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

Our history

The Open Philanthropy Project was originally incubated as a partnership between Cari and Dustin’s foundation, Good Ventures, and GiveWell.

GiveWell was founded in 2007 by Elie Hassenfeld and Holden Karnofsky, who had been trying to donate as effectively as possible. They aimed to help people facing a similar situation to their own: interested in giving to charity, short on time for researching their options, and looking for highly evidence-backed charities to support.

Good Ventures was founded in 2011 by Cari Tuna and Dustin Moskovitz. They were looking to give their fortune away in their lifetimes, and as effectively as possible, in order to help humanity thrive. Cari took the role of President, and spent her first year speaking with a broad range of people in search of advice.

The two organizations found that they shared a great deal in terms of their vision and values, and came to collaborate closely. The partnership adopted the Open Philanthropy Project name in 2014, and began operating independently in 2017.

How we 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 we learn.

We typically recommend grants to the Open Philanthropy Project fund, a donor-advised fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Support for the Open Philanthropy Project fund comes primarily from Cari and Dustin, though historically other donors have contributed as well. In some cases, we make grants directly from the Open Philanthropy Project 501(c)(3) or make recommendations to Good Ventures, the Open Philanthropy Action Fund (a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization), or to other entities, including some that are not primarily funded or controlled by Dustin or Cari. Although the majority of our funding recommendations are directed to 501(c)(3) organizations, we also recommend contributions to other kinds of organizations when we believe that the programmatic benefits justify them.

Staff who research potential focus areas or advance academic or scientific research or education are typically employed by the Open Philanthropy Project 501(c)(3), a nonprofit organization that primarily conducts research. Staff who investigate and recommend non-research grants or investments, distribute funds to grantees, evaluate our impact, and share our learning are typically employed by the Open Philanthropy Project LLC. Good Ventures does not currently have any employees of its own and instead largely relies on the research and recommendations of staff employed by the Open Philanthropy Project. The Open Philanthropy Project remains independent from Good Ventures, partly because we would eventually like to play a similar advisory role for other highly aligned major donors.

The Open Philanthropy Project 501(c)(3) is governed by a Board of Directors currently consisting of Dustin Moskovitz (Chair), Cari Tuna, Divesh Makan, Elie Hassenfeld, Holden Karnofsky, and Alexander Berger.