Comment author: hbesceli 05 April 2018 09:49:56PM 3 points [-]

Thanks for writing this up, lots of interesting ideas for retreat activities which I hadn't previously seen/ though of!

Comment author: Jan_Sz 24 February 2018 07:14:37AM *  1 point [-]

Did you consider giving the grants to several organizers working part-time with one group?

Some arguments against:

  • It's more difficult to coordinate with multiple people

  • Organizers need to coordinate with each other

  • The required skillset is very rare, assuming each organizer needs to perform well w.r.t all of the skills listed.

Some arguments in favor:

  • Low transferable career capital (outside the EA community). Some potential candidates expressed concerns that working full time would require them to interrupt their studies. Working part time would mostly just mean they would quit their student jobs (e.g. as tutors at the university), which has significantly lower opportunity costs. Offering part-time positions might therefore result in more high-quality applications.

  • Tax considerations (In Germany and likely even more in Scandinavian Countries). In Germany, with an income of 35000€ per year you'll have to pay about 5000€ in taxes. Three incomes of ~11650€ result in 0€ in tax payments. The average income of a student in Germany is 918*12=11016 (according to the German social suvey 2016 -

Comment author: hbesceli 26 February 2018 07:14:05PM 1 point [-]

Yes, we're open to accepting both for either for grants covering project in which people either intend to work full-time or part-time, and for either joint or individual applications. We don't have a strong preference for receiving any particular type of application within this.

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 23 February 2018 03:38:14AM *  1 point [-]

Please know, I am not being critical, just genuinely curious.

"We expect to have a particular emphasis on funding groups aiming to transition from being run by volunteers to being run by full-time, paid organizers." Why? What more can a paid organizer do?

I'm thinking about myself, and I don't see how paying me would significantly increase my time related to EA advocacy. For example, I plan to put up college student tailored posters in the academic buildings. After that, speaking to several large lecture halls before class starts (given permission from each prof). Although, in retrospect, I am more of an average joe EA (E2G on the brink of going from the GWWC 1% student minimum to the professional donation, 10%, and investing the rest).

$5k for renting out a facility? $100k for a group for what? A bigger facility? Or is it more like those fancy $500-a-plate dinners? Is there an EA organizer who's put on a benefit-type dinner before? I mean, I presume that putting on such events need money to start with...

Comment author: hbesceli 23 February 2018 04:40:41PM 4 points [-]

What more can a paid organizer do?

It may be that paid organisers simply increases the scale of the things they do already - eg. putting on more discussion groups, talks, workshops etc. though it could also be that having increased capacity enables groups to test promising strategies that they wouldn't have previously been able to.

One reason for thinking that it should be possible for organisers to increase the scale of their activities (and for this to result in an increase in the value that the group produces) is that even the largest groups seem to reach a fraction of their target audience. If groups aren't limited by the available target audience, and the grants process means that groups aren't limited by organiser time or funding, it seems that groups are likely to be able to increase the value they produce.


Announcing Effective Altruism Community Building Grants

Announcing Effective Altruism Community Building Grants I’m announcing a new project from the Centre for Effective Altruism: Effective Altruism Community Building Grants. This program will provide grants of between $5,000 and $100,000 to individuals and groups doing local effective altruism community building work. We expect to have a particular emphasis... Read More
Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 04 January 2017 03:36:04AM 1 point [-]

This is really interesting and I wondered about suggesting something like this as quite high value, especially when targeted personally and non-confrontationally to people new to EA. I wondered whether GWWC was doing this and I'm glad that they are and are getting good results.

I'd be curious to know more about how people to message were selected and how the messages were crafted. This seems harder to reproduce among people like myself who have very few EA friends. 10% of messages converting to pledges is incredible, but potentially so incredible as to be suspicious. 0.667 pledges per hour is a very good hourly rate, much higher (though depending on the value of a pledge) than the hourly rates I found via other kinds of fundraising efforts!

Comment author: hbesceli 04 January 2017 12:14:32PM *  1 point [-]

I'd be curious to know more about how people to message were selected

There weren't any strong guidelines in selecting people just encouraging people to talk to their friends. I chose people to message based on a combination of 1) how interested I thought they'd be (either based on previous conversations about EA or my knowledge of their interests) 2) how close we are, and I'd imagine others used similar heuristics.

and how the messages were crafted.

Here's a message I used that I also put up as an example for others, but there was an emphasis on making the messages personal rather than using a stock message, and so I expect that the type of messages that people sent varied quite a bit.

'Hey, last year i took the 'GWWC pledge' - a commitment to donate 10% of my income to the charities I believe are most effective at improving the world. I'd be really interested in hearing what you think about the idea and whether it's something you'd consider - what do you think? And do you fancy hearing a quick spiel about it? Anyway, what are you up to over New Year’s, when am I going to see you next?'

10% of messages converting to pledges is incredible, but potentially so incredible as to be suspicious.

The success that people have with this probably varies a lot. In particular having spoked to the person about effective altruism before made success a lot more likely. I think there was probably a fairly strong self selection effect, with those who have a lot of potentially interested friends being the people that decided to do the messaging and report their successes, and so I don't think the average GWWC member would be as successful (but probably still enough to make it worth doing).

Also the data from messaging friends seems consistent with the 1/25 message to pledge ratio from GWWC's previous attempts at messaging people - I'd expect messaging friends to be higher than this as the personal connection with the person you're talking about the pledge too seems to be quite an important factor.


Talking about the Giving What We Can Pledge

Giving What We Can estimate a pledge as being worth approximately $73,000 in donations to effective charities, and so getting people to take the pledge who wouldn’t have taken it otherwise seems like a highly valuable activity. This year's GWWC pledge campaign started on Tuesday 29th November and will finish... Read More