Reintroducing .impact



It's been over a year since over a year since .impact explained its goals and ideas. Much has changed in effective altruism and with .impact in that time. The following is an update of our purpose and aims explaining what we do, how we do it, and how you can help.


.impact is a volunteer network which coordinates and communicates effective altruism projects

The effective altruist community has many useful project ideas and many individuals looking for a way to help. We aim to provide infrastructure to get these people and useful projects together. We hope to help volunteers learn useful skills, meet great people, and create something substantial.


We've collaborated on and completed community engagement projects with the EA Forum, Reddit, EA Profiles, Hub website, EARadio and map of EAs. We've worked on research and data gathering with the EA survey and donation registry. And we've helped match skills and work with the job board and Skillshare. We’re currently working on studying vegetarian advocacy, a funding network for small projects and helping people find and create local EA groups.


What We Help You Do

Find volunteer opportunities

If you have the time and the drive to do something then someone in the community could use your help and we’ll help you connect with them.


Suggest projects

If you have an idea you think is worth pursuing we’d love to hear it. Mention it on our Facebook group or add it directly onto our next meeting agenda and come discuss it with us.


Discover if a project already exists

Perhaps you have a great idea but want to know if someone else is already working on a similar project. We can use our network to check if such a project is already under development. If so, we can put you in touch with those running it so you can potentially join the team or collaborate with them.


Get assistance on a current project

Already working on a project but want more support? We can connect you with someone who can help you get the job done.


Our Values

We are guided first and foremost by a desire to do the most good. However, we believe to actually accomplish this we need some additional values and heuristics to guide our actions and optimize this purpose. We believe the following principles, which are subject to revision as deemed necessary, will help us do this.

We value action

We find “help people” is often a more useful actionable principle than “optimally help people.” There appear to be many worthwhile tasks which can be fairly easily accomplished simply by motivating and guiding people to accomplish them.


We value effectiveness

We encourage and promote projects according to our expectations of their impact and probability of success. We vet and brainstorm ideas before putting them into action. We use lean methodology to get things out quickly and then decide whether to expand, pivot, or end a project.


We value transparency

Our meetings are documented and our published work is open source or creative commons. We release information on the success of our projects and publish lessons we’ve learned.


We value decentralization

We believe volunteers do best with little outside authority. We try to limit individual ideologies in favor of collective opinions and important decisions are made through voting whenever possible.


Get Involved

Interested in working on a project? Already working on something but want more support? Interested in learning a particular skill, like computer programming or research? We need you!

If you would like to meet the existing community or you would like help finding a project we’d be happy to talk to you. You can also join our Facebook group, add a project, or look through our active projects. We look forward to hearing from you.



2 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 3:41 AM
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As for my personal experience with .impact here's a brief summary:

I'm still relatively new to .impact but I actually don’t recall with clarity how I found it. I believe, with barely over 50% confidence, that Peter Hurford told me about it. So far I've found it very welcoming and bursting with ideas and people willing to help. And if you review the meeting notes, over any significant period of time it is clear many things are getting accomplished. However, even with the ability to search all of Hackpad for projects, finding things by project type can be difficult if you don’t know where to look (an Index page sorting projects by type might help). As it stands right now, the easiest way to find something for outsiders and newcomers is often just to ask someone.

Also for a newcomer, particularly one like myself who doesn't currently offer any particularly in-demand skills like web design or programming, it can be difficult to know what exactly to do if you arrive just looking to help. However, I found the answer to this, as many things in life, is to just dive in. If you think you can do it and have the time, volunteer. That’s how I ended up writing this post and moderating this forum. It really is the case that if you have the time, there’s probably something you could be working on.

We release information on the success of our projects and publish lessons we’ve learned.

On this, some people have added this info (or related info, like money and time spent) to individual .impact project pages on the hackpad. It's been a while since the last overall review post though; one's been in draft for months, and may get released one of these days when someone finds the time.