Creating a Strategy

The strategy of your group can have a huge effect on its impact.

Whether you're trying to make the most of the limited time you have, or you're planning on growing your group and where to focus next, spending some time thinking about your group's overall strategy can be a great way to increase your group's impact.

We've included some recommendations from us in CEA's Groups Team, as well as some EA groups' strategies. While we think these resources will be useful, we also encourage you to think about your comparative advantage when considering your group's strategy.

If you want more individualised advice about your group's strategy, we encourage you to get in touch with CEA's Groups Team: groups@centreforeffectivealtruism.org.

Recommendations from the Centre for Effective Altruism

The following talks from members of CEA's Groups Team discuss our recommended strategy for local and university groups.

If you're a new university group organizer, we suggest you read this article about some advice we give to new organizers.

The Centre for Effective Altruism's strategy may also provide some helpful pointers for groups.

Common questions from organisers

Should my group’s strategy be the same as CEA’s strategy?

CEA’s strategy is not intended to be a strategy for the whole EA community, and we don’t expect EA groups to take this strategy as their own. However, it does affect how CEA will support groups, and we think groups would benefit from reading through our strategy documents when prioritising their group activities.

We do think that some aspects of the strategy are applicable to most EA groups. In particular, we’d be excited to see group organisers focus on:

  • Having high-quality discussions within their groups

  • Helping group members with a strong understanding of EA to take significant action

  • Ensuring existing members have a positive experience

  • Building an inclusive community with a positive reputation

Should my group only target “current or future leaders, thinkers, and philanthropists”?

No. CEA’s vision doesn’t mean that you should try to guess who falls into these categories and then restrict your group to those people, for a few reasons:

  • We don’t think it is easy to identify future leaders, thinkers, or philanthropists.

  • We’d like EA groups to be a welcoming space. People from a wide range of backgrounds and professions can be valuable members of the community; we can’t bring about the world we envision without support from many sectors of society.

However, our vision does mean that when CEA decides how to use limited resources (like funding and one-on-one advice) to support groups, one criterion we will use is how likely a group is to attract future leaders, thinkers, and philanthropists.

Should our group do outreach to people who aren’t students and young professionals?

CEA is especially focused on recruiting students and young professionals, partly because we believe that is CEA’s comparative advantage.

EA groups should also reflect on their comparative advantage when thinking about outreach. We’d be excited to see groups reach out to students if they are well placed to do so (i.e. university groups and other groups with a large proportion of student members). CEA’s onboarding resources will be tailored to reaching out to students. Some groups may have other comparative advantages — for example, members with connections in promising industries, academic fields, or social groups.

We recommend that organisers of non-student groups consider focusing more of their effort on retaining existing community members, relative to recruiting new members.

Strategy Documents from Groups

Student Groups

City Groups

National Groups

Workplace/Professional Groups

Suggested Further Reading

For university groups

For all groups

Optional Further Reading