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In October, we gained 105 new Giving What We Can pledges, more than double the number for October 2015, and gained 6,863 newsletter subscribers (including the remaining Student Freshers’ Fair imports).

We ran a week-long retreat in Barcelona to bring everyone together in one place. This was a valuable space to think big about future strategy, work on intra-divisional projects and build relationships.

We’ve also been invited to interview in mid December with Y Combinator, the world’s leading startup incubator, which has produced companies including AirBnB, Dropbox and Reddit. We’ll soon begin our fundraising round, and have begun preparing.

As a result of the election, the last week has been tough for many members of staff. We took a couple of days to reflect on what happened, discuss how the new presidency affects strategy for CEA and the EA movement, and spend time together as a team. Many members of the team had taken some time off to campaign for Hillary, and their phone banking team was in the top five teams worldwide for calls. Ultimately, the result and our worries about the impact of the result on foreign aid spending, farm animal welfare, global catastrophic risks and the nature of democratic institutions, just make our resolve to make the world better even stronger.

For more details on the projects we’re working on, positions we’re hiring for and and our metrics dashboard please see below.

Best Wishes,


CEA Metrics

New members per month over the last 12 months

This month we got 105 pledges, one short of our September number but still very strong for any month outside giving season, and more than double the number of members for October 2015.

New newsletter subscribers by month

We continued to benefit from the automations and adverts we’ve set up as the last imports of the over 5,000 subscriptions from university chapter events.

Unfortunately, we are experiencing some discrepancies in the dates associated with subscriptions and the total numbers reported which Mailchimp (our email marketing software) acknowledge is an outstanding issue their end. This is why the growth is incorrectly associated with November.

In depth updates from across CEA

Y Combinator

We are excited to have an interview with Y Combinator in mid December. We will find out on the day of the interview whether or not we will be accepted into their three month startup incubator programme starting in January 2017.

Networking and Media

We have had a number of meetings with very high net worth individuals who are interested in using a significant proportion or most of their wealth on philanthropy; this included two philanthropy salons in London. Our opportunities in this area have increased significantly since the launch of Doing Good Better; it’s an area we may focus more on in the future.

We’re hiring

We are advertising for four positions:

Please think of anyone you know who might be interested, and encourage them to apply.

Community and Outreach Division

The Community and Outreach Division is focussed on inspiring people to become actively involved in effective altruism. This means reaching out to new audiences as well as equipping the existing community with the knowledge, skills and motivation to do the most good. We work closely with the Special Projects Division to share new ideas in this space.

Online Infrastructure and Marketing Team

The Online Infrastructure and Marketing team have been developing an introduction to effective altruism email series for new newsletter subscribers. We are currently testing different content that covers the core concepts in effective altruism. We have also set up an archive of all previous newsletters as a community resource. The most recent newsletter included new content on Cause X.

A third of charitable donations normally take place in December, so the team are working on content to help people think about where to donate, incentives for people to start conversations about effective altruism (including working with members on the Giving What We Can pledge drive), and key improvements to our websites to make donations and pledges easier.

Community, Chapters and Events Team

Giving What We Can Trust

The Giving What We Can Trust, set up and managed by staff at CEA, collected £380,000 in donations during the previous quarter, and is preparing to regrant these to effective charities.


Learning the lessons from the review of EA Global 2016 and our location survey we are leaning towards having three distinct events, tentatively located across Boston or Cambridge, London, and the Bay Area, likely spread out across May, July / August, and October 2017.

We’re also improving our EAGx process using feedback from participants and organisers of successful events in Flanders, Belgium and Germany. We plan to encourage groups to run day-long events by default, offer grants upfront and we will make conference resources publicly available on the website for the whole community to use.


Student Activities Fairs generated over 5,000 Newsletter signups in total and we’re solidifying our back office support with help of intern Harri Besceli.


I wrote recently about the importance of setting norms and values in the community following  the post about Intentional Insights that documented some ways in which they acted out of line with EA values. In the post I proposed creating both a set of EA guiding values and a community panel that investigates and makes recommendations on potential egregious violations of those principles. This is an area that seems crucially important as EA grows, but also poses significant risks, depending on implementation. Julia Wise and I have been speaking to members of the community about whether and how to take this forward, and would  appreciate any thoughts that you have.

Special Projects Division

The Special Projects Division’s mission is to improve our understanding of how to do the most good in the world and to bring those ideas to the people best-positioned to implement them. Below are a few highlights from the individual teams over the past month.

Research Fundamentals

The research fundamentals team has collectively focused on developing a conceptual map of the key ideas in effective altruism, which will be available on later this year.

Max Dalton also joined us this month. Max received a first class degree from Oxford in philosophy, politics, and economics and a masters in economics from the University of York. He’ll work on several projects, including with Owen Cotton-Barratt on creating quantitative cause prioritisation models.

Philanthropic Advising

The philanthropic advising team continued researching potentially promising funding opportunities in suicide prevention, science funding, and evidence-based policy in low-income countries. They also advised Alwaleed Philanthropies, a $30 billion foundation focused on global humanitarianism, on its grantmaking and introduced it to potential partners.


Sebastian Farquhar and Toby Ord have continued consulting for the UK government in a variety of areas. Sebastian has also been working with researchers from the Future of Humanity Institute on a biosafety policy paper.

Oxford Institute for Effective Altruism

Jon Courtney joined Michelle Hutchinson this month to help set up an academic institute at Oxford to focus on effective altruism. The team submitted a grant application to Oxford University, which, if successful, would fund Michelle’s salary for two years. The application was very well received by the Oxford faculty.

About the emails/Q&A

What are the CEA supporters emails?

These are emails we are sending monthly to key supporters of CEA (e.g. major donors, current and some past staff, advisors etc). This to keep people in the loop about our work and demonstrate transparency.  They include things like our progress on our key metrics and the state of our finances.

This is different from things like the EA newsletters or the GWWC members newsletter which are both quite public facing and aiming to get people more involved in EA. The CEA supporters updates have a more internal feel and are for people already strongly invested in our work.

Who are they sent to?

Everyone on this list. If you think there’s anyone missing please add them.

What is the process for creating the CEA supporter emails/How do you decide what content to include?

Using this document we collect updates from all of you, across CEA, and use this to provide highlights in the email. This does mean that we don’t guarantee your update will be included. If you do not have anything to include, please leave your team’s section blank.

What do you need from me?

If your team has any updates you think our key stakeholders should know about please add that here. Please keep it to a couple of sentences only.

Can I see an example of a past one to give me ideas of what to write?

Yes, you can find past versions in this folder.