I started Good Impressions, which helps effective nonprofits and foundations scale using paid ads and SEO.
Hi there—I wanted to offer to be another person for you to talk to if you’ve already spoken to all the other nice people that have left comments. I’m no expert, but I will listen! (You can message me on here)
It may be easier than normal to get into McKinsey/BCG/Bain right now
$4 per graduated EA fellow is absolutely incredible!
If anyone knows someone at CEA who would be interested in hearing about this please reach out.
For me, the takeaway is that the actual cost of generating interest in EA (Brian’s $4 cost per graduated EA fellow from below) is significantly below our little group’s estimates of what an engaged EA is worth ($3K -$30K as noted above).
I think everyone would agree an engaged EA is worth more than $4.
If someone is reading this who would know how to scale FB ads for EA university fellowships that seems like an extremely high impact thing to do.
I have domain expertise in digital marketing and would love to help EA organizations. I’m not qualified to weigh in on the questions of messaging or how far-reaching the campaign should be, but once those things are figured out I can tell you the best way to use YouTube and Google Search to accomplish your goals.
Agreed—I am guessing it would be incredibly cost-effective. I’m hoping to test this with a few student groups this upcoming fall, we’ll see if it works.
Possibly the 1 minute video would be better than the 6 second. The good news is it’s easily testable :)
Unfortunately the $40K/month program has been deprecated, but thanks for sharing!
Thanks Brian! I’d love to hear what your cost per signup was, feel free to send me a direct message if you prefer :)
Thanks so much for your thoughts Robert!
“What would you think of the concern that these types of ads would be a “low fidelity” way of spreading EA that could risk misinforming people about EA? I think from my experience community building, it’s really useful to be able to describe and discuss EA ideas in detail, and that there are risks to giving someone an incorrect view of EA. These risks include someone being critical of what they believe EA is, and spreading this critique, as well as discouraging them from getting involved when they may have done so at a later time. The risk is probably lower if someone clicks on a short ad that takes them to say effectivealtruism.com where the various ideas are carefully explained and introduced. But someone who only saw the ads and didn’t click could end up with an incorrect view of EA.”
-> Great points! A couple thoughts.
In most cases I imagine the ads would be promoting a single org/group/book/event vs EA as a movement/philosophy. I think this makes it much easier to be high fidelity. (e.g. promoting deworming initiatives doesn’t require a thorough overview of the ins and outs of EA. )
Many ads don’t have to get into detail at all in order to be successful. E.g. a 6 second video of a student saying “I started a student group to help students do good, check it out!” isn’t actually saying anything about EA that could be right or wrong. As another example, if you see an image that says “Founders Pledge” on a website frequented by founders, the ad itself isn’t saying anything about the org that would be right or wrong except for the fact that Founders Pledge exists ad spends money on advertising.
“I would be interested to see discussion about what would and wouldn’t make a good online ad for EA e.g. how to intrigue people without being inaccurate or over-sensationalizing parts of EA. ”
-> I agree! I’m excited to start testing
“I know lots of university EA groups make use of Facebook advertising and some have found this useful to promote events. I don’t know whether Google/Youtube ads allow targeting at the level of students of a specific university?”
-> Yep! We could only target 18-24 year-olds within Xkm of the university. Part of the reason I expect this would be beneficial above and beyond the FB ads is (1) it would be video + sound vs just an image which I think is standard for FB and (2) it would be incredibly cheap (you could reach ~1,000 students for $10). I would be very interested in helping interested university groups with this.
Opinion: Digital marketing is under-utilized in EA
Thanks so much for your question Cienna!
The honest answer is that we are not approaching this project anticipating that it will end in a negotiation with VISA. My assumption (could very well be flawed as this is our first social media campaign) was that VISA would either change the fee or not, without negotiating externally. You may very well be right though so thank you for offering these tips, it’s greatly appreciated!
The aim in targeting one processor was to maximize the pressure on a single company vs spreading ourselves thin across multiple.
Thanks for your support William it’s much appreciated! Please do repost on Giving Tuesday :)
(a) You’re correct that they may not. We could multiply by a probability to get an expected value but IMO given it’s a perpetuity it’s definitely worth 1 minute.
I estimate the probability to be ~40%. This may seem high but through my job I work with large companies and have seen them make changes because of a handful of people posting on social media.
(b) When calculating the return my assumptions were (quick calculation here):
Small EA donors donate through credit cards, large EA donors do not
3% average credit card fee
If VISA eliminates the fee, other card companies will follow suit
Opportunity to increase EA org funding by ~$200K/year if a couple hundred EAs take 1 minute on Giving Tuesday
I’ll be allotting a portion of my giving to funding GGs because, in my experience, the negative impact of some money going to ineffective charities is far outweighed by the positive impact of people noticeably changing their minds on the importance of effectiveness in giving.
Just a quick thank you to the FTX team for working so hard at such a difficult task!