This post compares our progress with the goals we set forth a year ago, and lays out our plans for the coming year.
- Our 2015 goals revolved mostly around building our staff capacity, and particularly around hiring. Broadly speaking, we mostly accomplished our goals, though we significantly scaled back our goals for scientific research at mid-year.
- Our team has roughly doubled in size compared to a year ago. We’re now in a much better position to recommend a significant amount of grantmaking. We also feel much better positioned to identify outstanding causes.
- This year, we have a general goal of focusing on making grants in the most outstanding causes we’ve found. This is a departure from past years’ goals, which revolved around building knowledge and staff capacity. We expect to prioritize building knowledge and staff capacity again in the future, but we think this is a good year to focus on increasing our grantmaking. We currently are bottlenecked in terms of management capacity, and we believe that focusing on grantmaking will likely lead to a lot of learning that will inform future hiring and capacity building.
- Potential risks from advanced artificial intelligence will be a major priority for 2016. Not only will Daniel Dewey be working on this cause full-time, but Nick Beckstead and I will both be putting significant time into it as well. Some other staff will be contributing smaller amounts of time as appropriate.
- Other major focus areas where we expect significant grantmaking include criminal justice reform, farm animal welfare, and biosecurity. We expect to recommend at least $10 million in grants in each of these areas.
- We have a variety of other goals, including completing the separation of the Open Philanthropy Project as an independent organization from GiveWell, with its own employees and financials, though some individuals will continue to do work for both organizations.