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.
Prior to becoming an independent organization in June 2017, the Open Philanthropy Project was operated as a partnership between Cari and Dustin’s foundation, Good Ventures, and the charity evaluator 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 became an independent organization in 2017.
How we work
The Open Philanthropy Project is structured as a limited liability company (LLC) and is governed by a Board of Managers currently consisting of Cari Tuna, Dustin Moskovitz, Elie Hassenfeld, Alexander Berger, and Holden Karnofsky.
The Open Philanthropy Project LLC employs staff but it does not regularly make grants to other organizations. 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, the Open Philanthropy Project makes grant recommendations directly 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.
The Open Philanthropy Project, Good Ventures, and GiveWell share office space, but are separate entities with separate financial and human resources and separate governing bodies. Currently, Good Ventures does not have any employees of its own. Instead, it largely relies on the research and recommendations of Open Philanthropy Project staff. The Open Philanthropy Project remains an independent organization from Good Ventures, partly because we would eventually like to play a similar advisory role for other highly aligned major donors.