Last updated May 11, 2023

Compared to other activities in the EA community, new and current members of EA groups see immense value in private meetings with group organisers. We call these in-person meetings one-on-ones.

We outline the benefits of one-on-ones and reasons why they may or may not be relevant to your group. We also collect practical tips from the community and other additional resources on this page.

In general, one-on-ones are useful for:

Should you host one-on-ones?

A group can only host so many different types of activities. Every group’s member-base varies, as does its leaders’ strengths and weaknesses. Your emphasis on one-on-ones may differ depending on these factors.

Your group may benefit more from one-on-ones if many members are:

One-on-ones may be less important than other activities if leading members:

Introductory and Mentor One-on-Ones

Before you start introductory one-on-ones, read the Resource Centre pages on communicating about effective altruism. They provide a few good ways to explain EA and highlight common questions and concerns. Also, familiarise yourself with the EA handbook and the resource page on You can refer group members to the resources and  organisations there if needed. ******


Career One-on-Ones

EA offers a unique perspective on individuals’ career paths. Career one-on-ones provide a platform to discuss career aspirations and consider EA-aligned options. You may also conduct these discussions in small-group settings.

If done correctly, advising group members to take high-impact career paths has enormous potential upsides. But suggesting unsuitable career choices may also cause harm. You can consider seeking advice from other group organizers (e.g. on the EA Groups Slack) or with CEA ( if you’re unsure whether you are ready to conduct career one-on-ones.


Donation One-on-Ones

Donation one-on-ones involve chatting to a prospective donor about where they could donate. 

A large part of EA is donating more and increasing the effectiveness of donations. We can help each other make better decisions, and we can help each other take action and follow through.

We suggest offering donation one-on-ones when you are very familiar with the activities of the major charity evaluators and EA funds, and ideally have spent time carefully choosing donation opportunities for yourself.

Donation choices are often very personal, so it is best to only suggest a donation one-on-one after a donor has expressed an interest in getting some advice on where to donate.

How the conversation will proceed will depend on how much the person has already decided about their donation. 

We recommend reading this guide from Raising for Effective Giving on choosing a charity before conducting donation 1:1s. 



One-on-ones can seem strange to some newcomers depending on how you frame them, so it's important to be conscientious about how you communicate about them. Here is some advice about conducting one-on-ones in a professional yet welcoming way.

Tips to relieve awkwardness


During the meeting


Send a follow-up email with a personalised list of reading recommendations.

Matching with other members

Buddy System for New Members

To make new members feel more welcome, you can match them with a more experienced member who is responsible for helping them feeling more included into your group.


Donut is a tool integrated in Slack that pairs people on a regular basis via direct messages. For this, you create a new channel in Slack and enable Donut. You can then invite people to join the channel and Donut will start making introduction between people in the channel, encouraging them to meet personally or via video chat. 

Additional Resources