Posts

WANBAM: Career Profiles 2020-08-21T16:40:48.599Z · score: 31 (16 votes)
What skill-building activities have helped your personal and professional development? 2020-07-21T13:52:31.042Z · score: 26 (9 votes)
We asked mid to senior career women and non-binary people what resources they would recommend. Here’s what they said. 2020-05-10T21:02:43.236Z · score: 24 (9 votes)
Giving Games: Impact Report 2020-04-07T20:58:34.876Z · score: 22 (8 votes)
WANBAM: Call for mentors 2019-12-23T21:13:41.608Z · score: 23 (12 votes)
The tenth-anniversary edition of The Life You Can Save is here for free! Please share (and enjoy)! 2019-12-03T15:52:12.071Z · score: 35 (15 votes)
Women and Non-Binary Altruism Mentorship (WANBAM) is accepting mentee applications! 2019-11-06T20:17:54.032Z · score: 55 (29 votes)
The Life You Can Save Book Launch 2019-11-04T15:43:28.204Z · score: 44 (20 votes)
Classroom Giving Games Launched This Semester: What Have We Learnt So Far? 2019-08-30T14:40:27.931Z · score: 13 (5 votes)
Picnic Speed Giving Games 2019-07-18T18:57:47.570Z · score: 19 (7 votes)
Launching the Giving Games Platform and new facilitator tools 2019-06-01T21:03:13.533Z · score: 25 (11 votes)

Comments

Comment by kathrynmecrow on EA Meta Fund Grants – July 2020 · 2020-08-14T17:59:15.732Z · score: 19 (8 votes) · EA · GW

Hi, I am the CEO of WANBAM. I would be delighted to welcome and support emerging EA mentorship programs with lessons learnt and advice. You can reach me at eamentorshipprogram@gmail.com. One of the things I love about WANBAM is we are experimenting with what works (and doesn't)! I hope as we dial it in we will add value to emerging projects with lots of different communities and purposes. Be in touch! :)

Comment by kathrynmecrow on Should we be donating/volunteering for the Biden campaign? · 2020-07-22T12:03:03.386Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Can confirm - can also confirm it is always best to check the pronunciation of where you are calling because Tucson is not pronounced Tuck-San. :D

Comment by kathrynmecrow on EA Survey 2019 Series: How EAs Get Involved in EA · 2020-05-22T00:01:53.048Z · score: 18 (8 votes) · EA · GW

This is going to be so useful for WANBAM. Thanks so much :) Your work is very impressive!

Comment by kathrynmecrow on We asked mid to senior career women and non-binary people what resources they would recommend. Here’s what they said. · 2020-05-13T12:16:06.011Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Sure! I had no idea this existed :) Thank you.

Comment by kathrynmecrow on We asked mid to senior career women and non-binary people what resources they would recommend. Here’s what they said. · 2020-05-11T16:24:50.134Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Thank you, as Rowan says the intention of keeping the list is really to build go-to introductory level and particularly used resources with the goal of expanding how useful we are to the EA community (specifically newcomers) in general. Thanks so much for these links. Also, not to plug our own work but we are running a seminar series right now where we interview mid level to senior level women in the EA community. Details on our Facebook page. Love to see you both there. Our next one is with Rosie Campbell from PAI. :)

Comment by kathrynmecrow on EA lessons from my father · 2020-05-10T21:33:17.260Z · score: 8 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Nothing terribly original for me to add but this is a beautifully written article and your dad sounds like an amazing person.

Comment by kathrynmecrow on Prioritizing COVID-19 interventions & individual donations · 2020-05-08T18:02:00.407Z · score: 14 (4 votes) · EA · GW

( I should have combined my answers- I didn't see this until after I pressed send):

Hello there, you can see information on how The Life You Can Save's Recommended nonprofits are addressing the Covid-19 Pandemic over at < https://www.thelifeyoucansave.org/charity-stories/how-our-recommended-charities-are-addressing-the-covid-19-virus/ >. I urge anyone with questions to get in touch with our team! My contact details are kathryn.mecrow@thelifeyoucansave.org. Thanks so much.

Comment by kathrynmecrow on Prioritizing COVID-19 interventions & individual donations · 2020-05-08T17:59:40.147Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Hi All! In the proposals section you mention Development Media International (DMI). I work at The Life You Can Save and on the 19th May 6 PM (GMT) we will hold a Fundraiser where the CEO Roy Head of DMI will present on their work and take audience questions. We would welcome people considering donating to DMI who would like further information to get in touch with me over at kathryn.mecrow@thelifeyoucansave.org. Thank you.

Comment by kathrynmecrow on Shoot Your Shot · 2020-02-19T21:49:10.088Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Hi there! My name is Kathryn and I work with The Life You Can Save, specifically managing the Giving Games Project. I frequently run Giving Games and semi-frequently skype into classroom settings to answer questions. I've also worked with some schools to develop events activities. I can likely help. My contact information is <kathryn.mecrow@thelifeyoucansave.org>.

Comment by kathrynmecrow on AMA: We are Jon and Kathryn. We work with The Life You Can Save. Ask us anything! · 2020-01-27T21:02:26.126Z · score: 12 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Great question, thank you, Aaron :) The main metric we use is “Net Impact” which is the money we moved to our recommended nonprofits minus our operating expenses. As a secondary metric, we look at our “leverage factor” or “multiplier.” This is the ratio between our money moved and our expenses. To give an example of why we prioritize our net impact, we would rather spend $1 billion to move $5 billion (Net Impact = $4 billion, Multiplier = 5) than spend $100 to move $1,000 (Net Impact = $900, Multiplier = 10).

In 2018, we moved ~$5.25 million to our recommended nonprofits and spent ~$460,000. Our net impact was ~$4.8 million and our multiplier was ~11. We’re still in the process of calculating our 2019 financials, but we know we have seen significant growth. Our money moved should be at least $11 million, and we expect our multiplier to around 15x. Based on the last two years, we estimate a $10 donation to our operating budget would generate ~$110-$150 in donations to our recommended charities.

For money moved, we count donations that are made through our site and directly to our recommended charities citing us as an influencer. We generally consider our numbers to be conservative, as we expect some of the donations we influence to be unreported. We discussed how we think about counterfactuals at length in the appendix to our 2017 annual report.

With respect to tracking impact from Giving Games, we plan to publish an annual report with analysis of our data soon.

Comment by kathrynmecrow on AMA: We are Jon and Kathryn. We work with The Life You Can Save. Ask us anything! · 2020-01-24T18:49:12.058Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Excellent question, thank you! I am delighted to hear that people enjoyed the event. Our objectives were primarily to celebrate the progress since the initial launch of The Life You Can Save in 2009, further strengthen our relationships with our networks, and create new ones. As an organization we place a huge value on these relationships as much of what we do relies on them to be successful. On attendees, I think this is an example of a positive consequence of the diversity of the backgrounds of our team members that Jon mentioned above. Our organizing team contacted their networks which led us to a mix of attendees all of whom were excited to be there. Personally, I spent around 10-20 hours, primarily during EA Global in London, inviting people and asking my networks for advice. Including people already involved and leaders of the EA community meant that we had a group of really enthusiastic attendees who were willing to discuss what they find inspiring about effective giving and Effective Altruism and guide attendees who were perhaps earlier in their journeys. Our London-based recommended nonprofits also attended which allowed us to highlight the practical consequences of our work which is natural to lose sight of if you aren’t doing direct, in-country work. Since the event, we have had a significant amount of great feedback, including from our largest donor which is obviously really important for us. I also like to think that people will reach out to us in the future more willingly now they know more about our team and guiding values but I think it probably a little too soon to tell. We have some new leads coming out of the event, but expect it to take time to learn what the results might be. On costs, we spent £5,425 hard costs. There are other costs that you mention like staff time. An incredibly back-of the envelope calculation would be <£10,000. Overall, we are pleased with the event, learnt alot, and, of course, are very grateful to our networks for helping make it a success.

Comment by kathrynmecrow on AMA: We are Jon and Kathryn. We work with The Life You Can Save. Ask us anything! · 2020-01-23T20:05:32.481Z · score: 13 (5 votes) · EA · GW

This is another excellent question. I think before I became involved with The Life You Can Save (TLYCS) and the Giving Games Project, I personally underestimated how much “the average donor” decides where to donate at least partially based on an interest in or personal connection to a particular issue. Given these considerations, The Life You Can Save present our recommended nonprofits with diverse focus areas, types of interventions, and location of operations. Jon goes into more detail about why we sometimes recommend nonprofits which overlap on one or more of these factors above but some of the steps we take to avoid overwhelming our donors are:

1. We present our recommended nonprofits on our site structured on the menu bar under key issue areas, for example, creating economic opportunities, helping women and girls, and ending hunger and malnutrition.

2. We have developed a search mechanism which allows donor to filter nonprofits by the type of impact they have, the country they work in, and their tax deductibility status.

3. We recently added an “All Charities Appeal” which allows donors to make a single donation to support all our recommended organizations. This appears to be quite popular with donors. Over time (when we have the capacity to add dedicated charity assessment staff), we would like to move this toward more of an actively managed fund, and add sub-funds for donors who want to support multiple organizations working in the same cause area (e.g. women and girls).

4. We have developed an impact calculator which allows donors to compare the estimated cost-effectiveness of different interventions.

5. We additionally place a high value on making our nonprofit write-ups as simple, concise and well-presented as possible. An example is here.

6. We prioritize the creation of relationships where large donors trust our recommendations and larger donors contact our donor advice team to discuss the option space.

I think these tools and approaches enable a significantly easier and more accessible donor experience. This is so far backed by our latest statistics on the usability of the new website, which we launched in December 2019, alongside the tenth anniversary edition of The Life You Can Save.

Comment by kathrynmecrow on AMA: We are Jon and Kathryn. We work with The Life You Can Save. Ask us anything! · 2020-01-23T20:04:37.952Z · score: 15 (8 votes) · EA · GW

This is a great question that definitely sent me down abit of a rabbit hole and possibly diverts a little from my role at The Life You Can Save. I have personally been involved in the EA community to varying degrees since stumbling into an operations role at The Future of Humanity Institute back in 2016 before really having a good idea of what Effective Altruism was. As I am sure you can imagine, this led to an interesting couple of months while I got up to speed. Generally speaking, I have moved away from referring to myself and others as “Effective Altruists” as I much prefer the approach outlined by Helen Toner back in 2014 where she describes Effective Altruism not as an ideology but as the question of “How can I do the most good with the resources available to me?” I, personally, share Helen’s concern, at the time, that presenting Effective Altruism as an identity leads to questions of who fits in and what standard of behavior one needs to maintain to meet the bar. On tendency, I refer to myself as interested in Effective Altruism or sometimes as a member of the Effective Altruism community. Throughout my involvement but particularly recently when I founded WANBAM (the Women and Non-Binary Altruism Mentorship), I have updated that that seeing EA as an identity is really susceptible to invoking a hefty dose of imposter syndrome even in cases where it is obvious that the person is adding a huge amount of value to the EA communty/ its core focus area. I personally know a number of people who share this sentiment and might not identify as Effective Altruists (the noun) for these reasons. As such, I would be slightly reluctant to straw man “a typical EA.” The closest I would be prepared to go is to say that at the root of Effective Altruism is a commitment to doing what you reasonably can to make the world a better place and prioritizing a commitment to being guided in this pursuit not by assumptions of what seems best but through utilizing evidence and a depth of rigor I have never encountered before in comparable communities. These characteristics are shared by my team who while incredibly ideologically and demographically diverse, all share these foundational commitments.

Comment by kathrynmecrow on Women and Non-Binary Altruism Mentorship (WANBAM) is accepting mentee applications! · 2019-12-01T04:48:31.062Z · score: 19 (8 votes) · EA · GW

Quick update from us :) The reception to the mentorship program has been incredible. In the space of two weeks, we have received 71 applications. We were delighted with the quality of the applicants and are now working with our mentors to finalize matches! More to follow.

Comment by kathrynmecrow on How do you, personally, experience "EA motivation"? · 2019-08-16T22:53:53.740Z · score: 23 (14 votes) · EA · GW

It started with a sense of injustice, that so many people were suffering so I went into international development and was shocked by how expensive and ineffective it was. I burnt-out really badly, and I don't now get much in the way of emotional reaction to many forms of suffering (unless it's personalised and even then it's quite dulled in the moment). I'd seen so much suffering, I knew it was really, really bad, and I wanted to find effective ways to continue to prevent that. When I knew there were routes to actually do this, it seemed impossible not to prioritise that from a moral perspective or an emotional one. Hope that helps!

Comment by kathrynmecrow on What book(s) would you want a gifted teenager to come across? · 2019-08-05T17:01:16.677Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · EA · GW

P.s. TLYCS are relaunching TLYCS end of 2019. They will have free books/ audibles avaliable. I am sure I can hook you guys up ;) (kathryn.mecrow@thelifeyoucansave.org).

Comment by kathrynmecrow on What book(s) would you want a gifted teenager to come across? · 2019-08-05T16:59:55.934Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Hi there!

Thank you for the work you are doing. <https://docs.google.com/document/d/14exkkaeJWOyAKX6o-tf-mfV8SJAwEhG-QFDbUrVnOH8/edit#heading=h.49c95vu7wotf> This is an Educator Reading List, David from SHIC shared with me a while ago. We (Giving Games) are currently doing some fun programs with schools, "Charity Elections." There's an explanation info-graphic I made here <https://www.facebook.com/TheGivingGamesProject/photos/a.2267613603500146/2312199802374859/?type=3&theater>. Thanks, Kathryn

Comment by kathrynmecrow on Optimizing Activities Fairs · 2019-07-18T23:52:33.540Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

My apologies, Vaidehi- this is what happens when you post mid drafting another email :)

Comment by kathrynmecrow on Optimizing Activities Fairs · 2019-07-18T21:07:03.438Z · score: 0 (7 votes) · EA · GW

Hi Larks, I am leaving this comment in my personal not professional capacity (I noticed this while posting some resources related to Giving Games). I think it may be useful if you defined what you mean by your comment regarding diversity. To flag, this area is regarded by many EAs as very important to community health, and the long-term engagement and retention of members. There are a ton of great resources on this issue (I found EA London's write-up particularly useful!)

Comment by kathrynmecrow on Running Effective Altruism Groups: A Literature Review · 2019-07-18T20:14:15.580Z · score: 14 (4 votes) · EA · GW

I think I nested this below Jon's comment in a reply so I will re-post as a new comment and retract the previous:

Hi there! Thank you for this write-up. Before starting this post, I want to be clear that I currently work for The Giving Games Project. I wish to add a couple of points and, if I may, offer some clarifications to this document.

"Giving Games" are a broad category of outreach activities, including "Speed Giving Games" (i.e. tabling activities where participants are asked where they would like to donate $1. Speed Giving Games, which I believe you are referring to in your review, are designed to offer an effective and exciting hook with the goal of gathering as many email addresses as possible so you can follow up into the future. They are not designed to provoke long-term behavioural change, they are designed to get as many people into the top of the funnel as possible with the expectation that many will not engage further. Eli Nathan here discusses this approach in the broader context of Fall Outreach events and mentions Oxford who follow-up with sign-ups throughout the academic year and appear to utilise (I welcome corrections here from the group) a "Get as many chances at a second pitch as possible" approach. As such, I might suggest you a) clarify that you are discussing "Speed Giving Games" not "Giving Games" (which are longer-events and used in a ton of different contexts) and b) clarify the aims of a "Speed Giving Game" verses a "Giving Game."

On long-term behavioural change and Giving Games. While Speed Giving Games alone are not designed to provoke long-term engagement, both Speed Giving Games and Giving Games can be combined with activities such as pledge weeks. An examples of this combination model is designed here ("We had a huge turnout of 110 students, which resulted in a total of $1,100 being donated to the three amazing charities, with Against Malaria Foundation receiving the highest number of votes. Ten students were inspired to take the 1% pledge. We felt it was really beneficial to have the Giving Game outside to involve people who otherwise might have not attended the event. It took no more than 15-20 minutes of their time and they were very receptive to One for the World’s mission! The Giving Game was a huge success that helped spread the message of effective giving.") Given Aaron's comment below, you may wish to amend or footnote the comment, unless he objects of course :)

On the Giving Game (not Speed Giving Games) impact, we describe here how we approach this here. We will release these results by the end of 2019.

As a meta point, I encourage you to reach out to me (kathryn.mecrow@thelifeyoucansave.org) if you would like testimonies on the impact of Giving Games (Speed or otherwise) or information on the Project more broadly, I am always happy to help and would have been able to point you at some of our most recent write-ups. Many of them are here.

Comment by kathrynmecrow on Optimizing Activities Fairs · 2019-07-18T19:18:51.892Z · score: 10 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks so much for this Eli! Just to add two resources here that may be useful from some groups that have recently run Speed Giving Games.

1) Vaidehi's write up on early stage EA group building at a liberal arts college, and,

2) Madhu's write up on Picnic Speed Giving Games.

Thanks!


Comment by kathrynmecrow on A Guide to Early Stage EA Group-Building at Liberal Arts Colleges · 2019-07-03T18:28:04.763Z · score: 12 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Hi there! This document is excellent. May I share it on our Giving Games Page and potentially cross post it on the Giving Games Blog? Assembling use-cases is really great for our other facilitators to learn from. Kathryn (Project Lead on Giving Games).

Comment by kathrynmecrow on Ways Frugality Increases Productivity · 2019-06-28T19:50:47.105Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · EA · GW

I may have misunderstood your argument, so apologies if so. As someone who has definitely tried both approaches here, my anecdotal experience is that it depends on what you value and/ or need. I value and need a life outside of work and a solid in-work support system, to be happy and maintain my mental health. If I go for too long without investing in these areas, my productivity suffers in the longer-term, ought-weighing any short-term productivity gains. I think alot of the results you cite here (i.e. "Living frugally is kind of like (metaphorically) living in an isolated cabin in the woods") have short-term productivity gains with the potential for long-term productivity detriment. For me, I think dividing it into "Happiness" and "Productivity" is misleading and for many the former feeds into the latter. So, when I buy a gym membership, while I loose the 120 minutes it takes to work out, I gain better quality and longer-sustained work later.

Comment by kathrynmecrow on Launching the Giving Games Platform and new facilitator tools · 2019-06-04T14:21:21.666Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Hey Aaron! Yes, indeed. If you go to https://game.thelifeyoucansave.org/admin and press "Create a new Giving Game" you fill out the details and it will send you a Number and password. This is in the Instructions for the Platform here <https://drive.google.com/open?id=17ye2I5NUUAJu-oK-ZXXaGTuo6RMp6v7Post8wy2zI7A> also on our resources page. Thank you, Kathryn :)

Comment by kathrynmecrow on How the Giving Games Project Tracks Its Impact · 2019-05-21T22:09:46.932Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Thank you Aaron :)

Comment by kathrynmecrow on How the Giving Games Project Tracks Its Impact · 2019-05-21T11:32:16.655Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Hi Aaron,

Absolutely. I would certainly be wary of over-interpreting these results but I thought a case study would be useful to show the steps we have begun taking to track our impact. Our strategy update is based on a larger pool of data (250 pre- and post- responses) and facilitator reports.

You are absolutely right about the correlation issue. Aside from self-reports, we employ back-end tracking with The Life You Can Save and our recommended charities. We have just introduced steps to track involvement in the EA community (inclusion of Giving Games in the EA survey), and pledges (One For The World- update to follow).

I will look at your paper today. Thank you so much for sharing and do let me know if you have any further ideas for impact-tracking.

Comment by kathrynmecrow on Bangladesh is in Desperate Need For Effective Altruists · 2018-08-06T02:16:01.578Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · EA · GW

Hi Farhan,

My information here may be outdated. However, when I worked in Bangladesh I worked with Dr. Kamal Hossain and Associates who at the time provided pro bono legal advice and may be able to offer legal support, particularly if you have video evidence of the incidents (khossain@citechco.net, inquiries@khossain.com). I think the value added of contacting Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch may be fairly low, as incidents like these have already been logged and published, but if you have any further evidence, I would definitely get in touch with them.

Above all and my reason for posting here, I am sure you are already aware, but please be very careful when contacting any of these organizations or publishing material on these incidents to take measures to protect your identity and your safety generally. You may wish to contact the Centre for Social Activism, a Bangladeshi human rights organization who supports activists in Bangladesh for advice before proceeding with contacting external organizations (including the ones I recommend) as they will have much more information on the current political, civil landscape than I do). I am fairly confident on CSA as they are one of the peer reviewers in the United Nations UPR process (although I still urge caution). You may contact me at kathryn.mecrow@gmail.com if you wish for me to submit materials on your behalf so as to remain anonymous (as I am not currently working or living in Bangladesh).

On a personal level, thank you for posting here and I am terribly sorry to hear of these incidents. The thoughts of my family are with yours and your loved ones during these difficult times.