2017 LEAN Impact Assessment: Quantitative Findings

  • Quan­ti­ta­tive Findings

  • Qual­i­ta­tive Findings

  • Eval­u­a­tion & Strate­gic Conclusions

  • Methodology

The Lo­cal Effec­tive Altru­ism Net­work (LEAN) is a Re­think Char­ity pro­ject ini­ti­ated in 2015, which fo­cuses on pro­vid­ing ma­te­rial and in­for­ma­tional as­sis­tance to uni­ver­sity and lo­cal EA groups around the world.

This doc­u­ment is the first in the LEAN Im­pact Assess­ment Series, sum­maris­ing rele­vant data from the 2017 Lo­cal Group Sur­vey, which is used to as­sess the EA lo­cal group net­work and the effec­tive­ness of LEAN’s ser­vices.

The as­sess­ment util­ises a mixed method so­cial re­search strat­egy, in­clud­ing both quan­ti­ta­tive and qual­i­ta­tive com­po­nents. Our quan­ti­ta­tive re­search re­lies upon rele­vant data from the 2017 Lo­cal Group Sur­vey [1], which was con­ducted in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Effec­tive Altru­ism Foun­da­tion (EAF) and the Cen­tre for Effec­tive Altru­ism (CEA) mid-2017. Our qual­i­ta­tive re­search is made up of over 30 semi-struc­tured in­ter­views that LEAN held by video call with group or­ganisers around the world, rang­ing from 20 to 40 min­utes in du­ra­tion.

Find­ings are di­vided into two over­ar­ch­ing cat­e­gories: “EA Groups” and “Sup­port and Re­sources”. The first in­cludes data re­lated to the scale, na­ture and im­pact of groups, (e.g. mem­ber­ship num­bers or funds raised). The sec­ond in­cludes data on par­tic­u­lar group sup­port strate­gies, and their pop­u­lar­ity and im­pact.

In this re­port, and in the qual­i­ta­tive find­ing sum­mary to fol­low, we offer de­scrip­tive com­men­tary only, leav­ing full strate­gic anal­y­sis and in­ter­pre­ta­tion for a later ar­ti­cle.

Table of Contents

Sur­vey Sample

EA Groups

Group Demographics

Com­mit­ment and Lifestyle Changes

Funds Moved

Sup­port and Resources

Gen­eral EA or­gani­sa­tion feedback

Spe­cific ser­vices and resources

Sur­vey Sample

The 2017 Lo­cal Group Sur­vey was sent by LEAN staff to ev­ery EA group or­ganiser on record [2] via email and Face­book mes­sage. The sur­vey was also posted in EA Face­book groups, and ad­ver­tised in the EA Newslet­ter and the Lo­cal Groups Newslet­ter.

Although 374 en­tries were sub­mit­ted to the sur­vey (138 of which iden­ti­fied as group lead­ers and 236 as group mem­bers), 292 en­tries re­mained once the data was cleaned [3]. Among these, 98 iden­ti­fied as or­ganisers, and 194 as mem­bers.

The sur­vey was split into sec­tions con­tain­ing ques­tions re­served for or­ganisers, and ques­tions open to or­ganisers and mem­bers. Where groups had more than one or­ganiser, they were asked to nom­i­nate one or­ganiser to com­plete the ques­tions des­ig­nated for or­ganisers. Sur­plus or­ganisers com­pleted the sur­vey as mem­bers. Or­ganisers an­swered on be­half of their groups for the or­ganiser ques­tions, and on be­half of them­selves for the mem­ber ques­tions.

Some ques­tions at­tracted many more re­sponses than oth­ers, and sev­eral par­ti­ci­pants chose to skip cer­tain ques­tions. Through­out this re­port, re­sponse lev­els are in­di­cated as frac­tions of the to­tal re­spon­dent cat­e­gory, in or­der to sig­nal this differ­ence. For ex­am­ple, if there are 75 re­sponses to a ques­tion re­stricted to or­ganisers, this is dis­played as 7598 where 98 is the to­tal num­ber of or­ganisers that com­pleted the sur­vey.

Our method­ol­ogy is ex­plained in more de­tail in a forth­com­ing post in this se­ries.

EA Groups

Group Demographics

Num­ber of Groups and Group Size

Or­ganisers re­ported an av­er­age of 50 group mem­bers, and a me­dian of 10. The data are par­tially de­ter­mined by the differ­ent crite­ria re­spon­dents used for for defin­ing mem­ber­ship. For in­stance, some used the size of their Face­book or Meetup groups, while oth­ers counted only in­di­vi­d­u­als who had at­tended group ac­tivi­ties on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. Based on these num­bers though, slightly more than 78% of mem­bers are within the top 10% of groups by size.

Group Type

56 par­ti­ci­pat­ing or­ganisers were from lo­cal groups, and 37 or­ganisers were from Univer­sity groups. Of course, many mem­bers of lo­cal city based groups may still be uni­ver­sity stu­dents. Some groups may be bet­ter un­der­stood as hy­brids be­tween the two cat­e­gories. It is also pos­si­ble that as the EA com­mu­nity is ag­ing, EAs who joined the move­ment dur­ing uni­ver­sity are pro­gress­ing into lo­cal non-uni­ver­sity groups.

Group Leader Succession

As a rough in­di­ca­tor of the sta­bil­ity of groups, we asked or­ganisers to es­ti­mate the like­li­ness that their groups would con­tinue were the cur­rent or­ganisers to step down.

The re­sults sug­gest a de­gree of vuln­er­a­bil­ity, and de­pen­dence on par­tic­u­lar or­ganisers.

EA Ac­tivi­ties of Or­ganisers and Members

We asked mem­bers and or­ganisers whether or not they had ever en­gaged in the fol­low­ing ac­tivi­ties:

We sup­plied no par­ti­ci­pa­tion count for this ques­tion be­cause re­spon­dents were only given the op­tion to add a mark if they en­gaged in the rele­vant ac­tivity. There­fore, a lack of marks from a re­spon­dent could mean ei­ther a lack of en­gag­ing in the ques­tion, or it could mean that the re­spon­dent doesn’t en­gage in any of the ac­tivi­ties. Any par­ti­ci­pa­tion count would there­fore not be in­for­ma­tive.

An ad­di­tional limi­ta­tion of these re­sults is the fact that cat­e­gories such as “vol­un­teered at an EA or­gani­sa­tion” were not suffi­ciently defined. For ex­am­ple, some re­spon­dents in­ter­preted time spent or­ganis­ing their groups as vol­un­tary work for an EA or­gani­sa­tion, while oth­ers did not.

In an open ended ad­den­dum to the ques­tion, re­spon­dents re­ported ad­di­tional ways of in­vest­ing time in EA:

  • Think­ing about EA

  • Direct EA work

  • Pro­duc­ing EA con­tent

  • Re­search­ing EA

  • EA in­formed ca­reer tran­si­tion

  • Ap­ply­ing for EA re­lated grants

  • Pitch­ing EA to in­di­vi­d­u­als

  • EA al­igned policy work

  • Earn­ing to give

This sug­gests that mem­bers (and or­ganisers) of EA groups are en­gaged in Effec­tive Altru­ist ac­tivi­ties and the move­ment more broadly. Al­most by defi­ni­tion, group mem­ber­ship in­volves so­cial in­ter­ac­tion with other EAs. It is clear, how­ever, that this is just one of many ac­tivi­ties that mem­bers are in­volved in.

Com­mit­ment & Lifestyle Changes

In­creas­ing En­gage­ment with EA

Per­haps the most im­por­tant suc­cess crite­ria for EA groups is their abil­ity to at­tract peo­ple to Effec­tive Altru­ism, and to re­tain their in­ter­est and com­mit­ment. We in­cluded the fol­low­ing ques­tions in the Lo­cal Group Sur­vey in or­der to gauge this:

  • [All re­spon­dents] “Did you con­sider your­self an EA be­fore you at­tended a group meet­ing?”

  • [Or­ganisers] “In the last year, roughly how many peo­ple have at­tended at least one of your events who weren’t fa­mil­iar (or were barely fa­mil­iar) with Effec­tive Altru­ism?”

  • [All re­spon­dents] “How much of a fac­tor has be­ing in­volved with your group been for en­gage­ment with EA?”

  • [Or­ganisers] “How many mem­bers have be­come ac­tively com­mit­ted to EA as a re­sult of be­ing in your group? (Ex­am­ples of com­mit­ment in­clude lifestyle changes, di­rect ac­tion, or dona­tion to effec­tive causes)”

The fol­low­ing table and graph sum­marise data on how many re­spon­dents con­sid­ered them­selves Effec­tive Altru­ists prior to at­tend­ing their first group meet­ing:

It may ap­pear strik­ing that some or­ganisers did not con­sider them­selves EAs un­til af­ter their first group meet­ing. Note that it may be that or­ganisers were con­verted to EA af­ter at­tend­ing their first group meet­ing as a mem­ber, but be­came an or­ganiser af­ter be­com­ing an EA. It may also be the case that some re­spon­dents are re­luc­tant to ap­ply the la­bel ‘EA’ to them­selves e.g. un­til they’ve started do­ing some­thing they see as con­crete for EA (such as or­ganis­ing an EA group).

While it is difficult to dis­cern cau­sa­tion from these figures, they do at least con­firm that a size­able num­ber in­di­vi­d­u­als be­come EAs only af­ter be­gin­ning to at­tend a group. This con­firms that groups are not merely reach­ing peo­ple who already iden­tity as EAs and nor are they merely reach­ing non-EAs who never sub­se­quently come to iden­tify with the move­ment.

This graph dis­plays the num­ber of peo­ple who group or­ganisers es­ti­mated at­tended each group’s events with lit­tle or no fa­mil­iar­ity with Effec­tive Altru­ism:

Re­sponses are widely dis­tributed, with a small num­ber of groups re­port­ing very large num­bers, but most re­sponses clus­tered around 30 new event at­ten­dees with lit­tle fa­mil­iar­ity with EA, and with most re­sponses (44/​78) fal­ling be­tween 5 and 50. It is im­por­tant to see this in the con­text of group size, with all but 10 of the groups who re­sponded to this ques­tion had <50 group mem­bers. The ra­tio be­tween group mem­bers and to­tal event at­ten­dees who were un­fa­mil­iar with EA varied widely, be­tween 1:0.375 (a group with 40 mem­bers and 15 new event at­ten­dees) and 1:43 (a group with 14 mem­bers and 600 event at­ten­dees who were un­fa­mil­iar with EA).

How much of a fac­tor was group in­volve­ment for en­gage­ment with EA?

When asked how much of a fac­tor group in­volve­ment was for their en­gage­ment with EA, re­spon­dents gave the fol­low­ing an­swers:

Most mem­bers (102/​178) and or­ganisers (45/​72) re­port in­volve­ment with their EA group to be ‘large’ or ‘very large’ fac­tor for their en­gage­ment with EA, with the ma­jor­ity of the rest be­ing ‘mod­er­ate’ re­sponses.

Num­ber of mem­bers be­com­ing ‘ac­tively com­mit­ted’ to EA due to groups

We also asked for coun­ter­fac­tual es­ti­mates of the num­ber of mem­bers who be­came ‘ac­tively com­mit­ted’ to EA (for ex­am­ple, lifestyle changes, di­rect ac­tion or donat­ing money to effec­tive causes) as a re­sult of in­volve­ment in groups.

The me­dian num­ber of es­ti­mated coun­ter­fac­tual ac­tive com­mit­ments is 5 and the ma­jor­ity (43/​63) fall be­tween 1 and 10. A small num­ber of groups re­port sub­stan­tially higher num­bers (e.g. 50-100 coun­ter­fac­tual com­mit­ments). The top 1063 groups ac­count for slightly more than half the re­ported com­mit­ments (352/​617.5).

Look­ing at this in re­la­tion to ‘group size’ finds a pos­i­tive cor­re­la­tion be­tween the num­ber of mem­bers a group has and its num­ber of re­ported ac­tive com­mit­ments.

Thought and Be­hav­ior Change Since Be­ing In­volved with a Lo­cal Group

We asked all re­spon­dents whether their world views or be­havi­ours had changed since be­com­ing in­volved in an EA group.

We also asked them to in­di­cate whether or not any changes re­ported were likely to be im­pact­ful.

A sub­stan­tial ma­jor­ity of mem­bers and or­ganisers al­ike re­port that the way they think about the world and be­have has changed since be­ing in­volved with a lo­cal group and that they ex­pect to have more so­cial im­pact as a re­sult of this change. This does not nec­es­sar­ily sug­gest cau­sa­tion be­tween the lo­cal group and their in­creased en­gage­ment and effi­cacy.

How many of your cur­rent mem­bers do you ex­pect to choose ca­reers based on EA recom­men­da­tions or think­ing?

Most groups re­port be­tween 1 and 5 mem­bers choos­ing ca­reers based on EA prin­ci­ples

(me­dian 4). The mean (7.29) is dragged up­wards by a small num­ber of groups with much higher (up to 50) num­bers of ca­reer choices based on EA.

A nat­u­ral ques­tion to ask is how this re­lates to group size. Are the largest groups sim­ply ac­count­ing for many more of these out­comes (due to their much greater size)? The first graph shown here would seem to sug­gest this, with the group with the largest num­ber of EA ca­reer choices by some way, also be­ing the largest, and all but one of the groups with the high­est num­ber of EA ca­reer choices hav­ing >100 mem­bers.

It is a fur­ther ques­tion, how­ever, whether the largest groups are bet­ter at mak­ing con­ver­sions (e.g. get­ting mem­bers to make EA ca­reer choices). The graph be­low would not sup­port this con­clu­sion. We see here only a weak cor­re­la­tion, but it might ap­pear that the largest groups (re­spon­si­ble for the most EA ca­reer choices) in ab­solute terms, have a rel­a­tively lower % of mem­bers mak­ing EA ca­reer choices. This does not seem suffi­cient to sug­gest that larger EA groups are worse at mak­ing con­ver­sions how­ever. A plau­si­ble ex­pla­na­tion might be that smaller groups con­tain a dis­pro­por­tionate num­ber of ded­i­cated EAs (for ex­am­ple, a small group with 5 mem­bers might con­tain two EAs suffi­ciently ded­i­cated to found and run a group), com­pared to the largest groups which may have many hun­dreds of new mem­bers.

If ap­pli­ca­ble, how much of a fac­tor are or were EA prin­ci­ples in plan­ning your ca­reer?

A ma­jor­ity of mem­bers and or­ganisers al­ike re­port that EA prin­ci­ples were a large or very large fac­tor in plan­ning their ca­reers. Notably, though per­haps un­sur­pris­ingly, or­ganisers dis­pro­por­tionately in­di­cated that they were a “very large” fac­tor in plan­ning their ca­reers, whereas among mem­bers there were rel­a­tively more mod­er­ate and large re­sponses.

Ex­am­ples of Notable Group Mem­bers Be­com­ing Ac­tive EAs

Or­ganisers re­sponded to the ques­tion: “Please name any cur­rent or past group mem­bers who have gone on to be­come ac­tive in the wider EA com­mu­nity. This would in­clude go­ing on to work at an EA or­ga­ni­za­tion, start­ing an EA pro­ject, be­com­ing a thought leader in the move­ment, earn­ing to give, and/​or rep­re­sent­ing EA in other pub­lic ways.” We re­fer to these in­di­vi­d­u­als as ‘hits’ who ini­ti­ated or in­creased their level of in­volve­ment in EA af­ter group in­volve­ment.

In to­tal 121 ‘hits’ were re­ported in this open com­ment ques­tion. Note that low re­sponse rates may ob­scure the num­ber of group or­ganisers who would re­port 0 ‘hits.’

How valuable do you find your group’s ac­tivi­ties?

As this graph shows, ma­jori­ties of both or­ganisers and mem­bers rate their group’s ac­tivi­ties as valuable or very valuable. Notably, mem­bers ap­pear strik­ingly more pos­i­tive than or­ganisers, “very valuable” be­ing their most fre­quent re­sponse by some way (80), fol­lowed by valuable, with 135 out of 144 se­lect­ing these two op­tions, whereas or­ganisers’ re­sponses are cen­tred around valuable (30) and mod­er­ately valuable (22).

Funds moved

Group or­ganisers pro­vided es­ti­mates of the money raised through group fundrais­ing ac­tivi­ties, the money raised through the pri­vate dona­tions of mem­bers, and the coun­ter­fac­tual GWWC pledges raised by groups.

While sub­stan­tial funds have been col­lec­tively raised by groups, the ma­jor­ity of the funds come from a small num­ber of groups.

Nev­er­the­less an ap­pre­cia­ble num­ber of groups have fundraised sig­nifi­cant (i.e. $100 to $1000) amounts, as seen be­low (note the log scale on the y axis).

Note that we would ex­pect that non-re­sponse would be higher for groups who have not run fundraisers or who raised very lit­tle, so there may be a longer ‘tail’ of groups rais­ing $0.

This table sum­marises group or­ganisers’ es­ti­mates of the pri­vate dona­tions made by group mem­bers who coun­ter­fac­tu­ally would not have donated (but for group in­volve­ment):

To­tal es­ti­mated coun­ter­fac­tual pri­vate dona­tions are dom­i­nated by a small num­ber of groups re­port­ing very high figures (note the log scale on the x axis). How­ever, a sub­stan­tial num­ber of groups are re­port­ing sig­nifi­cant sums be­ing donated. An im­por­tant caveat is that re­spon­dents may have over-es­ti­mated some of the figures for var­i­ous rea­sons (for ex­am­ple, in­clud­ing fu­ture dona­tions).

Note, as above, that non-re­sponse rates may con­ceal a higher num­ber of groups who would es­ti­mate very low dona­tions.

Fi­nally, or­ganisers pro­vided es­ti­mates of the coun­ter­fac­tual Giv­ing What We Can pledges se­cured through their groups.

Most or­ganisers re­port few coun­ter­fac­tual pledges (pledges which would not have been taken with­out the in­fluence of the group), with most re­port­ing be­tween 1 and 5. In­deed, the vast ma­jor­ity of re­sponses fall within 1 and 11, while 2 groups re­port 40 and 75 coun­ter­fac­tual pledges re­spec­tively, and 16 re­port 0 coun­ter­fac­tual pledges.

Over­all, these data on funds are spec­u­la­tive, and should be treated as such. How­ever, it ap­pears that groups have a non-triv­ial role in the move­ment of funds to effec­tive causes.

LEAN Sup­port and Resources

In this part of the re­port we sum­marise ev­i­dence re­gard­ing the use­ful­ness of ser­vices which LEAN pro­vides in as­sist­ing the op­er­a­tion of groups [4]. More data on groups’ ex­pe­riences of out­side sup­port will be shared in the qual­i­ta­tive re­port.

Gen­eral feed­back on LEAN and other EA or­gani­sa­tions

We asked or­ganisers: “What out­side help has been the most use­ful to the op­er­a­tion of your group?” (Re­spon­dents could se­lect mul­ti­ple op­tions.)

“Other” was made up of spe­cific Univer­sity stu­dent unions, larger EA groups in similar re­gions (EA NTNU, EA Lon­don and EA ANU), value al­igned lo­cal or­gani­sa­tions, and in­di­vi­d­ual EAs.

CEA (39) was the or­gani­sa­tion most of­ten se­lected as ‘most use­ful’ to the op­er­a­tion of groups by or­ganisers. Note that re­spon­dents could se­lect mul­ti­ple or­gani­sa­tions if they wished. LEAN (22) and EAF (22) were joint sec­ond most com­monly se­lected or­gani­sa­tions. TLYCS was se­lected 11 times, and re­main­ing op­tions were each se­lected 2 or fewer times. CEA-af­fili­ated 80,000 Hours (21) and Giv­ing What We Can (13) were se­lected sep­a­rately by some re­spon­dents. A favourable bias to­wards LEAN is pos­si­ble given the fact that LEAN dis­tributed the sur­vey.

Feed­back on spe­cific ser­vices and resources

Per­sonal Feedback

LEAN offers or­ganisers per­sonal sup­port, on de­mand, via video call, so­cial me­dia and email. We asked or­ganisers: “In your opinion, how use­ful is per­sonal feed­back and sup­port via so­cial me­dia, email and video call?”

A clear ma­jor­ity re­port that per­sonal feed­back and sup­port of this kind is use­ful or very use­ful.

Prac­ti­cal sup­port and new ideas

We asked or­ganisers: “In your opinion, how use­ful is it to re­ceive prac­ti­cal sup­port and new ideas for group ac­tivi­ties?”

Prac­ti­cal sup­port and new ideas for group ac­tivi­ties are gen­er­ally rated as use­ful or very use­ful (75/​80), with only (3/​8) find­ing them ei­ther not use­ful or not at all use­ful.

Video Calls

LEAN hosts video calls to help share best prac­tices be­tween groups. Or­ganisers re­sponded to the ques­tion: “In your opinion, how use­ful is it to host video calls about group man­age­ment top­ics?”

A ma­jor­ity of or­ganisers re­ported video calls about group man­age­ment to be ei­ther use­ful or very use­ful.

Writ­ten Guides

LEAN is among many EA in­di­vi­d­u­als and or­gani­sa­tions to have pro­duced writ­ten con­tent for EA or­ganisers. We asked or­ganisers: “In your opinion, how use­ful are writ­ten guides (with a fo­cus on prac­ti­cal and strate­gic as­pects of or­ganis­ing groups)?”

A clear ma­jor­ity of re­spon­dents (65/​78) con­sid­ered writ­ten guides to be use­ful or very use­ful with only 1 re­spon­dent out of 78 offer­ing a nega­tive rat­ing.

Web­sites and Tech­ni­cal Support

LEAN pro­vides host­ing, do­mains and ba­sic con­tent man­age­ment for over fifty EA group web­sites. Or­ganisers were asked: “If your group uses a web­site, do you be­lieve that it makes a non-triv­ial differ­ence in the effec­tive­ness of your group’s out­reach efforts?”

While a ma­jor­ity of the groups who used (group) web­sites find them sig­nifi­cantly use­ful, a no­table minor­ity find them no more than triv­ially use­ful.

In ad­di­tion, we asked: “In your opinion, how use­ful is tech­ni­cal sup­port (for in­stance, sub­scrip­tions for on­line ser­vices, free web­sites, group email ad­dresses)?”

A ma­jor­ity (52/​73) of re­spon­dents re­port that tech­ni­cal sup­port of this na­ture is ei­ther use­ful or very use­ful, com­pared to 13 and 8 groups be­ing neu­tral or not find­ing it use­ful, re­spec­tively.

Premium Meetup.com subscription

LEAN pro­vides free Meetup.com ac­counts for in­ter­ested or­ga­niz­ers. Or­ganisers were asked: “If your group uses Meetup.com, please give an es­ti­ma­tion of the % more at­ten­dees you have at­tracted as a re­sult of us­ing the plat­form in ad­di­tion to—or in­stead of—al­ter­na­tives?”

*It should be noted that most EA Groups don’t use Meetup.com and would not have been able to an­swer this ques­tion.

While many groups gained mod­est in­creases in mem­bers from us­ing meetup.com (me­dian 15%, mean 21.42%), a small num­ber gained very sig­nifi­cant in­creases.

Lo­cal Group Newsletter

LEAN leads a reg­u­lar newslet­ter for EA groups with sup­port from EAF and CEA. We asked or­ganisers: “In your opinion, how use­ful is the Lo­cal Group Newslet­ter?”

Many more re­spon­dents rated the lo­cal groups newslet­ter (N.B. not the EA Newslet­ter) as use­ful or very use­ful, (32) than not use­ful or not at all use­ful (34), though many were neu­tral (24).

Th­ese re­sults should be con­tex­tu­al­ised, how­ever, by re­sponses at the end of the sur­vey which asked whether re­spon­dents wished to be added to the lo­cal or­ganiser newslet­ter:

This shows that 49 or­ganisers or more have not re­ceived the newslet­ter, which limits the use­ful­ness of the ear­lier re­sponses.

Group Or­ganisers’ Men­tor­ing Programme

With sup­port from CEA, LEAN launched a men­tor­ing trial pro­gramme, con­nect­ing ex­pe­rienced or­ganisers with new ones from Au­gust 2017. We asked or­ganisers: “In your opinion, how use­ful is the EA Or­ganiser’s Men­tor­ing Pro­gramme?”

The ma­jor­ity (32) of re­spon­dents found this pro­gram nei­ther use­ful nor use­less, with 16 find­ing it use­ful or very use­ful and 4 find­ing it not use­ful. Th­ese re­sults may in­di­cate that the ma­jor­ity of or­ganisers are sim­ply un­fa­mil­iar with the pro­gram due to it’s re­cent re­lease.

EA Or­ganisers’ Face­book Community

LEAN sup­ports a Face­book group for EA Or­ganisers in col­lab­o­ra­tion with EAF and CEA.

We asked or­ganisers: “In your opinion, how use­ful is the Face­book com­mu­nity of group or­ganisers?”

A de­ci­sive ma­jor­ity of or­ganisers found the Face­book group to be use­ful or very use­ful.

EA Groups Slack Team

LEAN sup­ports a Slack chan­nel for EA Groups in col­lab­o­ra­tion with EAF and CEA. Or­ganisers were asked: “In your opinion, how use­ful is the EA Groups Slack Team?”

Slightly more or­ganisers found the Slack team to be use­less (13) rather than use­ful (10), with the ma­jor­ity (34) be­ing neu­tral.


Eval­u­at­ing the im­pact of LEAN and the strate­gic im­pli­ca­tions of these re­sults will be deferred un­til the LEAN Assess­ment Strat­egy re­port, which will fol­low in this se­ries of ar­ti­cles. We will also draw on the qual­i­ta­tive data we have gath­ered in a sep­a­rate re­port to help in­ter­pret these find­ings.


[1] Due to the num­ber of per­sonal iden­ti­fiers in the data set, it is not pos­si­ble at this point in time to make the raw sur­vey re­sults pub­li­cly available. At a later date it may be pos­si­ble to re­lease par­tial anonymised find­ings.

[2] LEAN col­lab­o­rates with CEA and EAF to main­tain up to date, com­pre­hen­sive records of EA groups and their or­ganisers.

[3] En­tries were deleted if they were blank, or suffi­ciently in­com­plete as to ren­der the sub­mit­ted data use­less. Other dele­tions in­cluded gar­bled or illeg­ible re­sponses and du­pli­cates.

[4] Of the sup­port cat­e­gories in­cluded in this sec­tion, some have his­tor­i­cally been pro­vided only by LEAN, whereas oth­ers have been pro­vided by var­i­ous in­di­vi­d­u­als and or­gani­sa­tions in EA.

[5] The LEAN Im­pact Assess­ment is dis­tinct from the 2017 Lo­cal Group Sur­vey. While the sur­vey re­sults sup­ply a sub­stan­tive base for the as­sess­ment, the sur­vey was a col­lab­o­ra­tive pro­ject be­tween the Cen­tre for Effec­tive Altru­ism, the Effec­tive Altru­ism Foun­da­tion, and The Lo­cal Effec­tive Altru­ism Net­work (LEAN). Find­ings from the sur­vey that were not rele­vant to this as­sess­ment may be shared at a later date.


This re­port was writ­ten by Richenda Herzig. David Moss, Peter Hur­ford and Richenda Herzig analysed the 2017 Lo­cal Group Sur­vey data. Edi­to­rial in­put was pro­vided by Peter Hur­ford and Tee Bar­nett. Thanks to Ellen McGeoch for as­sist­ing in sur­vey de­sign and for­mat­ting for the 2017 Lo­cal Group Sur­vey. Thanks to David Va­tousious for dis­tribut­ing the sur­vey across the net­work and for re­cruit­ing par­ti­ci­pants. Thanks also to Kaitlin Al­can­tara for data en­try and fil­ter­ing.

We are highly grate­ful to Greg Lewis for his in­put as an ex­ter­nal ad­vi­sor.

We would also like to ex­press our thanks to Harri Besceli from the Cen­tre for Effec­tive Altru­ism (CEA) and Jonas Vol­lmer from the Effec­tive Altru­ism Foun­da­tion (EAF), who col­lab­o­rated in writ­ing the 2017 Lo­cal Group Sur­vey. We are grate­ful to CEA for gen­er­ously sup­ply­ing free EA t-shirts to re­spon­dents.

Last but not least, a big thank you to all or­ganisers and mem­bers who took and shared the sur­vey!