Hey Rob, welcome to the forum!
Given your interest in Buddhism, you might be interested to join the Buddhists in EA Facebook group. There is also an EA Meditation community that you or others interested in mindfulness can join. I believe they have 3 weekly guided meditations for people to join. Two people in my group in EA Philippines regularly join the meditations and find them valuable.
Regarding what you said about wanting to do something you could directly see the impact of, I think there’s many ways you can still achieve this within EA. As you learn more about EA, you can have 1-1′s or chats with people newer to EA than you, and help them learn more about EA or one of its causes/concepts, give them career or productivity advice, or even just some tips on mindfulness.
Also, being able to volunteer for an EA project can allow you to see some more direct impact other than just donating. There might be a volunteer or job opportunity that might interest you in the EA Work Club.
Lastly, regarding if anyone in EA is doing anything for communities on a local level in the developed world, I can think of a few ideas:
Mental health is a big problem both in developed and developing countries, and is prioritized by some people in the EA community. For example, the charity Canopie, incubated by the EA org Charity Entrepreneurship, are developing and testing a mobile app to treat pregnancy-related mental health issues in the United States. So I think if you can find ways to cost-effectively improve mental health in your local community, that could still be impactful to work on.
Another thing that involves local communities is if you’re in the U.S., having approval voting become the voting method in your state could be high-impact, because of how approval voting can lessen polarization. The EA-aligned org called The Center for Election Science works on this.
Finding ways to get involved or educated about the policymaking in your area, and seeing if you can advocate for more effective and evidence-based policies, can plausibly be high-impact too.
Finally, I guess doing EA community building work, or running Rationality talks/workshops for your local community, are ways you can introduce people in your area to some relevant ideas, which can help them think of other ways they can make an impact on the world.
I hope some of these links and ideas help!
Thank you, your reply appears helpful and is greatfully received. I am located in the UK rather than the USA.
I will look deeper into EA.