The Animal Welfare Fund aims to effectively improve the well-being of nonhuman animals, by making grants that focus on one or more of the following:
- Relatively neglected geographic regions or groups of animals
- Promising research into animal advocacy or animal well-being
- Activities that could make it easier to help animals in the future
- Otherwise best-in-class opportunities
You can use this dashboard to view statistics on historical giving to this Fund.
The Fund focuses on projects that primarily address farmed animals, as well as projects that could affect other large populations of nonhuman animals. Some examples of projects that the Fund could support:
- Supporting farmed animal advocacy in Asia
- Researching ways to improve the welfare of farmed fish
- Promoting alternative proteins in order to reduce demand for animal products
- Advocating against the use of some cruel practice within the industrial agriculture system
- Growing the field of welfare biology in order to improve our understanding of different ways to address wild animal suffering
About the Animal Welfare Fund
The Fund is managed by a team led by Lewis Bollard, the program officer responsible for farm animal welfare at the Open Philanthropy Project. The team includes several talented researchers and advocates with backgrounds in animal welfare and effective altruism.
The Animal Welfare Fund has historically supported many different interventions, including advocacy in neglected countries, research that improves our understanding of relevant issues, and campaigns that push large corporations to improve their farm animal welfare policies. In recent payouts, the Fund has made a number of small startup grants to emerging organizations, as well as grants to more established players in the space.
Grantmaking and Impact
The Animal Welfare Fund has recommended several million dollars' worth of grants to a range of organizations, including:
Supporting emerging animal welfare groups in a range of countries
The Fund has supported corporate and policy campaigns and movement building for farm animal welfare issues around the world, with grants to advocacy organizations working in 26 countries, including Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Czechia, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Ukraine, and the United States.
Supporting research to improve the focus and efficacy of animal advocacy
In addition to funding direct work on animal welfare, the Fund also supports research that improves our understanding of how to most effectively help animals. This research has focused on better understanding the well-being of wild animals, which species are most promising to focus on, and which interventions are the most effective at reducing animal suffering.
Supporting campaigns to reform corporate policies
Tens of billions of animals suffer as a result of their use in food production. By tackling this issue at the level of commercial supply chains, corporate campaigns can be high-leverage opportunities to improve the lives of tens of billions of animals. The Fund has granted to a range of organizations with relatively strong track records of securing commitments from large food companies; these organizations include Compassion in World Farming USA and Sinergia Animal.
Supporting research on and advocacy for alternative proteins
Finding culinary alternatives to meat is an important step toward reducing the suffering of animals raised for food. While commercial alternative protein companies are generally able to raise private funding, other organizations that build support for alternative proteins (like academic groups and grassroots organizations) are relatively underfunded. The Fund has granted to organizations around the world, including in the UK (CellAG), Israel (The Modern Agriculture Foundation), and globally (Cellular Agriculture Society).
For more information, please check the full list of the Animal Welfare Fund’s Payout Reports.
Why donate to this Fund?
Animal welfare is a hugely important area due to its scale and neglectedness.
Annually, hundreds of billions of vertebrate animals are subject to factory farming. Roughly 75 billion terrestrial farmed animals are raised and slaughtered each year, as well as tens of billions of farmed fish. Farmed invertebrate animals (for example, shrimp and lobsters) may number in the trillions.
Many experts now agree that numerous species of animals are very likely conscious and capable of feeling pain. Current practices within animal agriculture are likely to cause extreme suffering over the course of animals’ lives. Moreover, there exist hundreds of trillions of wild animals, many of which likely experience significant suffering that could be reduced through human intervention.
The field of animal advocacy receives only a few percent of total charitable donations, with most of that money going to the comparatively few companion animals in shelters. This leads to some groups of animals being highly neglected in relation to their numbers and likely capacity for suffering.
Why you might choose not to donate to this Fund
We think it’s important that donors are well informed when they donate to EA Funds. As such, we think it’s useful to think about the reasons that you might choose to donate elsewhere.
You don’t support working on farmed animal suffering and/or corporate reforms, or you wish to support only a particular type of work
Thus far, much of the Fund’s grant money has gone toward work on reducing farmed animal suffering through positive yet incremental changes to this cruel system. You might believe that it is wrong to support such changes (rather than working to directly eliminate the system). In that case, some of the Fund’s grants may not be a good match for your worldview.
The Fund also supports many different types of work (from research to advocacy); if you think one type of work is more promising than others, you may prefer to give directly to organizations which focus on that work.
The Fund has made a range of grants. Some were aimed at improving farm animal welfare, while others were not (e.g. the March 2019 grant to Wild Animal Initiative for research on interventions to improve the welfare of wild animals). If you would prefer to focus only on animals in a particular context (e.g. only farmed animals, or only wild animals), you may prefer to give directly to organizations which focus on that context.
You have different values than the Open Philanthropy Project, or you think you can find better donation opportunities than their last dollar
Donors should consider how value-aligned they are with the Open Philanthropy Project (Open Phil) before donating to the Animal Welfare Fund. The Chair of the Fund management team works at Open Phil and is therefore likely to be heavily influenced by the organization's work and general approach.
Additionally, there is some chance the fund will intentionally or unintentionally displace grants that would have been made by Open Phil anyway. If this happens, the impact of donations to this fund will be equivalent to the impact of the "last dollar" donated by Open Phil. Donors who think they will be able to have more impact than that should consider alternative donation options.
Animal Welfare Fund FAQ
How do I make a donation using EA Funds?
You can donate to any of the EA Funds by following this link, or clicking the blue button at the top of each Fund’s page.
First, choose the Funds or organizations you would like to make a donation to. You can choose up to 10 Funds/organizations as part of a single allocation.
If you are donating to more than one Fund/organization you'll need to choose how to split your donation between them. By default, all the sliders will be split equally between the Funds/organizations you've chosen. To change this, simply drag the sliders around until you have the allocation you want.
What is the risk profile of the Animal Welfare Fund?
The Animal Welfare Fund makes donations to a range of different interventions. Some are likely to be more proven interventions, while others are likely to be higher-risk, but potentially higher-return opportunities. As such, we categorize the Fund’s risk level as ‘low-medium’.
For more information on how we think about grantmaking risk, please read our Risk Profiles page.
How often does the Animal Welfare Fund make grants?
The Animal Welfare Fund makes grants on the regular EA Funds grantmaking schedule, with recommendations made in February, July, and November each year.
What other donation opportunities exist in this space? How is the Animal Welfare Fund different from a donation to Animal Charity Evaluators’ Recommended Charities or EAA Fund?
Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) is a charity evaluator specifically focused on evaluating animal charities and conducting research in the animal welfare space. ACE recommends charities based on their performance on seven criteria. Donors interested in improving animal welfare may want to consider donating directly to ACE’s recommended charities. ACE also has a Recommended Charity Fund and an Effective Animal Advocacy Fund.
None of the members of this fund's management team are currently affiliated with ACE, and they have their own views about which organizations are most effective.
The Fund management team may choose to support high-value organizations that might not qualify as ACE Top Charities. For example, the fund could support newer but still-promising organizations with less evidence to support them, or organizations with smaller funding gaps.
Can I apply for funding to the Animal Welfare Fund?
The Animal Welfare Fund accepts applications for funding. Please submit your application by using the link below.
For more information about EA Funds in general, see our FAQ page.
Kieran Greig (Chair), Farmed Animal Funders
Kieran Greig is the Director of Research for Farmed Animal Funders, a group of large donors who each give over $250,000 annually to end factory farming.
He previously worked as a researcher at Animal Charity Evaluators, and prior to that was a co-founder of Charity Entrepreneurship and Charity Science Health. He has written about topics like improving the welfare of farmed fish and supporting plant-based alternatives to animal products. He has a B. Sc. from Monash University and a Masters from La Trobe University.
Alexandria Beck, Open Wing Alliance
Alexandria is the Director of the Open Wing Alliance (OWA) at The Humane League. She oversees a global coalition of more than 70 organizations working to end the abuse of chickens worldwide, with a focus on institutional campaigns to ban battery cages for egg-laying hens. Since 2017, Alexandria has led the coalition's growing grant program and overseen the distribution of over 3.7 million dollars to support OWA groups’ corporate cage-free and broiler welfare campaigns.
Lewis Bollard, Open Philanthropy
Lewis Bollard is the Program Officer responsible for farm animal welfare at Open Philanthropy. He leads Open Philanthropy’s strategy for Farm Animal Welfare. Before joining Open Philanthropy, he worked as Policy Advisor & International Liaison to the CEO at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Prior to that, he was a litigation fellow at HSUS, a law student, and an associate consultant at Bain & Company. He has a B.A. from Harvard University in Social Studies and a JD from Yale Law School.
Marcus A. Davis, Rethink Priorities
Marcus A. Davis is the Co-Executive Director and co-founder of Rethink Priorities, a think tank dedicated to figuring out the best ways to make the world a better place. He leads their research and strategy, focusing on animals. Prior to that he was a co-founder of Charity Entrepreneurship and Charity Science Health.
Mikaela Saccoccio, Farmed Animal Funders
Mikaela Saccoccio is the Executive Director of Farmed Animal Funders (FAF), a donor learning community whose members donate USD $250,000 or more annually to charitable initiatives fighting factory farming. She brings together 35 foundations and high-net-worth individuals to build connections, foster collaboration, and amplify impact. Previously, Mikaela worked at The Humane League to end the abuse of animals raised for food.
Karolina Sarek, Charity Entrepreneurship
Karolina is co-founder and Director of Research at Charity Entrepreneurship. There, she creates a research agenda and processes and leads the research team, aiming to find and compare the most evidence-based, cost-effective, and neglected interventions in multiple cause areas. She also serves as a board member and advisor for various EA nonprofits and think tanks, such as Fish Welfare Initiative, WANBAM, and Legal Priorities Project.
Before Charity Entrepreneurship, she co-founded an organization to improve the impact of nonprofits and social enterprises; worked on measurement and evaluation; and was a researcher for IBM and the Jagiellonian University (JU). At the age of 22, she became a university teaching fellow, lecturing at JU’s Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science.