O

OllieBase

Community Event Manager @ Centre for Effective Altruism
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CEA Community Events Retrospective

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Thanks for writing this! I'm excited to see organisers and advisors really dive into theories of change for EAGx.

That said, I think the models here might benefit from looking at the existing data. Reading this post, you might think will be the first EA Global or EAGx event to take place—but there have been many, and we have lots of data on what people find useful.

The most useful post is probably this one

I also gathered data about what part of the event was most valuable from 2023 events (from follow-up surveys, so asking people what was valuable several months after the event). Sharing below.

We aren't planning on having a GCR (or other cause area) focus for this event, but we'll confirm that in due course.

EA Global: Bay Area 2025 will take place 21-23 February 2025 at the Oakland Marriott (the same venue as the past two years). Information on how to apply and other details to follow, just an FYI for now since we have the date.

Thanks for your comment. 

We’ve mentioned elsewhere that we might revisit the decision not to claim Gift Aid after the event, and so we’re planning to send around Gift Aid Declaration forms to donors soon. We think this would be helpful so we can preserve the option of claiming Gift Aid on these donations in the future. 

We think the HMRC guidance to individuals is not very clear, and thanks for your prompt to check this. We have looked into it, and consulted our external advisors and we do not think that it is a requirement of personal tax relief that the individual donor signs a Gift Aid Declaration form. However, as HMRC’s own guidance isn’t consistently clear on this, and as we’d like to keep the option of claiming the Gift Aid afterwards, we’d like to send around GAD forms and will be in touch with donors to do this.

This thread has prompted us to pay closer attention here, so thank you (everyone in this thread) for flagging it!

Thanks for your comment, Rasool. 

We’re happy to provide as much info as we can here but I just want to make clear that, ultimately, it’s your call about whether you claim tax relief on this donation.

We do think we haven’t been sufficiently clear about how donations to EA Global work and we’ll be revisiting this language in due course to make things clearer. Addressing a few other points:

  • Our payment platform is set up to receive payments, and to generate receipts. A purchase receipt does not change the fact that this was a donation to a charity.
  • Re: whether tickets recoup costs: EA Global conferences cost >£1k per person per event (though that’s coming down) so the suggested donation amount wouldn’t cover the costs of one attendee. Our goal isn’t to maximise donations and break even, so while we’re very grateful for all donations, we want to ensure the event is accessible to a wide range of people.
  • Re: HMRC rules: As above, our goal isn’t to cover our costs through ticket sales—and we view giving free tickets as part of our wider charitable purposes—so this part of the HMRC guidance doesn’t apply to us. 
  • RE: applications: Filtering all applications and then only inviting selected people to register for a free event is allowed within HMRC rules—provided the event is open to a sufficiently wide section of the public, it is fine to require attendees to meet some standards (e.g. demonstrating a genuine interest in the topics at the conference, before they are accepted and then invited to donate). CEA only asks people to make a donation once they have been accepted to attend the event. 

Again, thanks so much for your comments here.

Sharing a piece of advice I've given to a few people about applying for (EA) funding.

I've heard various people working on early-stage projects express hesitancy about applying for EA funding because their plan isn't "complete" enough. They don't feel confident enough in their proposal, or think what they're asking for is too small. They seem to assume that EA funders only want to look at proposals with a long time-horizons from applicants who will work full-time who are confident their plan will work.

In my experience (I've done various bits of grantmaking and regularly talk to EA funders), grantmakers in EA spaces are generally happy to receive applications that don't have these qualities. It's okay to apply if you just want to test a project out for a few months; maybe you won't be full-time, maybe you aren't confident in some part of the theory of change, maybe it's just a few months. You should apply and just explain your thinking, including all of your uncertainties.

Funders are uncertain too, and often prefer to fund tests for a few months than commit to multi-year projects with full-time staff because tests give them useful information about you and the theory of change. Ideally, funders eventually support long-term projects too.

I'm not super confident in this take, but I ran it past a few EA funders and they agreed. Note that I think this probably doesn't apply outside of EA; I understand many grant applications require detailed plans.

You might like David Nash's Monthly Overload of Effective Altruism.

It has a combination of forum/EA org updates and relevant news.

I can also recommend Shakeel's Transformer newsletter for AI-specific news.

I agree that upvotes are an update that the content was useful and that might mean I'm just off here.

I guess I think relevancy or interest isn't the only thing we should be tracking; I think the forum adds value because, unlike Twitter, the posts and replies here are usually more thoughtful and more carefully investigated. To put it another way, if I just wanted relevant news and updates, I'd go to Twitter. Here, I'd hope for more commentary (e.g. "Jan has joined Anthropic. Here are some thoughts I have about this and how they might be relevant for EAs deciding which lab to join"). 

I'm not saying you personally should have done this and, again, I am grateful you made the effort to share this.

I'm grateful you shared this since it's probably interesting to the community, but flagging I'm a little nervous about the EA Forum filling up with cross-posts from X. I think that would make it less interesting and unique.

Thanks AGB (and Rasool below),

I'm looking into this. Again, it seems our language here hasn't been clear enough and I want to make sure I'm as clear as possible when I respond.

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