We’re committed to sharing what we learn, with detail and honesty, as we give.

We envision a world in which philanthropists increasingly document and share their research, reasoning, results, and mistakes to help each other learn more quickly and serve others more effectively.

In this space, we often cross-post items from the blog of our partner, Open Philanthropy, to give readers a fuller picture of the reasoning behind our work.

  1. 06/14/2024 Blog: Give & Learn

    An update from Good Ventures

    We are writing to share that while we generally plan to continue increasing our grantmaking in our existing focus areas via our partner Open Philanthropy, we have decided to exit a handful of sub-causes (amounting to less than 5% of our annual grantmaking), and we are no longer… Read More

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  2. 05/30/2024 Blog: Give & Learn

    Exploring Cause Prioritization in the Journal of Economic Perspectives

    Emily Oehlsen, our Managing Director for Global Health and Wellbeing (GHW), recently published a paper in the Journal of Economic Perspectives that explains Open Philanthropy’s approach to cause prioritization within our GHW portfolio. Here’s the abstract: Many foundations decide how much and where to give based on their founders’ personal precommitments… Read More

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  3. 04/30/2024 Blog: Give & Learn

    Cool Things Our GHW Grantees Have Done in 2023

    Open Philanthropy’s Global Health and Wellbeing (GHW) portfolio now spans eight different programs working to improve health, raise incomes, and reduce suffering around the world. Our most recent program, global public health policy, launched in November 2023. It can be difficult to fully grasp all the work we do within the… Read More

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  4. 04/16/2024 Blog: Give & Learn

    Development through Economic Growth

    Open Philanthropy commissioned a report from Stefan Dercon on economic growth as the main driver of poverty reduction. In the report, Dercon highlights a set of overlooked policies that can help boost economic growth in developing countries, as well as key reasons why these policies aren’t always… Read More

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  5. 03/27/2024 Blog: Give & Learn

    Our Progress in 2023 and Plans for 2024

    Like many organizations, Open Philanthropy has had multiple founding moments. Depending on how you count, we will be either seven, ten, or thirteen years old this year. Regardless of when you start the clock, it’s possible that we’ve changed more in the last two… Read More

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  6. 02/01/2024 Blog: Give & Learn

    Introducing Open Philanthropy’s New Leadership Team

    Since Holden formally stepped down as co-CEO of Open Philanthropy last July, I’ve been working to build out our new leadership team. This post introduces the folks joining me (CEO) and Cari Tuna (President) as OP leadership: Emily Oehlsen became Managing Director for our work on Global Health and Wellbeing (GHW) in July 2023… Read More

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  7. 12/19/2023 Blog: Give & Learn

    Suggestions for Individual Donors from Open Philanthropy Staff – 2023

    In past years, we sometimes published suggestions for individual donors looking for organizations to support. This post shares new suggestions from Open Philanthropy program staff who chose to provide them. Similar caveats to previous years apply: These are reasonably strong options in the relevant focus area, and shouldn’t be taken as outright recommendations… Read More

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  8. 12/14/2023 Blog: Give & Learn

    A Year of Wins for Farmed Animals

    This post originally appeared in the monthly farm animal welfare newsletter written by Lewis Bollard, program officer for farm animal welfare. Sign up here to receive an email each month with Lewis’ research and insights into farm animal advocacy. Note that the… Read More

    Topics: Farm Animal Welfare
  9. 12/01/2023 Blog: Give & Learn

    A Case Study on Insecticide-Treated Bednets

    Both GiveWell and Open Philanthropy (OP) have been longtime supporters of charities that distribute long-lasting insecticide-treated bednets (LLINs), such as the Against Malaria Foundation. Open Philanthropy continues to believe that these are some of the best charitable giving opportunities in the world — on the order of … Read More

    Topics: Global Health & Development
  10. 11/22/2023 Blog: Give & Learn

    New Grantmaking Program: Global Public Health Policy

    We’re pleased to announce that we’ve added a new cause area to our Global Health and Wellbeing portfolio: Global Public Health Policy. The program will be overseen by Santosh Harish, Chris Smith, and James Snowden. Santosh will lead the majority of grantmaking for the program. We believe that some of… Read More

    Topics: Global Public Health Policy
  11. 10/05/2023 Blog: Give & Learn

    Our Planned Allocation to GiveWell’s Recommendations for the Next Few Years

    Last year, we committed $350 million to GiveWell’s evidence-backed, cost-effective recommendations in global health and development. This year, we’re committing $300M to support GiveWell’s recommendations over the next three years. This returns our annual support to its 2020 level ($100M/year). And it brings us to more than $1 billion in… Read More

    Topics: Potential GiveWell Top Charities, Global Health & Development
  12. 09/29/2023 Blog: Give & Learn

    Announcing the Winners of the 2023 Open Philanthropy AI Worldviews Contest

    In March 2023, we launched the Open Philanthropy AI Worldviews Contest. The goal of the contest was to surface novel considerations that could affect our views on the timeline to transformative AI and the level of catastrophic risk that transformative AI systems could pose. We received 135 submissions. Today we… Read More

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  13. 07/27/2023 Blog: Give & Learn

    Alexander Berger is Now Sole CEO of Open Philanthropy

    On behalf of Open Philanthropy’s board, I’m excited to announce that Alexander Berger is now sole CEO of Open Philanthropy! Alexander has served as co-CEO since 2021 and has run the organization during my leave of absence. I’ve been blown away by his talent, dedication and values ever… Read More

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  14. 05/12/2023 Blog: Give & Learn

    A Big Supreme Court Win for Farm Animals

    This post originally appeared in the monthly farm animal welfare newsletter written by Lewis Bollard, program officer for farm animal welfare. Sign up here to receive an email each month with Lewis’ research and insights into farm animal advocacy. Note that the… Read More

    Topics: Farm Animal Welfare
  15. 05/10/2023 Blog: Give & Learn

    Our Progress in 2022 and Plans For 2023

    2022 was a big year for Open Philanthropy: We recommended over $650 million in grants — more, by far, than in any other year of our history. [More] We hired our first program officers for three new focus areas in our Global Health and Wellbeing portfolio. [More] Within… Read More

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  16. 01/11/2023 Blog: Give & Learn

    Tobacco Control

    1. Preamble This post is a shallow investigation, as described here. As we noted in the civil conflict investigation and telecommunications in LMICs investigation we shared earlier this year, we have not shared many shallow investigations in the last few years but are moving towards sharing… Read More

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  17. 12/22/2022 Blog: Give & Learn

    Big Wins for Farm Animals This Decade

    This post originally appeared in the monthly farm animal welfare newsletter written by Lewis Bollard, program officer for farm animal welfare. Sign up here to receive an email each month with Lewis’ research and insights into farm animal advocacy. Note that… Read More

    Topics: Farm Animal Welfare
  18. 11/23/2022 Blog: Give & Learn

    Does putting kids in school now put money in their pockets later? Revisiting a natural experiment in Indonesia

    Open Philanthropy’s Global Health and Wellbeing team continues to investigate potential areas for grantmaking. One of those is education in poorer countries. These countries have massively expanded schooling in the last half century. but many of their students lack minimal numeracy and literacy. To support the team’s assessment of the… Read More

    Topics: Education, Global Health & Development
  19. 09/09/2022 Blog: Give & Learn

    Cause Exploration Prizes: Announcing our prizes

    We were gratified to receive over 150 good-faith submissions to Open Philanthropy’s Cause Exploration Prizes, where we invited people to suggest a new area for us to support or respond to our suggested questions. We hoped that these submissions would help us find new ways to carry out our mission —… Read More

    Topics: Global Health & Development
  20. 07/15/2022 Blog: Give & Learn

    Report on Social Returns to Productivity Growth

    Historically, economic growth has had huge social benefits, lifting billions out of poverty and improving health outcomes around the world. This leads some to argue that accelerating economic growth, or at least productivity growth,[1] should be a major philanthropic and social priority going forward. Read More

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  21. 06/16/2022 Blog: Give & Learn

    How accurate are our predictions?

      When investigating a grant, Open Philanthropy staff often make probabilistic predictions about grant-related outcomes they care about, e.g. “I’m 70% confident the grantee will achieve milestone #1 within 1 year.” This allows us to learn from the success and failure of our past predictions and get better… Read More

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  22. 05/25/2022 Blog: Give & Learn

    Open Philanthropy’s Cause Exploration Prizes

    Update: We’ve now announced the recipients of these prizes. At Open Philanthropy, we aim to give as effectively as we can. To find the best opportunities, we’ve looked at many different causes, some of which have become our current focus areas. Even after a decade of research, we think… Read More

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  23. 05/12/2022 Blog: Give & Learn

    Our Progress in 2021 and Plans for 2022

    This post compares our progress with the goals we set forth a year ago, and lays out our plans for the coming year. In brief: We recommended over $400 million worth of grants in 2021. The bulk of this came from recommendations to support GiveWell’s top charities and from our… Read More

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  24. 02/22/2022 Blog: Give & Learn

    New grantmaking program: supporting the effective altruism community around Global Health and Wellbeing

    We are searching for a program officer to help us launch a new grantmaking program. The program would support projects and organizations in the effective altruism community (EA) with a focus on improving global health and wellbeing (GHW). Background We have an existing program in effective altruism community growth. Like our new… Read More

    Topics: Effective Altruism, Global Health & Development
  25. 02/11/2022 Blog: Give & Learn

    Open Philanthropy’s Regranting Challenge

    In this post, “we” refers to Good Ventures and Open Philanthropy, who work as partners. Open Philanthropy is running a $150 million Regranting Challenge, aiming to add funding to the grantmaking budgets of one to five outstanding programs at other foundations. We believe there are some excellent individual programs and whole foundations out… Read More

    Topics: Economic Empowerment, Global Health & Development
  26. 12/24/2021 Blog: Give & Learn

    Ten Big Wins for Farm Animals in 2021

    This post originally appeared in the monthly farm animal welfare newsletter written by Lewis Bollard, our program officer for farm animal welfare. Sign up here to receive an email each month with Lewis’ research and insights into farm animal advocacy. Note that… Read More

    Topics: Farm Animal Welfare
  27. 07/22/2021 Blog: Give & Learn

    An End to Cages in Europe?

    This post originally appeared in the monthly farm animal welfare newsletter written by Lewis Bollard, our program officer for farm animal welfare. Sign up here to receive an email each month with Lewis’ research and insights into farm animal advocacy. Note that… Read More

    Topics: Farm Animal Welfare
  28. 04/11/2018 Blog: Give & Learn

    Dividing Our Money Between Causes

    Note: We're experimenting with writing shorter, more accessible versions of key Open Philanthropy blog posts for the Good Ventures blog. For a more detailed version of this essay, see the original. In this post, "we" refers to Good Ventures and the Open Philanthropy Project, who work as partners. Good… Read More

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  29. 09/13/2017 Blog: Give & Learn

    Worldview Diversification

    The Open Philanthropy Project and Good Ventures support the most promising work according to different perspectives. Read More

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  30. 08/01/2017 Blog: Give & Learn

    Swinging for the Fences

    Swinging for the Fences

    The Open Philanthropy Project and Good Ventures try to maximize our impact by taking risks and learning from failure. Read More

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  31. 07/03/2017 Blog: Give & Learn

    Projects, People and Processes

    Holden Karnofsky discusses project-based, people-based, and process-based approaches to delegating the task of finding giving opportunities. Read More

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  32. 02/17/2017 Blog: Give & Learn

    Radical Empathy

    Radical Empathy

    Holden Karnofsky discusses the Open Philanthropy Project's views on empathy and moral concern. Read More

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  33. 04/08/2016 Blog: Give & Learn

    Hits-based Giving

    Holden Karnofsky outlines the Open Philanthropy Project's giving strategy: hits-based giving. Read More

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  34. 05/21/2015 Blog: Give & Learn

    Funder-Initiated Startups

    Unlike for-profit companies, it seems that many major nonprofits are initiated by funders. We give some examples and possible explanations. Read More

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  35. 03/02/2015 Blog: Give & Learn

    Thoughts on the Sandler Foundation

    Holden Karnofsky examines the track record of the Sandler Foundation and whether or not its success is a product of an atypical approach to philanthropy. Read More

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  36. 12/03/2013 Blog: Give & Learn

    Our Giving Season Plans

    Our Giving Season Plans

    Good Ventures announces its plans for the 2013 giving season, including $5 million in matching funds for GiveDirectly. Read More

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  37. 02/01/2013 Blog: Give & Learn

    Learning Grants in Policy Advocacy

    Learning Grants in Policy Advocacy

    A blog post by Cari Tuna about Good Ventures' learning grants in policy advocacy in support of drug policy reform and marriage equality. Read More

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  38. 08/02/2012 Blog: Give & Learn

    Notes from Key Conversations

    Notes from Key Conversations

    A blog post by Cari Tuna about increasing transparency in philanthropy by publishing notes from Good Ventures’ key conversations. Read More

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