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What grants has Carl Shulman's discretionary fund made?

by Milan_Griffes1 min read8th Jul 20196 comments



In March 2018, Open Phil allocated $5 million to be regranted at Carl Shulman's discretion (a).

Is there a record of the grants he's made so far?

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It has some investigations in progress but hasn't made any grants yet. It was used to back the late-2018 Donor Lottery.

Any update on this? 

(It has now been 2 years since my original post.)

Hi Milan,

So far it has been used to back the donor lottery (this has no net $ outlay in expectation, but requires funds to fill out each block and handle million dollars swings up and down), make a grant to  ALLFED, fund Rethink Priorities' work on nuclear war,  and small seed funds for some researchers investing two implausible but consequential if true interventions (including the claim that creatine supplements boost cognitive performance for vegetarians).

Mostly it remains invested. In  practice I have mostly been able to recommend major grants to other funders so this fund is used when no other route is more appealing. Grants have often involved special circumstances or  restricted funding, and the grants it has made should not be taken as recommendations to other donors to donate to the same things at the current margin in their circumstances.


5Milan_Griffes3moThanks for this update – these seem like worthwhile things to invest in! Do you have a sense of how you will structure reporting on future grantmaking from this fund?
6Carl_Shulman2moNot particularly.

Hey Sam, any updates?