In this post, I want to share a brief update about additions to the Groups team at the Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA), what we are working on, and the support currently available for effective altruism groups.
Historically, support for EA groups has been available from CEA, the Local Effective Altruism Network (LEAN), and the Effective Altruism Foundation (EAF). However, CEA has recently invested more in EA groups, and both LEAN and EAF have moved away from direct support of group organisers in order to focus on other priorities.
Our current priorities are:
1) EA Groups Support
We provide general support to all EA group organisers, primarily via:
- Online resources on group strategy
- Support calls and online seminars
- Groups for organisers on Facebook and Slack
- Funding to cover group running expenses and projects
- Retreats, meetups at EA Global conferences and other events
- A Google Drive folder of resources (including a speaker list and retreat guide)
- The (now monthly!) EA Groups newsletter in collaboration with David Nash
We also coordinate with LEAN on projects relating to the EA Hub, such as ensuring documents from our Google Drive are added to the EA Hub’s resources section, and maintaining an up-to-date list of groups for the Groups Directory.
Alex Barry is our primary point of contact the responsibilities above. If you have questions or ideas about the support we currently offer or would like to book a call to discuss strategy or tactics for your group, feel free to reach out to him via email@example.com.
We also collaborate regularly with CEA’s Community Health team to provide specialised advice, support, or resources for sensitive issues that may come up in your group. If you’re unsure which member of staff to contact, you are always welcome to contact any member of our teams and we can direct you to the staff member who is best able to help.
2) EA Community Building Grants
Some EA groups are run by organisers who volunteer their time and the Groups team is happy to support those people with the resources above. For other groups, organisers are interested in transitioning to paid community building work on a part-time or full-time basis. CEA has funds to support such transitions via the Community Building Grants programme.
In our most recent funding round of winter/spring 2019, we awarded grants to the following groups:
Our last update from January 2019 on Community Building Grants is available here. In recent months we’ve been focused primarily on fundraising for the programme and this quarter we will be focused on evaluating existing year-long grants for possible renewals.
We aim to open applications for new grants in Q4, (though this isn’t yet confirmed and will depend in part on the outcome of our fundraising efforts). We also expect to complete a deeper review of the programme’s progress by the end of this year.
Harri Besceli is the project lead for Community Building Grants — if you have questions or would like to discuss whether you’d be a good fit for a community building grant, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a team, our main goal is to ensure that our current priorities (above) are executed well. I also want to ensure that we’re gathering information to help inform our plans and engaging with the broader community about what we’re working on.
In the past month, we have collaborated with LEAN to run the EA Groups Survey to help us more deeply understand the current groups landscape and ensure that we can refer people to the right place when they ask us for help connecting with effective altruists in their local communities. We had nearly 200 responses! If you’re involved in organising an EA group and haven’t already filled this in, we would still like to know more about your group — please ensure you complete the survey ASAP.
As we gather more information and learn more about the needs of EA group organisers, I expect our priorities may shift, and the support the Groups team offers may evolve as a result. If you have ideas or suggestions for how we might better support EA groups, please share them here. I look forward to hearing from you!