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Good Ventures is an impact-focused private foundation and philanthropic organization in San Francisco. It was co-founded by Cari Tuna, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and her husband Dustin Moskovitz, one of the co-founders of Facebook. 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 most or all of its money before Moskovitz and Tuna die.
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.
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. 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.
In March 2013, Good Ventures launched its own website. 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.
Good Ventures plans to spend out the majority of its money before the death of Moskovitz and Tuna, rather than be a foundation in perpetuity. Most of the money for the foundation comes from the stock Moskovitz obtained as a Facebook co-founder. They are working closely with charity evaluator GiveWell to determine how to spend their money wisely. At GiveWell's recommendation, Good Ventures is not currently spending a significant share of the couple's wealth, but they plan to up their spending to 5% of the foundation's wealth every year once GiveWell has built sufficient capacity to help allocate that level of money.
Researching causes and charities
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. Good Ventures does not solicit grants or applications and discourages charities from contacting it. 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. Conversations have included conversations with grantees such as the Center for Global Development and with other foundations such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
In July 2013, the organization 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.
The organization has a publicly available grants database on its website. It also announces some major grants on its blog.
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.
For-profit investment subsidiary
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. Its investments include Vicarious, a company working in artificial intelligence.
Media and blog coverage
Good Ventures was covered early in its history in the Chronicle of Philanthropy in January 2012. 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. Good Ventures is also mentioned on Moskovitz's Forbes profile. In December 2014, the Washington Post published a lengthy article profiling Good Ventures, its history, and its work to date. 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.
Good Ventures was also covered in the blog of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). At the time of the blog post, IPA had not received any funding from Good Ventures, though it later received funds from Good Ventures.
- Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, started by Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan
- Giving What We Can
- Effective altruism
- Jasmine Social Investments
- Mulago Foundation
- Omidyar Network
- Peery Foundation
- Skoll Foundation
- Laura and John Arnold Foundation
- "Good Ventures home page".
- Preston, Caroline (January 10, 2012). "Another Facebook Co-Founder Gets Philanthropic". Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Tuna, Cari (2011-12-23). "Guest post from Cari Tuna". GiveWell (blog).
- Olanoff, Drew (March 12, 2013). "Dustin Moskovitz And Cari Tuna Launch Site For Their Philanthropic Foundation, Good Ventures". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
- Karnofsky, Holden (August 20, 2014). "Open Philanthropy Project (formerly GiveWell Labs)". GiveWell. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
- Karnofsky, Holden (November 25, 2015). "Good Ventures and Giving Now vs. Later". GiveWell. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
- Karnofsky, Holden (November 17, 2015). "Should the Open Philanthropy Project be recommending more/larger grants?". Good Ventures. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
- Karnofsky, Holden (2012-06-28). "GiveWell and Good Ventures". GiveWell.
- "Good Ventures conversations list page".
- "A conversation with Kimberly Elliott on November 13, 2013". November 13, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
- "A conversation with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Health Group on September 23, 2013". September 23, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
- Tuna, Cari (2013-07-03). "Observations on the War on Drugs". Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- "Grants Database". Good Ventures. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
- "Pew Public Safety Performance Project". GiveWell. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
- Karnofsky, Holden (July 24, 2014). "Partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts". Retrieved August 7, 2014.
- "Other Investments". Good Ventures. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
- "Vicarious Announces $15M Series A Funding Led by Good Ventures". Good Ventures. August 21, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
- 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.
- "Dustin Moskovitz". Forbes.
- "Another Facebook Co-Founder Gets Philanthropic". Innovations for Poverty Action. 2012-01-10. Archived from the original on 2012-09-11.
- "Grants to "standout" charities". Good Ventures. 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2013-03-12.