In November 2020, we co-founders of EA Philippines distributed a survey to our community to track our impact, especially on career, behavior, and donation changes, and also to know more about our members’ demographics and engagement in EA. We also wanted to find out what projects or activities people think we should do, which of them wanted to volunteer with us, and how we can help them better with their careers or in learning more about EA.
We got a total of 34 responses for our survey. Most of these responses came from 58 people we tagged as having engaged enough with EA Philippines or EA Blue (our student chapter in Ateneo de Manila University). We emailed or personally messaged most of these 58 people to remind them to fill up the survey.
Getting 34 responses was within the 20-40 responses target that we were aiming for, and we learned a lot of useful insights from the survey. We’ve compiled all of these insights in the full report in this Google Document. It's quite long at ~8,500 words (~42 minute read), so I'm just posting the summary of our findings below, and why I wrote this report.
Why I wrote this report
I had four aims in posting this report publicly:
- Members of EA Philippines can learn more about what our community is like, and see the results of the survey that most of them filled out.
- EAs abroad can learn more about how the EA Philippines community compares to the global EA community. (I think EAs abroad will be generally pleased to read our findings about our community.)
- EA community builders in other countries can compare their community and impact with our chapter.
- Lastly, my hope is that publishing this report encourages other community builders to run similar surveys and publish reports on it publicly, ideally via the EA Forum. Alternatively, if they want to just get community data, and not impact data, they could request from the EA Survey team to share or publish aggregate data about people in their community, assuming a significant number of people from their community filled up the EA Survey.
Summary of main findings from the survey
- Gender: 47% of our respondents are male, 44% are female, and 9% are non-binary. This shows that our community’s gender distribution is more diverse than the global EA community, since in the 2019 EA survey, 71% of respondents were male, only 27% were female, while 2% were other gender identities.
- Age: The median age of respondents was 22 years old and the average age was 25 years old. This is much younger than the global EA community based on the 2019 EA survey, whose median age is 28 and whose average age is 31.
- Education level: 41% of respondents are still in university while 41% are university graduates.
Engagement with EA
- 65% of the respondents found out about EA through EA Philippines or from EA Blue, our student chapter.
- 79% first heard out about EA only in 2019 or 2020, which was after EA Philippines was founded.
- When it comes to engagement, 41% are moderately engaged in EA and 32% are considerably engaged. For more information on what we mean by moderately or considerately engaged, you can view the descriptions here.
- For the question “How many people in the global EA movement (including those from EA PH or EA Blue) would you be willing to ask a quick favor from?”, the median answer was 5 people and the average was 5.5 people. The median answer in the 2019 EA Survey to a similar question was 1 to 2 people, so ours is much higher. Most of this is from their connection to people in EA Philippines or EA Blue, but I’m also glad that the median respondent had 2 connections to people in the global EA movement too.
- If we tagged people based on CEA’s concentric circles model, and if we counted those who didn’t fill up the survey, our community now has 5 core members, 15 contributors, and 39 participants as of December 2020. This is a lot of growth compared to December 2019, where we were just 10 contributors and 7 participants.
Cause prioritization and career plan changes
- Climate change is the top-ranked cause - 71% of respondents said that this cause should be prioritized by the global EA movement. Tied for 2nd were improving rationality / decision making and global health & development, and the 4th ranked was mental health.
- Aside from asking what people prioritize as the top cause, we also asked them which of these causes they planned to donate to, work on, or volunteer for. Here, global health is 1st, climate change is 2nd, and mental health is 3rd.
- 47% reported that their cause prioritization slightly changed because of EA Philippines or EA Blue, while 21% reported a significant change thanks to us.
- 19/34 (56%) people reported slight career or career plan changes, while 7 (21%) reported significant changes, and 2 (6%) reported complete changes. These are hard to verify and know if they’re truly counterfactual, and we discuss this more in the writeup below.
Community health and volunteering
- We also asked how inclusive people felt EA Philippines is. We got an average rating of 5.9/7 for inclusivity. We are quite pleased with this, but we think this is an area that we can still improve on.
- We also asked people: “How likely is it that you would recommend EA Philippines or one of our activities/projects to a person who you think would be interested in the ideas of effective altruism?”. 1 was labelled as “Not at all” and 10 was labelled “Certainly!” Amazingly, we got an average score of 9.6/10, and no one rated us below 8. This is much higher than the likelihood to recommend score in the 2019 EA Survey, which had an average response of 7.11.
- We also asked respondents: “Let’s say it was because the 3 current organizers all move on to other endeavors and want to pass down the role of organizing for EA PH. How willing would you be to be a core organizer for EA PH? 2 people were willing to lead the group even without a co-organizer, and 13 people were willing to lead the group, but not without a co-organizer.
- 53% (18 people) said “Yes” to being interested to volunteer for EA Philippines within the next 3-6 months, while another 29% (10 people) said they were considering it. Also, 3.8 hours per week was the average answer to how many hours per week people were willing to volunteer for EA Philippines, out of those that said “Yes!” or that they were considering volunteering for us.
If you want to dig deeper into any of the findings, you can read the full report. We also asked about people's donation behavior and plans, but they're somewhat hard to summarize, so you can read the full report for that.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment them below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
For this report, most of our descriptions of the data are quoted as percentages rather than actual numbers. Aaron Gertler from CEA has since pointed out to me that for surveys like this with small sample sizes (i.e. less than 100 responses), quoting absolute numbers would be better. We will likely do this for future reports. ↩︎