Cari Tuna is a member of GiveWell’s board of directors and president of Good Ventures, a foundation in the San Francisco Bay Area which she created with her partner Dustin Moskovitz earlier this year. Previously, Cari was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.
Today, I’m writing to share that Good Ventures is donating $500,000 to the Against Malaria Foundation and $250,000 to the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative–GiveWell’s #1 and #2 charity recommendations this giving season, respectively. Over the coming months, Good Ventures also plans to donate to the six nonprofits that GiveWell recently named “standout organizations”: GiveDirectly, Innovations for Poverty Action, KIPP Houston, Nyaya Health, Pratham and the Small Enterprise Foundation.
I first learned about GiveWell about a year ago while preparing to transition from reporting to working in philanthropy full time. I read about the organization in Peter Singer’s The Life You Can Save and, around the same time, met co-founder Holden Karnofsky through a mutual friend. Right away, I was struck by the rigor of GiveWell’s research, its commitment to transparency and the volume of thoughtful commentary about the nonprofit sector it already had produced in just three years.
In April 2011, I joined GiveWell’s board. Since then, I’ve been increasingly impressed by the co-founders’ dedication to their work, humility about what they know and what they don’t, and ability to adapt the GiveWell model as they learn.
As a new foundation, Good Ventures’ top priorities are 1) to learn how to do as much good as possible with the resources at our disposal and 2) to become a great resource for other people who care about improving our world. We plan to make a number of carefully selected grants over the coming years in order to learn about promising solutions to the world’s most formidable problems. Over time, we hope our work contributes to significant, sustained reductions in poverty and improvements in quality of life for disadvantaged people around the world.
To that end, we see huge potential in encouraging greater effectiveness and transparency across the social sector, in particular by helping to foster a culture in which individual donors demand evidence of impact from the nonprofits they support.
One simple idea–that all donors should be at least as thoughtful about our philanthropic investments as we are about our financial investments–has transformed the way I think about giving. If you’re reading GiveWell’s blog, this probably isn’t news to you. But it might be news to your friends, parents, siblings, children or coworkers. So this giving season, please spread the word, and let’s transform the culture around giving, one heart and mind at a time.
Note: While Good Ventures does not accept unsolicited requests for funding, we do consider all of GiveWell’s recommended charities–and not just its #1 recommendation–for substantial grants.