open Philanthropy Project, they are passionate about using the resources we have to improve others’ lives as much as they can. That is, the level of excitement about an issue depends on how much good they believe they will accomplish by working on it. Instead of starting with a predefined set of focus areas, the Open Philanthropy Project considers a wide variety of causes where philanthropy could help to improve others’ lives. They have investigated many potential focus areas, and are prioritizing based on three criteria: importance, neglectedness and tractability.

Open about their work

The Open Philanthropy Project believes that philanthropy could have a greater impact by sharing more information. Very often, key discussions and decisions happen behind closed doors, and it’s difficult for outsiders to learn from and critique philanthropists’ work. They envision a world in which philanthropists increasingly document and share their research, reasoning, results and mistakes to help each other learn more quickly and serve others more effectively.

This is achieved by the following:

  • Blogging about major decisions and the reasoning behind them, as well as what we’re learning about how to be an effective funder.
  • Creating detailed reports on the causes we’re investigating.
  • Sharing notes from our information-gathering conversations.
  • Publishing writeups and updates on a number of our grants, including our reasoning and reservations before making a grant, and any setbacks and challenges we encounter.

Grant History

The Open Philanthropy Project recommends over $100 million of grants each year. A database of these grants can be found here (English only): Open Philanthropy Project Grants Database