Recent press about our work.

  1. In the Media

    The Economist: Can “Effective Altruism” Maximise the Bang for Each Charitable Buck?

    "The Open Philanthropy Project, a research group spun out of GiveWell, is more willing to back ventures with only a small chance of success provided the potential benefits are big enough. An extreme example is its recommendation that donors finance research on the safe use of artificial intelligence (AI). The increasing economic importance of AI, and the fact that it is so poorly understood, have led many altruists to believe it may soon become one of the biggest threats to society."

  2. In the Media

    Stanford Social Innovation Review: Giving in the Light of Reason

    "In the long run, this may be the most important way that Open Phil stands apart from the crowd. There’s plenty of blather in the social sector about 'learning organizations' and 'risk taking' and 'embracing failure,' but very few foundations publicly share what they learned, take big risks, or account honestly for their failures. Open Phil does all of that, and more. Its devotion to reason and evidence; its commitment to do as much good as possible; and its willingness to report publicly on what works, what doesn’t, and why, are, arguably, unequaled in philanthropy."

  3. In the Media

    Inside Philanthropy: This Powerhouse Funder Is New to Scientific Research. Where Are Grants Going?

    "While [the Open Philanthropy Project] describes itself as being in an exploratory process in regard to scientific research, the grants that it's recommended in the past six months offer important hints about its emerging interests. ... On closer examination, [one grant] matches several of the OPP's key stated aims: fund areas that affect lots of people, that may be somewhat neglected in by other funders, and contain a substantial element of fundamental science."

  4. In the Media

    Nonprofit Chronicles: A Story About Fish, and Unconventional Philanthropy

    "Yet this is precisely the kind of problem that foundations are uniquely suited to take on. At the very least,  the willingness of the Open Philanthropy Project to take on the quixotic cause of fish welfare reflects an admirable willingness of those who work there to chart its own path. ... Put another way, the biggest liability of foundations — their lack of accountability, which can lead to insular thinking and ineffective grantmaking — can be turned into a valuable asset if foundations seize opportunities to embrace risk, take on unpopular causes or ideas or tackle problems that will take years or decades to solve. Today it might be fish welfare."

  5. In the Media

    Inside Philanthropy: Research Funder Knocks on the NIH’s Door Looking for Ideas—And Big Grants Flow

    "If this sounds like a unique approach to science philanthropy, it is. But it’s this kind of curiosity in action we’ve come to expect from the Open Philanthropy Project. ... The organization has a rare zeal for efficiency and bang-for-the-buck, as well as transparency, as it exhaustively documents its activities through blog posts and other shared documents. The same is true for these NIH-related grants, so you can read much more about the process they used to vet the large number of applications on the blog. It's hard to think of another funder that's so candid about how the sausage gets made."

  6. In the Media

    Nature: Facebook Billionaire Pours Funds Into High-Risk Research

    "Open Phil, based in San Francisco, California, acknowledges the high odds of failure of the basic research it funds and, for a private funder, publishes brutally honest assessments of its projects. These range from developing lab-made meat alternatives to a controversial genetic-engineering technology called gene drive. For its latest funding round, it asked scientists whose grant applications had been rejected by an NIH competition for risky research to dust off their proposals. Some 120 researchers resubmitted their requests, and the project awarded $10.8 million to four teams."