Thanks for this David! Nice comparisons!
When I talk to people about EA (often after people ask me about what I do with myself), it is very common for people to ask questions like "I haven't heard of effective altruism before, how large is the movement?" and then "Why isn't it larger? Have you tried ..." with some suggestions for large scale outreach.
While I feel comfortable discussing this question when I'm talking to dedicated EAs, the nuanced pros and cons of various movement-building strategies isn't really what I would like the first conversation about EA to turn to... it is just not all that inspiring. I'd much rather keep talking about cause areas and charities and how we might build a wonderful future.
How do other people deal with questions about the size of the movement?
Thanks Sami, this is a great idea! I'm really glad this group is starting up to support our geographically widespread community.
In case you haven't seen it, here is a guide to talking about EA, which includes a list of approaches various community members like to use, discussions of pitfalls to avoid, and FAQs. It is very open for additions and changes.
Hey Quinn. I think your new logo for the Effective Environmentalism page looks lovely! Apologies for this comment being clearly far too late! I was reminded by seeing the new EE cover image today, and figured I'd comment so you and others know the answer for future projects.
At the moment there really isn't any community-wide graphic standards. Many groups use the lightbulb logo in some form or other. Blues and teals seem to be the usual colours, and Roboto Slab and Raleway seem to be the usual fonts.
Here is CEA's personal style guide for effectivealtruism.org which anyone is welcome to follow or take inspiration from.
There are also a variety of editable graphics sources from a variety of groups here: https://resources.eahub.org/graphics/
One data point suggesting the positive impact of setting up facebook groups for places that have no groups:
Back in 2014 or 2015 LEAN set up an "EA Christchurch" facebook group, that I was able to stumble upon. By posting on this group I found another couple of interested people in my city, and we've had a small but thriving EA group since. I might not have had the gumption to start a local group (or may have taken a lot longer to start) without that facebook group connecting us.
Of course that doesn't mean this strategy will work in other situations, or whether the strategy could just have easily been net negative, but I believe it was very positive in our situation.
Note at first I was very suspicious that the admins, and most of the members, were not from Christchurch, so if you haven't already you might want to explain who you are and what you are hoping to do for the group on the group page.
Thanks Linch for this question. This is half an answer and half a comment! Many group leaders have expressed the need for high quality resources for events, so I think YES this is a very good idea. Some of the reasons against providing these resources can be reduced by having good supporting material such as suggestions for group organisers on how they could modify the resource to fit their group, suggested readings for group organisers, explanations of who this resource would be useful for, and more frequent sharing of resources!
I've been coordinating the EA Hub Resources over the last few months. We are still in the early stages of compiling events resources, so our team hopes to continue to use the Hub to compile more resources from group leaders around the world, and have the hub as the main repository for group resources. And we'd love your help, and the help of many other group organisers!
The current aim is to put on resources that 1) have enough supporting information for group organisers to work out how to use the resource 2) have been successfully used by at least one group, to improve quality but also to ensure this resource is something that at least some groups would want to use, and 3) aren't too similar to other resources so there isn't too much content to wade through, and 4) completely modifiable. So as a result we aren't having people put resources directly onto the Hub. Instead they can suggest changes to the Hub Resources pages on the google drive here, submit resources on this google drive, or just give me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have a team on slack you can join if you want to help review and compile resources!
The EA Hub Resources team recently updated the "Pitch guide", and added lots of other references and frequently asked questions. We also renamed it to "Communicating about EA" because thinking about it as a "sales pitch" is probably not the best approach. https://resources.eahub.org/learn/communicate-ea/
Good luck with your fundraising!
Thanks for sharing that. A lot of the above rings true to me, and it is a great summary of all the costs that that a prospective volunteer might not realise. I've managed volunteers working on several EA projects, and been a volunteer myself on many EA and non-EA projects. However, I think EA volunteers are on average more reliable and more competent than volunteers in general - (I can think of many possible reasons, but don't have a good idea what reasons are dominant), and for my projects the volunteers have been remote, which avoids some of the costs. I think volunteer impact could be one of those heavy-tailed distributions. Out of all the volunteers I've onboarded, the median volunteer hasn't provided much if any value, but there are a few volunteers that are gold, and made having volunteers well worth it overall for me. I haven't yet noticed any pattern that helps me work out in advance who those golden volunteers will be unfortunately!
Re: The old wiki on the EA Hub, I'm afraid the old wiki data got corrupted, it wasn't backed up properly and it was deemed too difficult to restore at the time :(. So it looks like the information in that wiki is now lost to the winds. I'm very sorry about that.
This may or may not fulfil your needs (and isn't _quite_ a wiki), but the EA Hub resources (resources.eahub.org), is a repository for EA links, and we hope to grow the number of resources available. We will soon have a way for people to make suggestions for changes and additions. which will be vetted before loading onto the website.
Thanks Jc! The Hub team has been thinking about having an "Search all of EA" button for a while, but it never quite bubbled up to the top of our to do list. Your explanation of how it could work, as well as John Maxwell's description, make it seem more doable than I previously thought. I'll be discussing this with the rest of the team.