Open Philanthropy’s mission is to help others as much as we can with the resources available to us. We think about our funding in terms of expected impact per dollar, meaning the impact per dollar we expect to have when adjusting for the chance of success.
We are open to different ways of defining positive impact within human health, economic development, and/or climate change. We do not have a fundamental preference for low-risk or high-risk philanthropic opportunities. This means that we will consider both “low-risk” opportunities such as evidence-backed direct services provision as well as “high-risk” opportunities such as advocacy or scientific research, where the low chance of success for any individual funding opportunity can be offset by the very high impact of success where it occurs. We call this hits-based giving.
For the Regranting Challenge, we are looking for programs with clearly defined goals, a track record of at least initial progress towards those goals, and a set of cost-effective opportunities they would support if they had more funding. Given our emphasis on cost-effectiveness, we anticipate that the strongest proposals will come from programs that primarily benefit people in low- and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs), but that is not a requirement to apply.
Here are a few example focus areas that we believe would be a particularly good fit for the Regranting Challenge:
- Supporting key public health improvements in LMICs through research, service access and quality, or changes in law, policy, and/or regulation. We’d be looking for evidence that a program in this area is on track to cost-effectively extend human lives. That could mean funding the development of a new treatment that, in expectation, should save many lives in the future; taking the lead in funding advocacy for a series of new laws that non-experimental evidence suggests should reduce disease incidence in the future; financing a large-scale delivery campaign of a new health approach that an RCT found to be cost-effective; or something else.
- Improving learning productivity in LMICs to increase the economic and social returns to time in school. We’d be looking for evidence that a program in this area is on track to cost-effectively improve learning outcomes. That could mean (non-exclusively) providing services directly (like teacher training), or taking the lead in funding advocacy for changes to curricula or education practices that experimental and non-experimental evidence suggests will improve learning outcomes (like increased use of local languages).
- Supporting reductions in global carbon emissions and/or mitigating the harms of climate change in LMICs through technology research or changes in law, policy, and/or regulation. We’d be looking for evidence that a program in this area is on track to cost-effectively reduce total global emissions. That could mean directly funding key R&D for clean energy or carbon removal breakthroughs or taking the lead in funding successful advocacy for important policy changes, amongst other things.
- Incubating, rigorously testing, and catalyzing support for new ideas (e.g., products, services, policy reforms) aimed at helping the world’s poorest people. We’d be looking for evidence of funding one or more important breakthroughs in the past and a repeatable process for identifying these hits in the future.
This list is very much not exhaustive: we’re launching the Regranting Challenge in part because we hope to find excellent candidates that are very different from what we imagined at the outset.
We encourage candidates on the fence about whether they are a possible fit to reach out to [email protected] or to submit the short expression of interest form directly.