The 2017 Effective Altruism Survey - Please Take!

post by Peter Wildeford (Peter_Hurford) · 2017-04-24T21:01:26.039Z · EA · GW · Legacy · 6 comments


  What is this?
  How does the survey work?
  Who is behind this?

This year, the EA Survey volunteer team is proud to announce the launch of the 2017 Effective Altruism Survey.



If you're short on time and you've taken the survey in prior years, you can take an abridged donations-only version of the survey here.

If you want to share the survey with others, please use this fancy share link with referral tracking:


What is this?

This is the third survey we've done, coming hot off the heels of the 2015 EA Survey (see results and analysis) and the 2014 EA Survey. (We apologize that we didn't get a 2016 Survey together... it's hard to be an all volunteer team!)

We hope this survey will produce very useful data on the growth and changing attitudes of the EA Community. In addition to capturing a snapshot of what EA looks like now, we also intend to do longitudinal analysis to see how our snapshot has been changing.

We're also using this as a way to build up the online EA community, such as featuring people on a global map of EAs and with a list of EA Profiles. This way more people can learn about the EA community. We will ask you in the survey if you would like to join us, but you do not have to opt-in and you will be opted-out by default.


How does the survey work?

All questions are optional (apart from one important question to verify that your answers should be counted). Most are multiple choice and the survey takes around 10-30 minutes. We have included spaces for extra comments if there is some extra detail you would like to add (these are strictly optional).

At the end of the survey there is an 'Extra Credit' section with some more informal questions and opportunities for comment - definitely feel free to skip these questions.

Results will be shared anonymously unless you give your explicit permission otherwise.


Who is behind this?

The EA Survey is a all-volunteer community project run through .impact, which is soon changing it's name to "Rethink Charity". The results will not belong to any one person or organization.


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Julia_Wise · 2017-04-25T19:28:35.609Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

How should a couple that donate jointly answer the donation questions? Should one of us answer with the combined income and combined donations?

Replies from: Peter_Hurford
comment by Peter Wildeford (Peter_Hurford) · 2017-04-25T21:55:34.232Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Good question!

We have people report both household and individual income. If you have an individual income and you're comfortable disclosing that, put that as "individual income" and then report your joint income as "household income".

After that, I'd recommend that both of you each disclose the full joint donation amount on both surveys.

From there, we can figure it out.

Thanks! We'll try to make this more clear next year and we'd love any suggestions for a better way to handle joint donations.

Replies from: Cornelius
comment by Cornelius · 2017-04-29T20:48:22.788Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

I think that joint donations not only with kin or via couples, but with friends in an extended community, may become more common if EA becomes more prevalent in collectivist cultures. Right now EA is focused primarily in the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and America, which are all pretty much your archetypal individualist cultures.

I mention this because I consistently notice the trend of the EA community focusing on advertising what the individual can accomplish with their donation. This may not be best if EA is to achieve broad appeal in pretty much any country in Asia, where an appeal to what a community can accomplish with their collective donation might have drastically more appeal.

I'm no expert on this topic though.

comment by Andy_Schultz · 2017-04-25T14:45:52.759Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

How much more helpful would it be to take the full survey vs the abridged one, for those who have taken the survey in prior years? I'm willing to take the full survey if it's helpful.

Replies from: Peter_Hurford
comment by Peter Wildeford (Peter_Hurford) · 2017-04-25T16:53:57.390Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

I'd personally prefer if everyone who is interested in taking the full survey do so, so that we can track how beliefs and attitudes change (along with donations).