Hide table of contents

Edit- we are updating our thoughts here if you want to see our most recent conclusions/strategy

Summary and key takeaways:

  1. We hosted Crash Courses in EA Israel and we are really excited about the results!
  2. Hosting short Intro Crash Courses (4 sessions) for potential HEAs is probably a very cost-effective way for quick deep onboarding.
    1. In our experience in Israel, at least 4 out of 7 participants became highly involved due to the crash course
  3. This post elaborates on why we initiated it, what are the areas of responsibility, our KPI’s, results, and general tips (you can skim through the background and context)
  4. Would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on the post, and mostly if you decide to host a crash course in your group- what were the challenges and results? :)

Background and Context:

Before we started Intro Crash Courses sessions we hosted reading groups.

Our early reading groups, led by nadavb, ran in cohorts with a growing syllabus. Eventually, many of those members became very highly engaged in EA but stopped participating in reading groups, and (due to covid) the reading groups became virtual sessions around a specific topic, that you had to read an hour of material before, each meeting had about 5 attendees with little regulars.

We found out that our main mistake is that we tried through the reading groups to address the same target audience (dedicated participants) but with 2 different goals:

  • A get together for community members to know each other
  • A place to improve knowledge about EA

This caused the small attendance, return of attendees, and deeper engagement in the movement. Also, some attendees didn’t read the content before the meeting, claiming it was too long.

After a conversation with Omri Sheffer, we decided to split between the goals, but use the other goal as a tool to help improve the goal we are pursuing. That means:

  • We founded ‘Discussing Effectiveness’- Virtual meetup discussions for community members to know each other that don’t require preparations
    • There- we use the want to receive knowledge about EA as a core uniting tool.
  • We founded ‘Crash Course’- Sessions of introduction with an experienced facilitator for unique participants that we believe have the potential to become HEAs. We wanted it to be a place to improve knowledge about EA for members who can’t commit (or don’t want) to join the fellowship or the ‘applied ethics’ course we host at the universities
    • Using the community as a core tool to motivate reading more materials.


This post will be about the latter, and soon I will post the former.


We hosted the crash course only two times, but because they and the Discussing Effectiveness were highly successful, and because I am soon ending my part as the EA Israel Community Manager, I am posting what I learned.

Also, I don’t know if it fits every group, and what should be the reasons to start this at your group.

Target Audience

Individuals who are generally new to EA (either with a basic acquaintance or no prior knowledge).

This program is especially useful for members who want to learn more but don't want / can't commit to more in-depth programs (e.g. our fellowships or academic course), since it's relatively a low-barrier entry point. If a member seems to be willing to join one of the in-depth programs, it's preferable.

We also take into account using the crash course as a tool to improve diversity, or to onboard members who have an especially high potential for an impactful career/volunteering/donations.


  • Giving tools for managing intellectual conversations on prioritization in doing good
  • Terminology basis for a common language with the Israeli and international community
  • Introduction to prioritizing between different cause areas
  • Familiarity with the common and basic concepts, perceptions and tools of the Effective Altruism movement
  • Introduction to opportunities for Impact


  • 10 beginning participants
    • 7 finishing
  • 3 new contributors to EA from every crash course (including the project manager if they are a new volunteer)


  • Includes 4 sessions
  • Two weeks between each session
  • At the beginning of the course - synchronization of the day preferred by the participants

Content of our meetings*- built by EdoArad

  1. Why do "the most" good?
  2. What do we mean by "good"?
  3. How to use Reason and Evidence to figure out how to do the most good?
  4. What do we know today? [Brief introduction to the leading cause areas today and how to prioritize between them]

*This is only one "crash course" out of potentially many we can run. We considered some other alternatives and picked this one, but there could be better ones we haven’t considered.

Meeting budget

  • Between 15-30 Dollars per meeting
  • Things to buy that will be used for 4 sessions: Biscuits, Cookies, Tea, Coffee
  • Before each session: Soy milk

Areas of ​​responsibility - Project manager

Persona: Responsible, excited to learn about EA, could be a new volunteer if we think they’re a good fit.

  • Coming up with interactive methodologies for the meetings- with the facilitator
    • Zoom - Requires interactive methodologies (breakout rooms, videos, etc)
    • Face to face - discussion points
  • Marketing
  • Confirmation of arrival at each meeting
  • Receiving and analyzing feedback from participants
  • Being a bridge between the facilitator and the attendees

Areas of ​​responsibility - Facilitator

Persona: Experienced and with much knowledge about EA, someone we trust to represent EA Israel, facilitation experience*

  • Deeply understating the content for the course
  • Preparation of points or methods for discussion
  • Facilitating the discussion in the meetings
  • Ongoing dialogue with the project manager about:
    • Interactive methodologies for the meeting
      • Zoom - Requires interactive methodologies (breakout rooms, videos, etc)
      • Face to face - discussion points
    • Processing feedback with the project manager

*Good facilitation in our opinion consists being able to involve all of the participants in the conversation, bridging gaps in understanding between the participants, knowing how to reference evidence-based content or introduce different examples, asking the group interesting and relevant questions, and generally knowing how to balance between listening to the group and stirring the conversation into meaningful conversations.

Areas of ​​responsibility - Community Manager

  • Helping the project manager and the facilitator succeed in their areas of responsibility
    • Schedule a meeting with both of them to explain the guidelines
    • Sending the attendees content for each session
    • Help make connections between potential participants and the projects manager
    • Help find a place for hosting (could be a participant's home or office)
    • Remind and feedback
  • Really important!- ongoing talks and being friendly with the participants in order to help them become involved with the community in other aspects.


We ran two crash courses- one organized by AMAZING volunteers- Tal Kligman and led by EdoArad, the second organized by Adi Aricha and led by Ido Kotler.

Results of the First Crash Course- 

  • The project leader, who wasn’t involved in the movement at all before, has now requested to organize a next course for Alumni of the crash courses.
  • Another member has participated in EAGx, and another in EAG and is trying to found an EA startup with another community member.
  • A fourth member has now raised a project within a startup focused on IIDM (although we are not sure she hasn’t worked on this before)
  • A fifth applied to the Charity Entrepreneurship incubator.
  • The other two didn’t become more significantly involved because of the crash course


Results of the Second Crash Course- 

  • One member is one of the new EA Israel Community managers because of the crash course (she’s also a great example of this program being a low-barrier entry point since she participated in the old format of the reading groups and wasn’t involved until joining the crash course)! Also, another one applied for a few international EA Ops jobs.
  • One more member became more active in the Israel community and started volunteering, flew to EAGx, and is planning to Earn to Give.
  • Another is considering a fundraising career in EA.
  • The other 3 (one of them the project manager of the Crash Course) were very involved in the conversations and are probably affected, but we don’t really know how yet.


Like I said at the beginning- would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on the post, and mostly if you decide to host a crash course in your group! :)





More posts like this

Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since:

Thanks for sharing this experience in such detail! I appreciate learning more about different movement-building strategies. I have some questions:

  • In total, the crash course lasts 8 weeks, which seems like a similar length to intro fellowships. Have you considered making it more intensive, like over an extended weekend?
  • How did you select participants? Were there more people interested than vacancies available in any of the iterations?
  • Are the sessions themselves more active than traditional reading group sessions? If yes, do you think this made a difference in engagement?
  • Do you have data on how successful the fellowship and the "practical ethics" course have been? I'd be curious to compare results and learn more about the local context – would you say something particular about EA Israel or the universities you targeted influenced the outcomes?

Also, a suggestion: try a more descriptive title for this post, such as "EA Israel movement-building strategy and results: intro crash courses". I didn't expect this content from the title.

Hey, thanks for the long comment! I hope that not a lot of people missed the post because the original title wasn't clear enough.

  • We didn't consider the option to make it more intensive because people attending are generally busy (work, life). But I wouldn't stop it of course if the need came from a specific group :)
  • We selected people we knew mostly from events and from 'discussing effectiveness' that seemed high-potential (marked them in the CRM). We didn't post it to the broader community at all yet so there aren't any requests, but we excpect that there will be many because of the low fidelity of the program
  • I think they are not more active then the reading groups we hosted, but I don't know a lot about how other reading groups are facilitated.
  • I find it hard comparing to the fellowship because it is more thorough and the particpants found projects at the end, and the course it to a much wider group and gives us 'status' and credentials. I do however personally belive fellowships could be much shorter if the facilitation and follow-ups are right
Curated and popular this week
Relevant opportunities