Open Philanthropy Project: Grants for Animals and Wildlife

OVERVIEW: The Open Philanthropy Project primarily focuses its animal and wildlife grantmaking on farm animals’ welfare.

IP TAKE: This funder is open to supporting high-risk/high reward projects that may take some time before its investment pays off.

PROFILE: Originally established as partnership between Good Ventures and the charity evaluator GiveWell, the Open Philanthropy Project adopted its name in 2014 and officially became an independent limited liability company in 2017. Elie Hassenfeld and Holden Karnofsky founded GiveWell in 2007 and Dustin Moskovitz and Cari Tuna founded Good Ventures in 2011.

Open Philanthropy Project “[b]elieve(s) that people have equal intrinsic value regardless of the circumstances of their birth, and that animals’ lives have value, too,” the organization also believes “[e]conomic development and technological innovation have greatly increased human well-being.” While areas of grantmaking focus are subject to change, Open Philanthropy’s current giving portfolio includes U.S. Policy, Global Catastrophic Risks, Scientific Research and Global Health and Development. The organization’s U.S. Policy portfolio has multiple subprograms, which include Criminal Justice Reform, Farm Animal Welfare, Macroeconomic Stabilization Policy, Immigration Reform and Land Use Reform.

Its Farm Animal Welfare subprogram focuses on “[r]aising awareness of current (farming) practices,” and believes that “[p]ushing for reform could reduce animal suffering by enormous amounts.   

Criminal justice grants range anywhere from $10,000 to $10 million. The majority of grants fall in the $100,000 to $500,000 range. Past grantees include Animal Equality and Animal Welfare Action Lab. To learn more about the types of organizations Open Philanthropy supports and at what level, examine its grants database.

Open Philanthropy Project does not currently have a formal process for unsolicited requests for funding. At this time, it “[e]xpects to fund very few” unsolicited proposals; it identifies funding opportunities on its own.

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