Running an EA outreach project involving high school students? Let us know! 2021-12-28T15:50:23.880Z
Abundant resources on the Effective Altruism Resource Hub 2020-05-01T03:48:19.788Z
Connecting with Online EA Events 2020-04-16T02:01:13.408Z
EA Hub’s new features 2019-12-28T12:19:35.150Z
High School EA Outreach 2019-05-07T02:04:14.664Z
SHIC Will Suspend Outreach Operations 2019-03-07T16:07:03.465Z
Announcing the EA donation swap system 2018-11-25T08:09:17.760Z
Project for Awesome: You can move ~$1K to a top charity by making a short video - no talent required! 2017-12-07T00:14:52.652Z
Review of EA New Zealand’s ‘Doing Good Better’ book giveaway 2017-06-09T18:38:36.017Z


Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Case Study of EA Global Rejection + Criticisms/Solutions · 2022-09-26T08:50:15.707Z · EA · GW

Thanks so much for your kind response Jonathan! 
I'll be discussing ways to explain the role better with the next community contact people . I hope we can prevent future attendees from experiencing the discomfort you felt. 

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Case Study of EA Global Rejection + Criticisms/Solutions · 2022-09-25T16:26:50.759Z · EA · GW

Hi Jonathan, 
I’m Catherine from CEA’s Community Health team. Thanks so much for sharing your experience, and I'm so sorry you felt uncomfortable.

A minor clarification: Each EAG or EAGx conference has a community contact person (or two). They are sometimes members of CEA's community health team, but often they are either members of the local EA community or are members of CEA's events team. It is not our intention for people to feel that they are being monitored.

I believe the person you are referring to is Ollie from CEA’s events team, whose role is to support the local organisers of EAGx events. He was walking around the venue to ensure the event was running smoothly and help out when needed.

Ollie was one of the two community contact people for EAGxSingapore, and a Singaporean organiser was the other contact person. This contact person role was a minor part of both of their roles that weekend. It is plausible that we should have had two locals as community contact people - we have done this in some EAGx conferences before. We will consider how we can communicate the roles of the organisers and contact people more effectively so others don't feel that the role involves monitoring interactions. 

Happy to talk more about any suggestions you have. 


Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on New US Senate Bill on X-Risk Mitigation [Linkpost] · 2022-07-05T02:55:16.258Z · EA · GW

This bill does seem very important. It is hard to know what will help or hinder the political process, so I recommend that folks in the EA community don't try to do a public coordinated effort try to influence the content or outcome of this proposed bill - at least for now. 

My understanding is that the people involved in drafting this bill are aware of the EA community, so they know they can reach out when and if they think that would be helpful.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on If you had an hour with a political leader, what would you focus on? · 2022-05-12T10:13:40.748Z · EA · GW

Hey Yitz, 

I’m part of CEA’s Community Health team, and we’re available as a resource for community members who want to consult with us on higher stakes communications (like interviews with journalists and introducing EA ideas to highly influential people), so we’re familiar with this sort of situation. 

From the information you shared, I find it hard to know what to suggest. It depends a lot on the specific situation, like the particular influential person, your relationship with them, your knowledge of the topic/policy, credibility you have on that topic/policy, the particular situation of the meeting. 

Since you say you’re a relative newcomer and not in the politics field, I’m guessing that it might not be a good idea to pitch policies to them in a short meeting. But I’d be happy to get more info from you and try to give a more thorough answer. I’ll message you directly! 

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Education in Africa · 2022-05-09T23:26:23.711Z · EA · GW

I agree that sending kids to ineffective schools isn't an effective thing to do! I don't this this is what any EA organisations recommend though. While there have been some studies that suggest deworming improves school attendance, I understand that this is not commonly believed to be a big effect anymore. 

GiveWell recommends deworming charities because of evidence that deworming could have a positive impact on income in the long term. You can read more here - I think this is interesting reading because while GiveWell are pretty uncertain about the impact of deworming, they still think in expectation it is a highly cost effective thing to fund because it is just so cheap to deworm kids. 

[I'm not an expert in this at all - just a GiveWell fan, so someone else might be able to share more nuanced information].

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on My Job: EA Office Manager · 2022-05-03T01:36:57.280Z · EA · GW

I admit I was a bit sad when Jonathan took this role because I thought he'd do more good in Community Building (my field of work). "Surely an Office Manager couldn't be as impactful!" I bemoaned. But now that I've worked a while in Trajan house my eyes have been opened to the value of an outstanding office manager, and I've had to eat my words (and arrange to move to Oxford so I can work there permanently). So I think this role is surprisingly high value.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on EAGxBoston: Updates and Info from the Organizing Team · 2022-03-15T18:21:26.212Z · EA · GW


Welcome Quinn!

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on What are effective ways to help Ukrainians right now? · 2022-03-01T17:17:58.005Z · EA · GW

Kelsey Piper's most recent Future Perfect newsletter has outlined several donation opportunities that look great. 

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on What are effective ways to help Ukrainians right now? · 2022-03-01T12:46:35.516Z · EA · GW

Thanks Karolina! 
I talked with Karolina and chose to donate - it seems unclear how likely my donation will help (things are so uncertain in general!) but I know and trust Karolina's judgement and since very large donors might not be able to help with this, it seemed like a reasonable use of my small donation budget. 

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Ukraine: How a regular person can effectively help their country during war? · 2022-02-26T16:37:09.576Z · EA · GW

Hey Valmothy. I don't know the answer to your question but if you or your friends or family are in Ukraine and need help getting out feel free to signal me on +64212129849. I can put you in touch with some folks who might be able to help (info, support if you cross into Poland, $).

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on What are effective ways to help Ukrainians right now? · 2022-02-25T19:33:49.748Z · EA · GW

EDIT- thanks everyone! My request is no longer needed. 

Comment by cafelow on [deleted post] 2021-08-17T00:46:29.707Z

Since you are a group organiser you most certainly can get funding through CEA for all 23 books (for your own learning + I suspect you won't be able to help yourself lending them out to group members too!) - Happy to help!
- Catherine

Comment by cafelow on [deleted post] 2021-08-17T00:44:17.291Z

Just a note for non-student groups especially! 
All groups are welcome to apply to CEA for funding for books:

You can either apply to get money to purchase and distribute books yourself, or you can use this team's book service and they can charge CEA for your books. 

Reach out to me with questions:

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Some thoughts on David Roodman’s model of economic growth and its relation to AI timelines · 2021-07-21T00:07:03.381Z · EA · GW

Would you be able to define "GWP" so folks like me don't have to click one of the links or search to find this? My first reaction was "Huh? Global Warming Potentials relate to AI timelines?" :D. 

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Propose and vote on potential EA Wiki entries · 2021-05-06T23:24:53.223Z · EA · GW

Hey Pablo! 
You are right that the wiki is long dead. The current resources section was written independently from the wiki.
As I just commented up the thread, with the new EA Forum wiki (which is wonderful!), I think the content on the EA Hub intended for all EAs should be merged into the wiki, and then I can retire those pages and set up redirects. More than happy to chat more about this!

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Propose and vote on potential EA Wiki entries · 2021-05-06T23:18:48.415Z · EA · GW

Thanks Michael! 
I manage the EA Hub Resources, but much of the content has been slowly getting outdated. 

I think the best action will be to incorporate the content in the Learn and Take Action sections of the EA Hub Resources into the EA Forum wiki, and redirect Hub visitors to the wiki. I'm unlikely to have the time to do this soon, so I would be delighted if someone else was keen to do this. Get in touch if you are keen to do this and I can assist + set up redirects when ready! Message me through the forum private messaging.

The rest of the resources are designed for EA group  organisers and my current plan is to keep this outside of the wiki (but I'm happy for folks to try to change my mind!). I plan to move this content onto a new website in the next few months as the EA Hub team have decided to narrow their focus to the community directories. 

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on SHIC Will Suspend Outreach Operations · 2021-03-16T04:07:36.262Z · EA · GW

Hi capybaralet, 
Thanks for your comments and enthusiasm for the program!

> I must admit I was frustrated by reading this post.  I want this work to continue, and I don't find the levels of engagement you report surprising or worth massively updating on (i.e. suspending outreach).

I admit when the decision was made to stop actively working on SHIC, I was pretty sad and frustrated too. However for our team, and our funders too, the main question was "do we think this is worth continuing compared to other things we could spend our time and money on?", and the answer was "probably not".  

You might also be interested in this post which combines the experience of all the EA outreach attempts I was aware of at the time:

This probably will answer many of your questions about why we didn't continue to test out different ideas of engaging students and teachers - we'd already tried quite a few different things and learnt from work from other EAs. The post is now nearly 2 years old and there have been other efforts in the EA community to work with high schoolers since then. But I still basically agree with my conclusion which was:

> I don’t think our outreach described in this post was a particularly effective use of resources. However, outreach could be effective if you are able to attract highly promising students to sign up for a program over a longer term. This might be possible if you have a strong brand (such as an association with elite University) allowing you to attract suitable students through schools and other networks, and the resources to run a fellowship-type program with these students.
To answer your specific questions:
1. There were only a few students who engaged significantly out of class, so it is hard to know what to conclude from a small number. Some were quite keen on EA concepts, others were eager to do good, but didn't seem to be particularly excited about apply EA principles to their career path or volunteering, so we didn't feel that the impact these students could have was sufficient to outweigh the small number.
2.  The question of whether to use "effective altruism" was discussed a lot within our team. We ended up using the term a little in the program, referred to EA on our website, providing copies of "Doing Good Better" to the teachers to lend to interested students, and using the term with the advanced workshop students. The reason for not using the term prominently was partly because we felt some teachers/parents might be put off by the term, and also to provide brand separation between the EA community and SHIC - if we used "EA" and did a poor job that would reflect poorly on EA as a whole. Similarly, if EA got a poor reputation we might still be able to continue with SHIC. 
3. Some high schools have policies around teachers not connecting with students on social media (except through official school pages), and we know some schools and parents are cautious about how minors interact over social media, especially with older folks like us! So we were wary about using social media to have one-on-one or small group conversations. Our hope was that the advanced workshop students would eventually drive their own EA group, and make their own social media presence. 

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Why EA groups should not use “Effective Altruism” in their name. · 2021-02-28T04:00:12.759Z · EA · GW

Thanks for sharing your groups' experience Koen. I'm sympathetic to the idea that "Effective Altruism" wasn't the best choice of name, and I agree it is very important for any translations of the name to be done thoughtfully  as the most obvious translation isn't always going to work well.

My own belief (I'm not speaking for CEA) is that there is a big advantage of having a consistent brand and worldwide recognisable network,  so even if "effective altruism" wasn't the best choice initially, since it is the name we use now there is a cost to deviating from it that we shouldn't ignore.  The ideal in my mind would be if in each language had a carefully selected agreed upon name that EA groups operating in that language use. My guess is that it is probably better to have a not-perfect name that everyone uses, than a whole variety of different names. (I don't think "effective altruism" is bad enough for us to want to change the English speaking groups' names, but evidence could well change my mind on that). 

You mentioned one possible cost to not having this consistent brand (folks interested in EA not finding you). Another is if people google "PISE" or "Positive Impact Society" after seeing or hearing something about your group, they won't find the ideas and network that the group is based on, making the group appear less substantial and valuable than it actually is. The subtitle idea would help a bit if "effective altruism" was written in full and was obvious enough that folks would notice it and google that too. Another cost is that there are people who hear "effective altruism" several times in several places before  deciding to learn more/ get involved, so each exposure of that name (as long as it is positive!) helps. 

Some years back we did have several different names for EA groups: "effective altruism", "80,000 Hours", "Giving What We Can" (and "The Life You Can Save" however they were just global poverty focused). These groups did very similar things to each other, but had different names it felt messy and confusing, so I was pleased when these became more consistent. 

I'm not sure how much my preferences here are because of the usefulness of a consistent brand, a personal aesthetic preference, or due to the fact that I explain the EA ecosystem to a lot of newcomers and the more names there are the more complex this explanation becomes! 

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Donating to EA funds from Germany · 2021-01-06T08:14:35.116Z · EA · GW

Hey zwiebrot, you might like to try a donation swap with a donor from another country. You can register your interest on There is a good chance there will be another donor from another country who would like to support a charity listed on Effectiv Spenden, so you can donate to each other's chosen charity.  

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Announcing the EA donation swap system · 2020-09-17T05:32:18.176Z · EA · GW

Yes it is! We are still quietly swapping away. At some point we'll write a post to summarise what we've been up to.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Donating effectively does not necessarily imply donating tax-deductibly · 2020-08-20T23:10:52.924Z · EA · GW

Readers might be interested in the EA Donation Swap system, which increases the overall tax-deductibility of EA donations, without people having to change the organisation they support.

An example of how it works:
- Cara from Australia wants to the Good Food Institute (which is registered in Canada but not Australia)
- Sam from Canada wants to donate to AMF (which is registered in both countries).
Cara and Sam are matched through the EA Donation Swap website, and agree to swap donations, resulting in Sam donating to the Good Food Institute (and getting his tax-deduction), and Cara donating to AMF (and getting her tax-deduction).

We've also arranged swaps when one recipient organisation is NOT a registered charity in any country, and the swap results in one donor getting tax-deduction, which they wouldn't have done without the swap.

At the moment we are very constrained by Global Health and Poverty donors from countries with a lot of EA charities (UK, US, Canada) and countries with no EA charities - so if you are in this boat contact us! This constraint means we can't guarantee we'll be able to find you a matching donor.

If you are interested or have any questions, you can check out or email us on

Note: We haven't looked in to whether donation swapping is legal in all countries.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on EA Survey 2019 Series: How many people are there in the EA community? · 2020-07-01T02:55:58.608Z · EA · GW

Thanks for this David! Nice comparisons!

When I talk to people about EA (often after people ask me about what I do with myself), it is very common for people to ask questions like "I haven't heard of effective altruism before, how large is the movement?" and then "Why isn't it larger? Have you tried ..." with some suggestions for large scale outreach.

While I feel comfortable discussing this question when I'm talking to dedicated EAs, the nuanced pros and cons of various movement-building strategies isn't really what I would like the first conversation about EA to turn to... it is just not all that inspiring. I'd much rather keep talking about cause areas and charities and how we might build a wonderful future.

How do other people deal with questions about the size of the movement?

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Announcing the EA Virtual Group* · 2020-06-25T22:18:14.898Z · EA · GW

Thanks Sami, this is a great idea! I'm really glad this group is starting up to support our geographically widespread community.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on EAGxVirtual Unconference (Saturday, June 20th 2020) · 2020-06-11T21:29:05.812Z · EA · GW

In case you haven't seen it, here is a guide to talking about EA, which includes a list of approaches various community members like to use, discussions of pitfalls to avoid, and FAQs. It is very open for additions and changes.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Does Effective Altruism have a graphic standards/brand style/brand identity guide? · 2020-04-16T02:14:12.894Z · EA · GW

Hey Quinn. I think your new logo for the Effective Environmentalism page looks lovely! Apologies for this comment being clearly far too late! I was reminded by seeing the new EE cover image today, and figured I'd comment so you and others know the answer for future projects.

At the moment there really isn't any community-wide graphic standards. Many groups use the lightbulb logo in some form or other. Blues and teals seem to be the usual colours, and Roboto Slab and Raleway seem to be the usual fonts.

Here is CEA's personal style guide for which anyone is welcome to follow or take inspiration from.

There are also a variety of editable graphics sources from a variety of groups here:

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Neglected EA Regions · 2020-02-18T09:07:39.223Z · EA · GW

One data point suggesting the positive impact of setting up facebook groups for places that have no groups:

Back in 2014 or 2015 LEAN set up an "EA Christchurch" facebook group, that I was able to stumble upon. By posting on this group I found another couple of interested people in my city, and we've had a small but thriving EA group since. I might not have had the gumption to start a local group (or may have taken a lot longer to start) without that facebook group connecting us.

Of course that doesn't mean this strategy will work in other situations, or whether the strategy could just have easily been net negative, but I believe it was very positive in our situation.

Note at first I was very suspicious that the admins, and most of the members, were not from Christchurch, so if you haven't already you might want to explain who you are and what you are hoping to do for the group on the group page.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on How much will local/university groups benefit from targeted EA content creation? · 2020-02-16T09:02:55.631Z · EA · GW

Thanks Linch for this question. This is half an answer and half a comment! Many group leaders have expressed the need for high quality resources for events, so I think YES this is a very good idea. Some of the reasons against providing these resources can be reduced by having good supporting material such as suggestions for group organisers on how they could modify the resource to fit their group, suggested readings for group organisers, explanations of who this resource would be useful for, and more frequent sharing of resources!

I've been coordinating the EA Hub Resources over the last few months. We are still in the early stages of compiling events resources, so our team hopes to continue to use the Hub to compile more resources from group leaders around the world, and have the hub as the main repository for group resources. And we'd love your help, and the help of many other group organisers!

The current aim is to put on resources that 1) have enough supporting information for group organisers to work out how to use the resource 2) have been successfully used by at least one group, to improve quality but also to ensure this resource is something that at least some groups would want to use, and 3) aren't too similar to other resources so there isn't too much content to wade through, and 4) completely modifiable. So as a result we aren't having people put resources directly onto the Hub. Instead they can suggest changes to the Hub Resources pages on the google drive here, submit resources on this google drive, or just give me an email on We also have a team on slack you can join if you want to help review and compile resources!

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Elevator pitch for EA and fundraising · 2020-02-11T09:08:07.373Z · EA · GW

The EA Hub Resources team recently updated the "Pitch guide", and added lots of other references and frequently asked questions. We also renamed it to "Communicating about EA" because thinking about it as a "sales pitch" is probably not the best approach.

Good luck with your fundraising!

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Volunteering isn't free · 2020-02-05T02:43:21.322Z · EA · GW

Thanks for sharing that. A lot of the above rings true to me, and it is a great summary of all the costs that that a prospective volunteer might not realise. I've managed volunteers working on several EA projects, and been a volunteer myself on many EA and non-EA projects. However, I think EA volunteers are on average more reliable and more competent than volunteers in general - (I can think of many possible reasons, but don't have a good idea what reasons are dominant), and for my projects the volunteers have been remote, which avoids some of the costs. I think volunteer impact could be one of those heavy-tailed distributions. Out of all the volunteers I've onboarded, the median volunteer hasn't provided much if any value, but there are a few volunteers that are gold, and made having volunteers well worth it overall for me. I haven't yet noticed any pattern that helps me work out in advance who those golden volunteers will be unfortunately!

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Should we use wiki to improve knowledge management within the community? · 2019-12-09T04:53:03.408Z · EA · GW

Re: The old wiki on the EA Hub, I'm afraid the old wiki data got corrupted, it wasn't backed up properly and it was deemed too difficult to restore at the time :(. So it looks like the information in that wiki is now lost to the winds. I'm very sorry about that.

This may or may not fulfil your needs (and isn't _quite_ a wiki), but the EA Hub resources (, is a repository for EA links, and we hope to grow the number of resources available. We will soon have a way for people to make suggestions for changes and additions. which will be vetted before loading onto the website.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on How to find EA documents on a particular topic · 2019-11-19T20:50:38.492Z · EA · GW

Thanks Jc! The Hub team has been thinking about having an "Search all of EA" button for a while, but it never quite bubbled up to the top of our to do list. Your explanation of how it could work, as well as John Maxwell's description, make it seem more doable than I previously thought. I'll be discussing this with the rest of the team.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on An update on plans for EAGx 2020 · 2019-10-27T23:29:02.254Z · EA · GW

I'm aware that more people apply for EAG SF and London than are accepted. That makes me wonder if there is value to also having additional EAGxs on the West Coast of North America or in the UK, so there are opportunities for these people (and anybody who didn't apply because they didn't think they would get in) to attend an accessible conference, which may be a more friendly introduction to EA than an EAG would be. It could also soften the blow of rejection to be able to say "sorry, you aren't invited to EAG, but if you can, go to this EAGx and please apply again next year".

Do you think that would be worthwhile? Do you have an idea of the numbers of people in this category?

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Sperm sorting in cattle · 2019-07-16T10:34:58.286Z · EA · GW

The practice might be different in different countries, but in many countries (I know the most about NZ) dairy cows are impregnated every year to keep their milk supply at a high level. The dairy cows are slaughtered after about 4 years, so there are far more calves born than can be used by the industry. This means that a decent proportion of the female calves are slaughtered alongside their brothers at a few days old so sex selection of sperm won't change the number of unwanted calves. If there was a way to induce lactation without pregnancy that would make sex selection very useful.

Comment by cafelow on [deleted post] 2019-07-16T10:21:12.991Z

To make this a low effort action it would be helpful if you could link the voting page or otherwise tell us how to vote and how long it takes to do so.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Latest EA Updates for June 2019 · 2019-07-03T02:17:24.869Z · EA · GW

I'm getting a lot out of these monthly updates David. Thank you. Any chance they could be subscribed to in a newsletter or at least put on a website? I'd like to recommend them as a great way of staying up to date, as a step up from the shorter EA newsletter.

(I know you have the EA London newsletters, which have a lot of overlap to these updates).

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on High School EA Outreach · 2019-05-14T03:14:49.201Z · EA · GW

Just a note to say that Brenton's conclusions have been updated above to add estimates of the overall results of the outreach activities mentioned in this post.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on EA Still Needs an Updated and Representative Introductory Guidebook · 2019-05-12T19:47:42.486Z · EA · GW

I agree Evan. I still give out many Doing Good Betters (hoping people read past the poverty sections) and only send people the Handbook if they've engaged with EA ideas for a while. The intro book would ideally be written with someone with a high status in the EA community and the world in general, as even an excellent intro book may not supplant MacAskill and Singer's intro books. I'm wondering if the best intro book would be a new edition of Doing Good Better with less on global poverty to allow for more on other cause areas. That would give the new book status and mean the outdated edition will automatically stop being the default intro book (Of course that would require a lot of Will's time, even if a coauthor was brought in).

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on High School EA Outreach · 2019-05-10T11:40:02.830Z · EA · GW

My impression from my outreach to all ages is that founders effects are pretty significant (including who we network with, and how we usually communicate in a way that people like ourselves would find appealing) - I've found a wide variety of people find the basic ideas appealing.

Also the capability to get fully involved is pretty biased towards young people with few commitments and a lot of choice over what career path they take.

But of course that doesn't rule out a decent skew in who is likely to become deeply interested - I do think a skew is very likely at least for the more "weird" EA ideas.

One thing to note about the the Kagan/Fitz study, is that I believe it used a fairly mild specification of "Interest in Effective Giving" along the lines of whether they support charities overseas rather than in the US, rather than a more out-there specifications including, I dunno, worrying about insect sentience, or what they think of the potential value of interplanetary colonisation.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on High School EA Outreach · 2019-05-09T23:29:11.775Z · EA · GW

I presume you mean this survey by Ari Kagan and Nick Fitz?

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on High School EA Outreach · 2019-05-07T20:39:19.490Z · EA · GW

3 out of the 5 EA-aligned teachers who contributed to the post were from quite elite schools. In London we only got around to contacting schools with high grades (we had a sorted list, and were slowly working our way down the list). In Greater Vancouver we contacted every high school. I haven't done any careful analysis, but from eyeballing the data, there doesn't seem to be a clear correlation between school ranking and interest in running our workshops. Nor does there seem to be a clear correlation between school ranking and interest in advanced workshops.

From the data we collected, there is nothing to suggest students from elite schools are more "interested" in EA than the average population. However, it is probably fair to say students from elite schools are on average more able to act upon EA principles as they get older, so targeting elite schools could be justified for that reason.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on SHIC Will Suspend Outreach Operations · 2019-03-11T09:46:12.545Z · EA · GW

Good question Ozzie. In the start of 2018 we mostly focussed on getting into schools and on the surveys (metrics 1 and 2 above), because they were our first hurdles and we were very uncertain on how these would go until we started the project.

However that meant we didn't optimise our workshops for engaging students long term (metric 3) for several months after starting the project. That meant we weren't confident in making decisions based on the first indications that we were not meeting metric 3, and ran the project for several more months as a result. If we had planned our long term engagement strategy at the start of 2018 and set success criteria earlier we could have learnt what we needed to in less time.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on List of possible EA meta-charities and projects · 2019-01-11T10:53:06.168Z · EA · GW

Great ideas!

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on List of possible EA meta-charities and projects · 2019-01-10T09:59:27.793Z · EA · GW

I agree that the forum does already provide this function to get written feedback, however I'm not sure the written feedback makes it clear whether there is approval or lack of approval in general. Up and down voting helps, but I wouldn't want to construe a bunch of upvotes as widespread approval to start a project, nor the downvotes as suggesting I'm triggering some terrible unilateralist curse! My thought was not fully formed, but I was thinking a bit more of a rating system, where someone could have a pretty rough idea, gets it checked it over with a few EAs and if it is approved, then they flesh the idea out a bit, and then it gets checked over by more people with more experience. Ideally in a way where people don't feel uncomfortable sharing their ideas, and people feel okay about checking a box that says "This is likely to hasten catastrophe, don't do it!". I've been in a position where I've thought of starting a project, didn't feel all that comfortable asking for feedback on the forum or reaching out widely until I had befriended many EAs so I could quietly talk it over with them, and I guess that others might be in the same boat (Although that might be more about me, than about the systems we have in place!).

I'm not quite sure what forum features could be added to help that, or whether there is a market for that beyond me!

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Announcing the EA donation swap system · 2018-12-12T19:49:19.069Z · EA · GW

That is a really good point Denis!

The only thing we put in to help with preferences, is to allow donors to "reject the swap" - e.g. if they don't like the charity they are instructed to donate to. But that is clearly insufficient. They could be given more information before they choose to reject.

I'm trying to think of a way of asking for easily accessible information from donors to avoid these problems. This info would be shared with the match. Would "If you don't get matched where would your donation go?"

with the options

  • Same charity, and I'll get tax benefits
  • Same charity, and I won't get tax benefits
  • Charity X and I'll get tax benefits

Would that be sufficient to avoid the worst of the problems?

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Announcing the EA donation swap system · 2018-11-27T00:52:56.425Z · EA · GW

Thanks Khorton! We really appreciate you saying those kind words.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Announcing the EA donation swap system · 2018-11-26T01:54:33.461Z · EA · GW

Thanks David. As Paul says, it certainly isn't clear cut. We have had unofficial legal advice, but nothing formal. The general idea from the advice is that some of the laws say things on the lines of "You must not have received goods or services from the charity" - which is still true in the case of swapping. There is also no legal obligation for your matched donor to donate to the charity you want them to donate to, and that is apparently significant. Also the tax rebate isn't dependent on WHY you chose the charity that you donated to. If the website proves to be popular we will look into getting official legal advice in the countries that want to use it the most.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Announcing the EA donation swap system · 2018-11-25T18:13:29.387Z · EA · GW

Thanks Larks! There will be the very occasional swaps where both parties benefit, but most will have just one beneficiary like the example above. We thought briefly about incentivising Robert-type people, but in the end decided to go for the simple "both charities get the same $" for the first iteration. If we are struggling to get Robert-type donors to offer swaps we will definitely revisit this idea.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Are men more likely to attend EA London events? Attendance data, 2016-2018. · 2018-08-10T05:18:59.276Z · EA · GW

You show Disney movies at EA meetups!! That is really lovely!

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on Students for High-Impact Charity: 2018 Update · 2018-08-10T02:21:56.306Z · EA · GW

My guess is the main problem occurs when it is very clear to students what the instructors want them to say. Since we don't talk about water usage, students may not change their answer for the water usage question, but still change their answer to the questions relating to the content (whether or not they have been impacted by the program), so there may not be a shift in the water question, but still a shift in the other questions.

We did test out some different social desirability scales in the surveys, which is a common method. The preliminary analysis suggested that social desirability is a factor, but we haven't finished that analysis on the full data yet.

Comment by Catherine Low (cafelow) on To Grow a Healthy Movement, Pick the Low-Hanging Fruit · 2018-06-06T23:38:58.393Z · EA · GW

Thanks Ari for your post. This is very interesting and an important research question. I also believe that EA ideas can be appealing to people far beyond the current demographic of EAs (which I think is strongly influenced by founders effects).

Are you able to share the details of your SEGS scale? I think the details of the scale would be interesting. I can see that you have a high correlation between Empathy and SEGS. In particular I am wondering what the chances that generally altruistic people are choosing the high SEGS answers because they look like the most empathetic answers, even if the person isn't particularly effective in general with their altruism - you may have found a way to feather this out.

And also I can't seem to click the links to the EQ and CRT scales etc in your pdf - that might just be me, but a list of links would be great!