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Holden Karnofsky’s blog
Last year, we wrote:
A major goal of 2017 will be to reach and publish better-developed views on:
- Which worldviews we find most plausible: for example, how we allocate resources between giving that primarily focuses on present-day human welfare vs. present-day animal welfare vs. global catastrophic risks.
- How we allocate resources among worldviews.
- How we determine whether it’s better to make a given grant or save the money for a later date.
This post gives an update on this work.
A little over a year ago, the HistPhil blog put up a post by Tamara Mann Tweel about a now-published report we commissioned her to work on, regarding the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)’s role in global price drops for antiretroviral drugs (which can be crucial in treating HIV/AIDS).
The HistPhil post states:
Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) went down from 10,000 – $15,000 per person per year to $140 per person per year between 2000 and 2005. This price drop inspired governments and international bodies to purchase ARVs and administer therapy to millions of individuals stricken with HIV/AIDS.
Last year and the year before, 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). Note that interested staff wrote separately about where they personally donated, in this post.
- 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.
For this post, some Open Phil staff members wrote up the thinking behind their personal donations for the year. Staff are listed in order of their start dates.
You can click the below links to jump to a staff member’s entry:
- Holden Karnofsky
- Alexander Berger
- Nick Beckstead
- Helen Toner
- Claire Zabel
- Lewis Bollard
- Ajeya Cotra
- Morgan Davis
- Michael Levine
I front-loaded my giving last year, and consistent with that, I am not giving this year.