This is the minimalist homepage for LEAN, as well as describing how EA groups are connected to one another in a network with multiple channels

LEAN logo

Local EA groups play an invaluable role. They’re where much outreach and fundraising happens. They make people aware of effective altruism and strengthen their commitment to it. There are dozens of local EA groups around the world from Auckland to Vancouver, with hundreds of truly dedicated people working on them. As part of their common mission, these groups share knowledge and resources with one another, through a Facebook group, mailing list, conference calls, newsletter, wiki and other such channels.

A small but growing team under .impact works on connecting, supporting and growing this network of groups. Our project is called the Local Effective Altruism Network, or LEAN for short. It follows .impact’s general model in providing a decentralised way for groups to help one another while maintaining their independence. Several local organizers around the world have got involved, sharing resources and knowledge with other groups in the network and providing support. For example, we've recruited several to run conference calls for organizers serving time zones across the world.

Our broad team includes many other such volunteers from groups around the world who want to use the experience and skills that they’ve built up to help EA outreach elsewhere. Get in touch if you’d like to do this too - or we encourage you to use the network channels directly if you have a specific idea or offer, while still also dropping us a line. The most reliable way to reach all local groups is to send us an item to include in the newsletter that we send to all their organizers.

We also have a small team coordinating work, providing support themselves, and doing what’s required to run LEAN as a lean organization. We began in January 2015 by recruiting people to do local outreach in cities and countries without an existing EA presence. Back then relatively little other work was being done with local groups, but their importance and value is increasingly being recognised. This naturally required a ‘central’ team, but we’ve since expanded our focus to growing and supporting these and other groups in their endeavours to do counterfactual good. In this we’ve continued the work of THINK, the initial organisation focused on local groups at the dawn of effective altruism thus-named at 2012, which we are an official successor of.

We’re lucky to have some very dedicated people on both the ‘central’ LEAN team and the broader team across the whole network of groups. Listing them all would be impossible, but a partial list can be found lower down this page. Thanks are of course also due to everyone else who’s helped - and most of all to those involved in the local groups themselves, who do the lion’s share of outreach work and to whom the credit for it belongs.

The Team

Our work

Resources provided to groups

We've provided the following to every EA group: team emails, a map listing, a Facebook group, conference calls, a newsletter, a collection of guides, and more. We've also providing mailing lists, quick tech work, legal advice and more to many groups. For groups which have requested them, we've provided websites, free books, and paid meetup.com advertising. Groups also often ask us for individual advice.

Seeding

As of May 2016, we've seeded over 150 new groups, some already very active. Lists can be found in our hackpad updates.

Other work

A partial list of our other work includes:

  • Running the annual survey of group organizers, which tracks the impact of local EA outreach and helps share valuable lessons.
  • Encouraging and supporting groups to grow and take on new activities. These include first social meetups for new groups, Living On Less fundraisers, donation decision days, career workshops and much more.
  • Researching and evaluating different outreach methods, and then spreading what works - and sharing what doesn't. An example is recruitment through Meetup.com.