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I’m extremely excited to announce the launch of our new community strategy that aims to connect our existing community better, and inspire more people to join us – I’ve been working on this for the past few months and am thrilled to finally share it! 

Over the almost two years I’ve been working with Giving What We Can, I’ve seen how important our community is — whether it’s a supportive network to ask questions, a friendly face in a new city, or a shared sense that none of us are alone in wanting to do what we can to make a better world, I’ve personally taken much-needed inspiration, motivation, and comfort more times than I can count, simply by hearing from you! 

I want to make it easier for you to do the same. 

We are launching some new spaces for you to meet, connect, and chat with each other. Everyone is welcome: whether you just subscribe to our newsletter, have taken the pledge, have donated through our platform, or are simply interested in meeting like-minded people who care about making a difference in the world:

In brief, Giving What We Can’s new community strategy includes:

  1. The launch of GWWC Local Groups in key cities like London, NYC, Berlin, and Sydney; we plan to launch in other cities as well 
  2. An online community space for you to connect, no matter where you are located
  3. directory of other (non-GWWC) effective giving groups, to better connect the effective giving community more broadly 

I firmly believe that community and connection are an integral part of working towards a society where giving significantly and effectively is a cultural norm. We’ve heard from many of you that one of the best things about having found Giving What We Can is learning that there are other people with similar values. We hope this makes it a little easier to connect! 

TL;DR: How do I get involved?

Join the new online community space 

Join one of the GWWC Local groups below or apply to start one in your city!

You can read more about each of our new initiatives below:

1: GWWC Local Groups

Since its founding in 2009, Giving What We Can has been connecting people through their commitment to effective giving. Our mission isn't just to marginally increase the amount of money going to effective charities; we’re aiming for meaningful cultural change — with a goal to make giving effectively and significantly a global norm, in service of a better world. The community we’ve built (and are continuing to build) is instrumental to reaching that goal.

The way that GWWC has engaged with the community has changed a lot over the years. It all started as small local groups bound by a common thread of pledging 10% back in 2009 through “Giving What We Can Chapters”.

One of the biggest changes that occurred was GWWC Chapters transitioning to become EA Groups several years ago.

Since then, we’ve worked with EA groups to promote effective giving, had volunteers host monthly virtual meetups, and run an ambassador program where our ambassadors ran events too!

Some highlights:

PISE (Positive Impact Society Erasmus) has hosted pledge celebration events…

An ambassador John Yan has hosted Giving Tuesday after-parties in New York…

Grace (Head of Marketing) ran a community event in Melbourne earlier this year…

Since GWWC was revitalised in 2020, we have often received requests to restart local groups, given that some of its strongest growth historically came from our former Chapters. Many of our smaller initiatives (e.g. one-off events, working with EA groups, and running the ambassador program) have shown a desire for this too.

We’ve also been excited to see successful communities around effective giving start to grow and adapt to local cultural contexts i.e. in London and in the Netherlands with their successful Tien Procent Club.

With all of this in mind…

We are excited to announce that we are revitalising our global giving community at the local level by relaunching GWWC Groups!

What will GWWC Groups look like?

GWWC groups are local or virtual groups of community members who connect over a desire to do good effectively through giving. As part of a group you might: discuss how to give effectively, fundraise for effective charities and spend time with people who have similar values. We’re also excited to see groups sharing resources, opportunities and advice with one another, as well as their broader community.

All GWWC Groups will have a volunteer Group Leader (or leaders), who will welcome new members, connect the community and organise ~quarterly events that are aimed at engaging new and existing community members in effective giving. The quarterly events might be a mix of fundraising, speaker, and social events, and we provide guidance and support in planning and running them.

GWWC Group events are relaxed, friendly events that bring people who care about doing good through their donations to come together.

They are aimed at growing the community of effective givers by helping people to connect around their shared values and aspirations to make the world much better through consistent, significant, and effective giving. Ideally, these events would attract people across a wide age range, and across a variety of backgrounds. We aim to create an environment where community members feel excited to invite their friends and family who may share similar interests along to these events and encourage them to get involved.

Locations for GWWC Groups

We want to ensure that we’re providing enough support to the local groups we start as we trial this program. Therefore, we are committing to support 5-10 local groups around the world in the next 12 months.

The following places have been locked in:

There are also several other locations we’d really like to see groups launch, and for which we hope to find volunteer Group Leaders. In particular, we’d be very excited to see applications to lead groups in the following places:

  • Toronto
  • Bay Area / San Fransisco
  • Los Angeles
  • Boston
  • Singapore

We think the most important part of a successful group are enthusiastic Group Leaders, so if you’re excited about the idea of a group in your city even if it’s not on the list above, please consider applying to run a group! See current numbers of pledges by city/metropolitan area

We would ideally have 2-3 co-leaders for each GWWC Group so if there’s already a group in your area, please still apply!

What if we already have a local group focused on creating community around effective giving?

We’d love to support you!

If you’re already organising local events, why not apply to become a GWWC Group Leader so you can access the support and resources we provide?

If you’re interested in promoting effective giving in a different format, we think that’s great too! We’d encourage you to submit your group to our new Effective Giving Community Groups Directory, so we can let people know about your group and the events you host!

Help run a GWWC Group

We are actively looking to recruit GWWC Group Leaders!

If you’re passionate about effective giving — and growing the community through organising events and meeting with community members — we’d love you to apply.

Responsibilities:

  • Organise 4 (quarterly) community events in a 12-month period (with the option, but not expectation, to host more if you’d like)
  • Welcome new members to the community via email or call if they reach out
  • Be active on the relevant group channel in our new community slack workspace
  • Work with other local members and relevant groups (EA groups) to coordinate fundraising activities or other events in your city
  • Congratulate members and donors on milestones (e.g. pledge anniversaries)
  • Work with your co-leaders to divide up tasks and manage the group

What we provide:

  • Guides on running community events, including what to organise, how to find speakers, etc
  • Regular check-in calls with staff who can help you troubleshoot problems and provide guidance
  • Support when leaders have questions about how to run events ormake things happen
  • Training on supporting new members, such as how to make them feel welcome, talking points about GWWC
  • Opportunities to present at workplaces, or for other aligned groups etc
  • Coordination of regular calls with other leaders in the region
  • Public acknowledgement on our website that you’re a Group Leader
  • Sharing internal stakeholder updates

[APPLY NOW

Applications for GWWC Group Leaders will be assessed on a rolling basis.

Please note that we currently have limited capacity and we want to be able to support all our Groups and Group Leaders well as we test and scale this program, so we may not be able to accept all the submitted applications. We are planning to run this program in a maximum of 10 regions for the next year.

Can I run events about effective giving if I’m not part of a group?

Yes! We make our organising resources available for you to run your own giving game, introductory talk about effective giving, and more! 

We are excited about our community taking initiative to run their own events, utilising the resources we make available. In some cases, i.e. for giving games, we are even able to sponsor donations to help your event run smoothly.

Always feel free to get in touch with us at community@givingwhatwecan.org if you have any questions about running an event.

Please note that while you are welcome (and encouraged!) to self-organise events using the resources we make available on our website, we cannot allow people to launch official GWWC Groups without our support or permission (See more info in the FAQs, below.)

We’d also like to emphasise the importance of being mindful of creating events that are safe and inclusive to all, and strongly encourage you to read our guide before planning an event.

One for the World is helping to support our groups

When we were running the idea for GWWC local groups by stakeholders, our friends at One for the World generously offered to use some of their staff time to provide support to our new Group Leaders over the next 12 months. They’ve also offered to share their resources with us, and publicly.

We are extremely grateful and excited to be working with them and for our groups to have support from experienced organisers at One for the World.

This is the kind of partnership that demonstrates how we can pool our resources to achieve more together!

Evaluating the trial

We’re planning to trial this engagement strategy over the next year, and if we find that we’re reaching a meaningful number of new people who have attended at least one event and are also seeing a portion of people take a significant action (like starting recurring donations or taking a pledge), as well as group members being relatively more engaged than non-group members, then we’d consider the model successful and look to scale to many more locations.

If we’re not finding enough traction, we’ll investigate why this might be the case and look to either substantially improve outcomes within 12 months or to rethink our strategy.

FAQ:

Being a part of a local group

Who can join a group?

Anyone can attend our GWWC Group events! We’d love people with a range of experiences around giving and doing good to come to our group events. You do not need to have taken a pledge with Giving What We Can to join.

What if I live outside the city?

If it’s difficult to attend group events near you, join our GWWC Community slack workspace to connect with the community online, or look for other groups in our Effective Giving Local Community Directory.

When can I expect my city to launch?

If we’re able to start a group in your city in this first phase, groups should launch in October this year.

Can I launch my city on my own!? (Please!)

You are welcome (and encouraged!) to self-organise events using the resources we make available on our website, but we cannot allow people to launch official GWWC Groups without our support or permission. This is so we can monitor the quality of official GWWC Groups, and people attending events know that they’re being run by official volunteers who GWWC has onboarded.

How do groups communicate?

We’ve set up a GWWC Community Slack workspace where groups can communicate using the dedicated channel for their city, i.e. #group-melbourne; this is the best place for members to interact between events or self-organise separate events.

How are you managing community health at these events?

We expect all Group Leaders to be familiar with our guide to creating safe and inclusive events and ask that our code of conduct is followed at all times by all attendees. Both the guide and code of conduct include processes and guidance for reporting any issues. 

Becoming a Group Leader

Please find detailed FAQs about becoming a Group Leader on this page of our website.

2: Our new online community space

We are excited to announce a new home for connecting with the Giving What We Can community across the globe! We’ve created a GWWC Community Slack Workspace for anyone who wants to connect with others interested in effective giving.

Join the online GWWC Community

This will be the main place to connect with other community members close to you (and even organise meetups), ask questions, have discussions and seek support.

We have channels for:

  • Our new local groups, including London, New York, Vancouver, Sydney and Melbourne (read our new GWWC Groups announcement)
  • Our new global virtual group
  • Causes like global health, animal welfare, and the long-term future
  • Advocacy and fundraising ideas

The GWWC Community Slack aims to be a warm, welcoming and supportive place for anyone along their journey with effective giving.

3: Global Effective Giving Community Directory

We’ve launched a new directory to help people find local or specialised community groups focused on effective giving around the world.

You can view the directory here.

You can submit your aligned group, focused on effective giving here. We’d also encourage you to add your group to the EA Forum.

If you run a group that runs regular events dedicated to effective giving or people who give effectively, then you are welcome to submit your group to this directory.

We’re excited to help connect people interested in effective giving with local communities across the globe who share the same values and interests as them.

Comments7
Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 3:59 AM

I'm heartened to see GWWC so alive and enthusiastic! 

In my year-ish on the forum, I've been surprised how little discussion I have seen about effective giving, when for me at least it remains one of the most beautiful, attractive and logically straightforward facets of EA.

Also surely the Bay area at least could have at least one GWWC group. 10% (or 50%) of a Machine learning or AI safety workers' salary could fund a lot more AI safety researchers - buy 1 get 10% free ;).

We’d be very excited to see applications for the Bay Area!! 🎉🎉🙏

Congrats on the group launch, that's a really exciting development! 

I'm curious if you're willing to share any thoughts about why the original transition form GWWC chapters to EA groups didn't end up accomplishing all of its objectives. It seems like in theory, an effective giving subgroup within an EA group could accomplish all the same things as a GWWC chapter (and my guess is that this was the thinking at the time of the original transition). But in my experience with EA groups, it's seems like it's been hard to get a critical mass of people focused on effective giving. 

Some of my loose thoughts on this are:

  • Many EA groups are focused on fellowships/programs that require a lot of engagement
  • Many EA groups have a longtermist focus
  • Many EA groups prioritise careers over donations, which can make people feel like if they're only donating that they don't belong
  • Many EA group members use a lot of jargon, technical terms, or have social norms that can make it hard for lower context people to feel welcome or engaged. Another way of putting this is that EA groups can feel a bit "in-group"-y.

The types of people that generally attend GWWC/effective giving events tend to be:

  • More focused on global health and wellbeing
  • Lower context on EA, and often unfamiliar with jargon
  • More likely to have a minor interest in effective altruism (and less of a desire for this to become their main social group)

I actually think more "effective giving sub-groups" within EA groups is a great idea, but I would be careful to make sure that it's truly serving those who want to attend that group.  

My hope with the new GWWC groups is that they are really accessible, and welcoming to people at all levels of engagement with effective giving and effective altruism. I'd like to see groups thinking about how to include parents more, and how to reach people that might not typically come along to EA group events. Effective giving is a concept that I think almost everyone could benefit from, so I think creating an inclusive environment is really important. Earlier this year I wrote a guide with One for the World about running safe and inclusive events which covers some of this: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/CtACh7xRBFnpK3NW4/guide-to-safe-and-inclusive-events-by-gwwc-and-oftw

It's hard to generalise as EA groups vary a lot in terms of their focus, and engagement strategies but I hope some of the above is helpful!

Thanks, that makes a lot of sense!

I’m keen to hear how this strategy ends up working for you.

Your strategy sounds really well thought out and you’ve clearly put a lot of thought in thinking about the key differences in audiences between EA and Giving What We Can.

Fingers crossed that this works out in practise as well.

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Congrats on launching GWWC Local Groups! Community building infrastructure can be hard to set up, so I appreciate the work here.

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