Good Ventures

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Good Ventures
Good Ventures Logo.png
Founded 2011
Type private foundation
Key people

Good Ventures is an impact-focused private foundation and philanthropic organization co-founded by Cari Tuna, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and her husband Dustin Moskovitz, one of the co-founders of Facebook.[2][3] Unlike many other foundations, that aim to maintain an endowment indefinitely or at least for a very long period of time, Good Ventures aims to spend out most or all of its money before Moskovitz and Tuna die.[4][5]


Cari Tuna, a reporter at the San Francisco bureau of the Wall Street Journal, and Dustin Moskovitz, Facebook co-founder, met on a blind date in 2009 at the recommendation of a friend. In 2010, Moskovitz signed the Giving Pledge, and he and Tuna began investigating how best to give away the money.[4]

Tuna first learned about charity evaluator GiveWell and the movement for effective giving after reading The Life You Can Save, a book by ethicist and philosopher Peter Singer, and the couple was introduced to the ideas of effective altruism and high impact philanthropy. Tuna and Moskovitz formed Good Ventures. Moskovitz was busy running Asana, so Tuna quit her job in 2011 to work full-time on Good Ventures. She also joined the board of GiveWell in April 2011.[2][6]

In March 2013, Good Ventures launched its own website.[7]

In August 2014, GiveWell Labs, an internal project of GiveWell, morphed into the Open Philanthropy Project, a joint venture of GiveWell and Good Ventures, and got a separate website.[8]


Researching causes and charities[edit]

Staff from GiveWell (left), GiveDirectly (middle), and Good Ventures (right), on a field trip to one of the villages that have recipients of GiveDirectly's cash transfer program in Kenya.

Good Ventures researches causes and charities in a variety of ways, including reading the relevant research and conversations with charity representatives and development experts. In June 2012, Good Ventures announced a partnership with charity evaluator GiveWell whereby the two organizations would share information and insights with each other in order to minimize duplication of effort.[9]

Good Ventures does not solicit grants or applications and discourages charities from contacting it.[1] Rather, they prefer to follow leads by themselves.

In the interests of transparency and to avoid duplication of effort, Good Ventures makes public, where possible, the notes from all their conversations.[10] Conversations have included conversations with grantees such as the Center for Global Development[11] and with other foundations such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.[12]

Commissioned reports[edit]

In July 2013, Good Ventures made public a version of a report on the War on Drugs prepared by Matt Stoller and Aaron Swartz. The report considered three sides in the war on drugs: the Drug Warriors, the Legalizers, and the Technocrats.[13]


Good Ventures has a publicly available grants database on its website.[14] It also announces some major grants on its blog. Below is a list of those grants that were mentioned in Good Ventures blog posts:

Date of announcement Grant details
December 1, 2014 Grants to GiveWell's top charities and standout charities: $5 million each to GiveDirectly and Against Malaria Foundation, $3 million to Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, and $250,000 to Deworm the World Initiative, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition's Universal Salt Iodization Program, Development Media International, International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, and Living Goods.[15]
July 2014 Grant to ImmigrationWorks Foundation, the 501(c)3 sister organization to ImmigrationWorks USA, a group that advocates for freer movement of low-skilled workers for employment to the United States.[16] The grant was recommended by charity evaluator GiveWell.[17]
March 2014 Labor mobility grant of $1,184,000 over 3 years to the Center for Global Development to support research led by Senior Fellow Michael Clemens, on GiveWell's recommendation.[18][19]
December 3, 2013 Grants to GiveWell's 2013 end-of-year top-rated charities. Grant amounts: $2,000,000 to GiveDirectly, a charity operating unconditional cash transfers in Kenya and Uganda, $1,500,000 to Deworm the World Initiative, and $750,000 to Schistosomiasis Control Initiative. In addition, matching for donations up to $5,000,000 to GiveDirectly till January 31, 2014, with a limit of $100,000 for the amount matched per donor.[20][21] GiveWell wrote a follow-up blog post, indicating that they had recommended the grant but had advised against the donation matching.[22] The full donation amount to be matched was raised, so Good Ventures granted GiveDirectly a total of USD 7 million ($2 million unconditional + $5 million matching) in January 2014.[14][23]
July 3, 2013 Grant of $300,000 to Center for Global Development ($100,000 each for three years). Recommended by GiveWell.[24]
May 2013 Grant of $50,000 to Millions Saved, an initiative of the Center for Global Development. Recommended by GiveWell.[25]
February 1, 2013 Grant of $150,000 USD to the Drug Policy Alliance and grant of $150,000 (plus $100,000 via the Silicon Valley Community Foundation) to Freedom to Marry, a gay marriage advocacy group. These grants were termed "learning grants" in the area of policy advocacy.[26]
December 28, 2012 Grants to GiveWell's top-rated charities for the 2012 end-of-year giving: $1.25 million to the top-rated charity Against Malaria Foundation, $500,000 to GiveDirectly (GiveWell's #2 charity) and $250,000 to Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (GiveWell's #3 charity).[27]
December 23, 2011 Grants to GiveWell's top rated charities of the time: $500,000 USD to Against Malaria Foundation and $250,000 USD to Schistosomiasis Control Initiative.[6]
September 27, 2012 "Quick Grant" of $100,000 USD to the US Cochrane Center, a part of the Cochrane Collaboration.[28][29]
August 23, 2012 Co-funding with the Gates Foundation for a project by Population Services International on containment of resistance to artemisinin, an anti-malaria drug, in Myanmar.[30] In September 2012, charity evaluator GiveWell published a review of the project.[31]
August 6, 2012 Grants to GiveWell's standout charities (originally listed by GiveWell in November 2011, list discontinued in November 2012). The grants were for $50,000 to five of the stand-out charities (Nyaya Health, KIPP (Houston), Small Enterprise Foundation, Innovations for Poverty Action, and Pratham) and for $100,000 to GiveDirectly.[32] The reason for the higher grant allocation to GiveDirectly was that Good Ventures staff felt that cash transfers were a particularly promising form of intervention and they were also impressed with the GiveDirectly team.[32]


In July 2014, GiveWell Labs, a joint project of Good Ventures and GiveWell (that would later be renamed the Open Philanthropy Project), announced a partnership with the Pew Charitable Trust on the Pew Public Safety Performance Project.[33][34]

For-profit investment subsidiary[edit]

Good Ventures LLC is a for-profit investment company that invests in for-profits that show potential to improve human well-being at scale, and donates earnings to the Good Ventures Foundation.[35] Its investments include Vicarious, a company working in artificial intelligence.[36][37]

Media and blog coverage[edit]

Media coverage[edit]

Good Ventures was covered early in its history in the Chronicle of Philanthropy in January 2012.[2] The Chronicle article contrasted the cautious approach of Tuna and Moskovitz to philanthropy with that of Facebook's principal founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who donated $100 million to the New Jersey public school system.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy covered Good Ventures again in December 2013.[3]

Good Ventures is also mentioned on Moskovitz's Forbes profile.[38]

In December 2014, the Washington Post published a lengthy article profiling Good Ventures, its history, and its work to date.[4]

Reporting for Vox in April 2015 about a GiveWell conference, Dylan Matthews discussed the work of GiveWell, Good Ventures, and the Open Philanthropy Project in the context of the broader movement called effective altruism.[5]

Blog coverage[edit]

Good Ventures was also covered in the blog of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA).[39] At the time of the blog post, IPA had not received any funding from Good Ventures, though it later received funds from Good Ventures.[32]

Similar resources[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Good Ventures home page". 
  2. ^ a b c Preston, Caroline (January 10, 2012). "Another Facebook Co-Founder Gets Philanthropic". Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Gose, Ben (November 3, 2013). "A Facebook Co-Founder and His Wife Use Effective Altruism to Shape Giving". Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Ariana Eunjung Cha (December 26, 2014). "Cari Tuna and Dustin Moskovitz: Young Silicon Valley billionaires pioneer new approach to philanthropy". Washington Post. Retrieved December 29, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Matthews, Dylan (April 24, 2015). "You have $8 billion. You want to do as much good as possible. What do you do?". Vox. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Tuna, Cari (2011-12-23). "Guest post from Cari Tuna". GiveWell (blog). 
  7. ^ Olanoff, Drew (March 12, 2013). "Dustin Moskovitz And Cari Tuna Launch Site For Their Philanthropic Foundation, Good Ventures". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  8. ^ Karnofsky, Holden (August 20, 2014). "Open Philanthropy Project (formerly GiveWell Labs)". GiveWell. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  9. ^ Karnofsky, Holden (2012-06-28). "GiveWell and Good Ventures". GiveWell. 
  10. ^ "Good Ventures conversations list page". 
  11. ^ "A conversation with Kimberly Elliott on November 13, 2013". November 13, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  12. ^ "A conversation with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Health Group on September 23, 2013". September 23, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  13. ^ Tuna, Cari (2013-07-03). "Observations on the War on Drugs". Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  14. ^ a b "Grants Database". Good Ventures. Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  15. ^ Hassenfeld, Elie (December 1, 2014). "Our updated top charities". GiveWell. Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  16. ^ "ImmigrationWorks Foundation — General Support". Good Ventures. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  17. ^ "ImmigrationWorks grant". GiveWell. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Center for Global Development — Labor Mobility Research". Good Ventures. March 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Grant to the Center for Global Development". GiveWell. March 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  20. ^ Tuna, Cari (December 3, 2013). "Our Giving Season Plans". Good Ventures. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  21. ^ Moskovitz, Dustin. "Breakthrough Philanthropy: Just Give Them the Money. Good Ventures will match every dollar up to $5M to GiveDirectly through Jan 31, 2014". Medium. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  22. ^ Karnofsky, Holden (December 3, 2013). "Good Ventures Matching Gift to GiveDirectly and Grants to Top Charities". GiveWell. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  23. ^ Joy (February 1, 2014). "Good Ventures matching challenge: $5 million raised and matched!". GiveDirectly. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  24. ^ Karnofsky, Holden (2013-07-03). "Grant to Center for Global Development (CGD)". GiveWell. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  25. ^ "Millions Saved". GiveWell. June 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  26. ^ Tuna, Cari (2013-02-01). "Learning Grants in Policy Advocacy". Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  27. ^ Tuna, Cari (2012-12-28). "Year-End Grants to GiveWell's Top Charities". Good Ventures. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  28. ^ Tuna, Cari (2012-09-27). ""Quick Grant" to the US Cochrane Center". Good Ventures. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  29. ^ Karnofsky, Holden (2012-09-27). "US Cochrane Center (USCC) gets our first "quick grant" recommendation". GiveWell. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  30. ^ Tuna, Cari (2012-08-23). "Co-funding with the Gates Foundation". Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  31. ^ "Containment of Artemisinin Resistance in Eastern Myanmar (PSI Myanmar project)". GiveWell. 2012-09-11. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  32. ^ a b c "Grants to "standout" charities". Good Ventures. 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  33. ^ "Pew Public Safety Performance Project". GiveWell. Retrieved August 7, 2014. 
  34. ^ Karnofsky, Holden (July 24, 2014). "Partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts". Retrieved August 7, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Other Investments". Good Ventures. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Vicarious Announces $15M Series A Funding Led by Good Ventures". Good Ventures. August 21, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  37. ^ Ha, Anthony (August 21, 2012). "Vicarious Raises $15M Led By Dustin Moskovitz’s Good Ventures To Build Software That ‘Learns Like A Human’". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Dustin Moskovitz". Forbes. 
  39. ^ "Another Facebook Co-Founder Gets Philanthropic". Innovations for Poverty Action. 2012-01-10. 

External links[edit]