I'm always up to chat about:

  • EA group strategies (We have just published our strategy document, along with many of our internal resources that I hope can be useful for other groups:
  • Projects for volunteers who want to help to improve the global movement (especially regarding better coordination and better onboarding processes for individuals who are interested in EA)
  • EA Israel puts much effort into creating an attractive and engaging (yet accurate) messaging for EA. If you have any insights on this, please contact me!

Would love to share some advice about:

  • Productivity methods, both in the context of organizational improvement and of personal productivity
  • User experience and web design
  • Implementing habits and personal development techniques


Mapping of EA

I think it does! It's important in my opinion that there would be someone who can maintain the map over time, and that it would be easy to make changes to (e.g. if it's an infographic then it can be made easy if it's made in Canva)

Mapping of EA

These might be useful for creating a map:

The Explanatory Obstacle of EA

Thank you Charlie! 

 I don't think that the point of a lot of our introductory pitches should to transfer the most bits of information, but rather to get people on the right track, interested and attracted to the idea. 

I totally agree with this! Let me clarify my opinion:

  • I distinguish between a pitch and an explanation.
  • I think that pitches should maximize attraction, but also need to satisfy some level of explanations for the concept discussed.
  • I think that the common EA pitches are quite good at attracting people, but I believe we’re pretty bad at explaining what EA is (I’d love to hear if you’re not sharing this belief!)
  • I hope that being able to explain EA better:
    • will also improve our pitches by improving the explanation component of our pitches.
    • will help onboarding individuals once they were initially attracted by a good pitch. 

I think one rule of thumb that can help people simplify the framing problem is to know who your audience is. 

I think it's great to frame the quality of a pitch by its fit to its audience. Yet what I'm missing in this framing is the size of the audience in question:

  • Many of my criticisms in this post can be thought of as "this articulation aims for a too narrow audience", for instance, to an audience that tends to think very analytically. 
  • Many of my suggestions in this post are trying to broaden the audience so it can be clearer and more convincing to a wider audience, without relying on their background or prior knowledge.
  • In addition, many of my suggestions are about explicitly and simplification (e.g. saying “time and money” instead of “resources”, or explicitly saying “donating, volunteering, and career choices”) and I think are relevant regardless to the audience we’re aiming to attract.

In general, I think that pitches should change drastically according to the audience in hand, while explanations should be (a bit) more audience-neutral.

The Explanatory Obstacle of EA

I totally agree. Though it's not concrete examples, these two resources (1,2) are helpful. 

Just thinking out loud: Diving deeper into each misconception and providing concrete examples (or even "simulations" for practice) might be a good idea for an EA pitching workshop

The Explanatory Obstacle of EA

Thanks Oldman! I totally agree with your point on examples.

Regarding 'helping others' and animals - I think it's a great question whether individuals who are interested in animal welfare and hear about EA for the first time would be put off by this expression. 
If it's not the case, then I think the benefits of using 'helping others' are still relevant, and it's not that 'doing good' would signal to these individuals that the movement also cares about animals. Nevertheless, in some contexts, I think it can be beneficial to say explicitly 'helping other people and animals' even though it makes this sentence a bit longer.

Anyhow, in terms of accuracy, I think that 'others' can refer to animals as well (though I'm not sure of that).

The Explanatory Obstacle of EA

I wish I had some organized interviews written down, and I hope to see more serious market testing work like that within the movement - unfortunately, I didn't have the time to document my interactions explaining about EA. 

Generally speaking, I tried out different pitches whenever I had the chance to speak about EA, tried to be attentive to responses, asked what do they think about the concept (which is important, because most of the time people would just be supportive or say "wow" while clearly not understanding what EA is about), and shared these experiences with other community builders in Israel and abroad. 

The vast majority of the responses I received was either very basic questions that show confusion about the concept ("so what does the movement actually do?", "what do people in the movement do?"), responses that show very little understanding, or responses that was kind of OK but then later I realized didn't account for much comprehension (as happened a lot with volunteers - I found myself often explaining critical nuances of EA to people who were involved for quite a while, even if they had actually read our list of intro materials).

In addition, I quite often expected people I (even slightly) know to be more excited about EA, and their lack of excitement showed me that our pitches are far from optimal. Once we've developed the current pitch and placed it on our website, I found that:

  • Volunteers and individuals who seek career advice approached us with far better understanding of EA (far from perfect, but it feels like going from 20% of understanding to 60%)
  • Within a minute of explanation I get the feeling the person I speak with actually has a general understanding of what I'm talking about
  • Informal conversations I have about EA make people much more excited

That said - much more research is needed, I don't think this is the most optimal pitch we can come up with, and I can't really quantify these experiences as much as I'd hope to.

What Small Weird Thing Do You Fund?

I'm conflicted about whether I should upvote or downvote this

The Explanatory Obstacle of EA

I agree with your point of "career decisions" - I'm replacing "career choices" in my post with "career decisions", thank you!

Regarding evidence and reason - I think that the idea of prioritizing social action is already unique and doesn't require differentiation, and I think that individuals would assume that by prioritizing  we mean to apply some serious thinking into this process (but I think this argument requires some testing, and would be easy to test)

The Explanatory Obstacle of EA

Thank you for this feedback lukasberglund and Maricio, I think I underestimated the misrepresentation argument, so I highly appreciate this. 

About your second argument on the impact of volunteer guidance, and the discussion with Mauricio: I entirely agree with your opinion on the impact of volunteering, but I think that the main case for including volunteering in the pitch (and in general, investing in guidance for effective volunteering) is that it for specific individuals, who are interested in volunteering, this can be the entry point that would attract them to learn more about EA - whether we eventually help them with prioritizing volunteer opportunities or with career/donation decisions.

For this reason (and because specific volunteering opportunities can be highly impactful, as you both discussed), I still think it's beneficial to include volunteering on EA pitches. I believe that the argument about misrepresentation makes a good case for not mentioning volunteering as the first on the list, but I don't think that the order is of high significance. 

I'll soon make some updates to the post about that. Thank you both again for your feedback!

Stumbled upon this great post, just adding a minor comment: On certain occasions, it might be even more convincing the build the pitch around an example of an intervention such as Strongminds (which HLI often compares to Givedirectly in terms of cost-effectiveness). It helps make the pitch more concrete.

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