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Giving back in our own way: the Philanthropy Team

Since our earliest days, the people that make up Palantir have always been passionate about two things: building the best technology to change the way that people relate to data and deploying that technology to the organizations with the data and mission to make a real difference.

As we built our business, we started looking for ways to give back and hit on an interesting strategy: we’d look for non-profits that had data about important problems and offer them our software and expertise. Our CEO, Dr. Karp, pledged that we should seek to donate between 10 and 20 percent of our revenue as donations-in-kind to world-changing organizations.

As our philanthropic mission has continued, we have decided to create a full-time Philanthropy team (which is currently hiring in our Palo Alto and McLean offices).

Read on to see a few examples of our past work.

A Few Examples

National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children (NCMEC)

Initially staffed with volunteers from the engineering and business teams, one of our first philanthropic partners was the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC is a private, nonprofit organization that serves as the United States’ resource on the issues of missing and sexually exploited children. The Center provides information and resources to law enforcement and other professionals, parents and children, including child victims.

In their mission to aid local law enforcement in quickly solving child abduction cases, NCMEC uses the Palantir Gotham platform to shorten their response time during the critical hours following the disappearance of a child. At our GovCon 7 conference, NCMEC spoke about how Palantir’s technology has been transformative to this very important mission.

Supporting Analysis of the Sinjar Records

Supporting non-profits that analyze conflict is a key element of Palantir’s philanthropic strategy. Whether a human rights organization or think tank, we believe that open source analysis of violent conflict is critical for public awareness and understanding. One of the earliest examples was our 2008 support for the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, which at the time was analyzing a fascinating dataset of personnel records collected by al-Qaeda’s organization in Iraq. The academics at West Point had already analyzed the data statistically, but with Palantir support they were able to uncover hidden connections in the data, most importantly by identifying the most important smugglers in Syria that were ushering foreign fighters into Iraq. The West Point academics recognized that a strategy designed to prevent al-Qaeda fighters from entering Iraq could be focused on specific nodes, and by using Palantir to understand the payments made to those smugglers were able to suggest different strategies for disrupting various smuggling networks.

The Center for Public Integrity

Palantir has worked with The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) on a couple of projects. The first looked at predatory loans in the subprime mortgage market during the last housing bubble – our Horizon technology (part of Palantir Gotham) made possible the interactive filtering through 350 million mortgages to find bad actors. The second, in conjunction with The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), looked into the true timeline of the tragic Daniel Pearl kidnapping and murder, which differed significantly from the official version of the story.

We look forward to telling our stories here, in this blog. Stay tuned, we’re just getting started.

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