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Holden Karnofsky’s blog
Last year, the year before, and the year before that, we published a set of suggestions for individual donors looking for organizations to support. This year, we are repeating the practice and publishing updated suggestions from Open Philanthropy Project staff who chose to provide them.
The same caveats as in previous years apply:
- These are reasonably strong options in causes of interest, and shouldn’t be taken as outright recommendations (i.e., it isn’t necessarily the case that the person making the suggestion thinks they’re the best option available across all causes).
- In many cases, we find a funding gap we’d like to fill, and then we recommend filling the entire funding gap with a single grant. That doesn’t leave much scope for making a suggestion for individuals. The cases listed below, then, are the cases where, for one reason or another, we haven’t decided to recommend filling an organization’s full funding gap, and we believe it could make use of fairly arbitrary amounts of donations from individuals.
- Our explanations for why these are strong giving opportunities are very brief and informal, and we don’t expect individuals to be persuaded by them unless they put a lot of weight on the judgment of the person making the suggestion.
We believe that every life has equal value — and that philanthropic dollars can go particularly far by helping those who are living in poverty by global standards. Currently, the best giving opportunities we’ve found in the Global Health and Development focus area are recommended by GiveWell. (Read more about our relationship to GiveWell here.)
The campaign for marriage equality in the U.S. over the past couple decades is a remarkable success story. To better understand philanthropy’s role in it, we commissioned Benjamin Soskis, whose work we’ve funded via our history of philanthropy project, to produce a literature review and case study (.pdf). It covers the history of the campaign to secure marriage equality in the United States, which culminated in the Supreme Court’s decision, in Obergefell v. Hodges, that the U.S. Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry.
Here are a few of our takeaways from the report:
This post gives an update on our work with “external donors” - donors other than our current primary funders (Cari and Dustin). In brief: