philanthropic giving and maximising impact

Maximising impact: Open Philanthropy’s approach to choosing causes


Published 03.07.24

If a grantmaking organisation wants to select problems based on a general measure of impact per dollar spent, how should it approach this goal?

Read "Philanthropic Cause Prioritization" by Emily Oehlsen.

Recent estimates found that philanthropic grantmakers from 157,064 foundations in 23 countries disbursed over $150 billion in funding annually. Much of this giving is based on personal commitments to specific issues and geographies. In this episode of VoxDevTalks, Emily Oehlsen outlines Open Philanthropy's different approach to prioritising causes - to help others as much as possible with the resources available to it, without any precommitments to particular issues or geographic areas.

To make this approach possible, Open Philanthropy have invested in understanding the expected net benefits of different investments. Emily discusses what they have learned, and the difficult choices involved, in this process.