Hello, world. This is the inaugural post of the Good Ventures blog.
My name is Cari Tuna, and I’m the president of Good Ventures, a philanthropic foundation that my fiancé Dustin Moskovitz and I created in May 2011. The mission of Good Ventures is to help humanity thrive. The purpose of this blog is to describe what we at Good Ventures are thinking, funding and learning for the benefit of other donors seeking to maximize the impact of their giving. We hope you find it useful.
This post is intended to be an introduction to our work. To that end, I’ll briefly describe our vision and mission as well as the framework we’ve chosen to guide our initial grantmaking.
Our vision & mission
Dustin and I are motivated by a vision we share for the world: a single, global community in which all people are free from suffering and empowered to make choices about their lives; a world in which people live in peace, based on a culture of mutual love and respect rather than fear and hostility.
Good Ventures’ mission — “to help humanity thrive” — is purposefully broad. It’s a reminder that the foundation’s intermediate goals and strategies are a means to a greater end. It also reflects the fact that the problems facing humanity — and the tools we have to solve them — are evolving rapidly. In order to serve humanity as well as possible over the coming decades, Good Ventures must evolve, too. A broad mission allows room for that evolution.
Our mission statement also reflects our desire to maximize the impact of our giving on the world. Right now, we have a strong vision and set of values but few preconceived notions about how to do the most good. We think that blank slate is an asset. Rather than committing ourselves to causes upfront, as many philanthropists do today, we’re planning to spend a lot of time reflecting on — and experimenting with — what causes to focus on. We recognize that we have a lot to learn. That’s one reason why we’re beginning to build our foundation now, rather than waiting until later in our lives.
Our initial approach
Although we recognize the value of focus in philanthropy, Good Ventures doesn’t yet have “programs,” or areas of specialty which define what the foundation will and won’t fund. Instead, we’ve selected a few approaches that we find promising to guide our initial grantmaking:
- researching, supporting and promoting cost-effective approaches to improving quality of life worldwide;
- advancing public policies that protect or expand personal freedom;
- and increasing the impact of philanthropy by encouraging effectiveness and transparency across the social sector.