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I’ve written up a few ideas for Giving Season events which EA groups could run. These events are designed to prompt thinking about donations and cause prioritisation, as well as to promote the Donation Election and the (currently occuring!) Donation Debate Week.

Feel free to use these ideas as they are, or take them as a jumping off point. If you’ve run successful events before that have got the participants thinking about how to donate more effectively, or reassessing their existing effective donation plans, I’d love it if you commented below. 

Donation debate: A (fun) way to aggregate your group’s donation preferences. 

When this could happen: Between December 1st and December 15th (the donation election voting period). 

Ingredients

  • A group organiser who’s happy to direct and sit out of the voting. Also [optional] happy to let the group vote from their Forum account. 
  • A voting preference elicitation tool (I’ll link here when this tool launches on December 1st)
  • At least 6x group members. 
  • A projector or other way to show the tool to the group. 

Method 

  1. Open up the donation voting tool [only accessible after the 1st of December].
  2. Select the charities which the group wants to compare.
  3. Once you get to the first pairwise comparison… Ask the group “If you had $1000 to donate, would you give it to charity A or charity B?” Direct them to line up between one wall (100% to charity A) and the other (100% to charity B). 
  4. Now ask group members from either side of the room to share their reasoning. 
  5. After some discussion, direct the group to move along the line if they have changed their minds. 
  6. Before moving onto the next pairwise comparison, record the group’s preference. To do this, split the room down the middle and count the amount on each side. Then, input the multiplier from charity A to charity B. (If there are 10 on the side of charity A and 5 on the side of charity B, the multiplier is 0.5x). Submit this multiplier where prompted in the voting tool. 
  7. Repeat this for each comparison. 
  8. Once you are done, your vote will be pre-populated. If you like, you can finish the session by submitting your group’s vote. 

Donation election: Turning cause prioritisation arguments into an election event. 

When this could happen: Whenever, but to link in with the donation election, any time from now until December 15th (when voting closes) would be ideal. 

Ingredients

  • 3 or more willing volunteers (“candidate representatives”) with different cause prioritisation opinions, who are prepared to defend them. Specifically, they would need to prepare a 2 minute opening speech, and be ready to be questioned by the audience. 
  • A pot of money (doesn’t have to be more than a couple pounds/ dollars per person)
  • A volunteer to chair the panel.

Method 

  1. The candidate representatives prepare their opening arguments before the session. 
  2. On entering the event, participants pledge some money to donate to the pot (or actually send it to a paypal pot- up to you).
  3. The pot total is announced by the panel chair.
  4. The three candidate representatives are each given two minutes to make opening remarks. This is their opportunity to advocate for the project they think the money should be donated to. 
  5. After opening remarks, the chair asks them a few minutes of questions.
  6. Next, the audience breaks into smaller discussion groups. This is an opportunity for everyone to work out their opinions. 
  7. Once discussion starts to die down, move on to a Q+A with the candidates. 
  8. After the Q+A, the group votes on which candidate they want to donate the money. You can get fancy with this, or just go for the candidate with the most votes (GWWC recommends winner-takes-all or proportional voting). 
  9. The session ends when the winner is selected. 
  10. Anyone with a Forum account is prompted to participate in the Forum’s Donation Election event, and others are encouraged to follow/read/write (and maybe to make an account for future events!)

Donation chats: Checking in on your group’s donation plans

When this could happen: Whenever, but to link in with the Donation Election, any time from now until December 15th (when voting closes) would be ideal. 

This kind of event would be an opportunity for a group to convene and share their donation plans for feedback. This could be as simple as providing a space for anyone from the group who wants to to discuss their donation plans and ask for input. Or it could be as complex as the donation workshop described in this Forum post

If you don't have much time to organise an event, consider having a coffee social with the nominal topic of discussing Effective Giving, or the Donation Election. 

Other resources

Concluding notes

If you have any comments on these ideas, ideas of your own, or experience running events like these, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. 

These ideas are a starting point; the aim is to see groups running events that lead to more people thinking about effective giving, and let more people know about the Forum’s Giving Season events. Do whatever works best for your group.

Also, if any groups do end up running one of these events, I’d love to know about it! 


 

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