April 2015

Co-funding Partnership with Kaitlyn Trigger and Mike Krieger

Note: Before the launch of the Open Philanthropy Project Blog, this post appeared on the GiveWell Blog. Uses of “we” and “our” in the below post may refer to the Open Philanthropy Project or to GiveWell as an organization. Additional comments may be available at the original post.

We are excited to announce a new co-funding partnership with Kaitlyn Trigger and her fiancé Mike Krieger (co-founder of Instagram). They have committed to learning with us and supporting the Open Philanthropy Project’s work over the next two years. It’s an opportunity for us to experiment with a new type of partnership and a lower-volume, higher-intensity way of communicating about our work.

Statement from Kaitlyn Trigger & Mike Krieger: Why We’re Partnering with the Open Philanthropy Project

Note: Before the launch of the Open Philanthropy Project Blog, this post appeared on the GiveWell Blog. Additional comments may be available at the original post.

Mike and I are committed to giving away a lot of our wealth during the course of our lifetime. It’s very early days, so one of our biggest goals is educating ourselves about the landscape and and context of philanthropy today. For example: What issue areas are important and underfunded? How do we evaluate and compare giving opportunities? What are effective ways to structure grants? What role can or should funders play in a nonprofit’s operations?

That said, we don’t want to wait until we feel 100% informed before we start giving. It’s important for us to learn through doing as well.

Science Policy and Infrastructure

Note: Before the launch of the Open Philanthropy Project Blog, this post appeared on the GiveWell Blog. Uses of “we” and “our” in the below post may refer to the Open Philanthropy Project or to GiveWell as an organization. Additional comments may be available at the original post.

We’ve tried to approach scientific research funding - focusing initially on life sciences - by looking for gaps and deficiencies in the current system for supporting scientific research. We’ve identified several possibilities, including a set of systematic issues that make it difficult to support attempts at breakthrough fundamental science.

Translational Science and the “Valley of Death”

Note: Before the launch of the Open Philanthropy Project Blog, this post appeared on the GiveWell Blog. Uses of “we” and “our” in the below post may refer to the Open Philanthropy Project or to GiveWell as an organization. Additional comments may be available at the original post.

As we’ve looked for potential gaps in the world of scientific research funding - focusing for now on life sciences - we’ve come across many suggestions to look at the “valley of death” that sits between traditional academic research and industry research. Speaking very broadly, the basic idea is that: