- About Group Support Funding
- About Our Organizer Certification Process
- Expenses That Can Be Covered
- What Can't Be Covered
- Group Support Grants
- Instructions to Apply for Group Support Grants
- Rapid Group Funding
- Using Your Funding
- Reports for Group Support Grants
- Reports for Rapid Group Funding
- What To Do with Leftover Funding
About Group Support Funding
Group Support Funding can cover a group's running expenses or fund a specific group project.
Group Support Funding is not intended to pay for people’s living expenses or time. To find out about other sources of funding for EA groups, including funding for part-time or full-time salaries of group organizers, visit the "Funding for Groups" page of the EA Groups Resource Centre.
There is no specific limit on the amount of money groups can request. Our default amounts that groups can apply for range from 2,500-4,500 USD per year for smaller groups, and 8,000-9,000 USD per year for larger groups.
September 2023 updates:
To improve and speed up our group grant processes, we have now launched a simple organizer certification process. This means that for a group to be eligible to receive group support funding, at least one of the group’s main organizers needs to be "certified" by CEA. Learn more about this here.
We've updated our application response and decision times. You can find our current average evaluation and processing time for group support grants here.
About Our Organizer Certification Process
Our certified organizer system streamlines CEA’s group grants (such as group support funding - it does not have an impact on grants from other organizations, such as the EA Infrastructure Fund). Organizers who don't want grants from the Groups Team would be under no pressure to engage with this system — and people are welcome to organize groups without applying to our system.
The reasons that we have a certified organizer process are:
- We want to be able to approve group grants quicker (e.g., if an organizer has already passed our grant review, we should be quicker to re-approve)
- We want to reduce the organizer time spent filling in CEA forms
- We want to provide a consistent (and hence fairer) standard for issuing grants across as many of our programs as possible
- We want to make our system of assessment more legible to our funders (if all more of our programs ask similar questions, it is easier to convey our criteria to our funders)
How The Process Works
If a group does not yet have a certified organizer, and the group submits a group support funding request, we will ask them to have one of their main organizers fill out a form about their EA experience and plans.
We will then respond within a week, and we may invite the applicant to schedule a call with us. After the call, we’ll then email you within 5 work days to let you know your certification decision. The certification process usually takes around two weeks (if organizers book a call promptly when asked).
Having a certified organizer means your group is now eligible for group support funding, and we’ll give you a result on your funding application within 3 work days. Your group will be eligible for group support funding as long as your group has at least one certified organizer in your group.
If the organizer doesn't receive certification, they will be free to re-apply in 6 months (although there is no obligation to re-apply).
We expect most current main organizers who will apply for certification to be certified. (Note that people can still organize an EA group without certification. Also, being on our CBG program or in the UGAP or OSP Fall 2023 round could qualify you for certification but is not guaranteed.)
Expenses That Can Be Covered
There are two categories of expenses that we’re willing to fund via group support funding: basic expenses and additional expenses.
Our benchmark location for our cost guidelines is for a group in San Francisco. Please adjust these cost guidelines based on the cost of living in your location. We have recommendations here on how to do this.
- EA books
- Snacks/drinks for events (up to $6 USD/person/event)
- Meals for events (up to $25 USD/person/event) but only for 1-2 meals every semester or every six months by default
- Advertising costs such as banners/posters for clubs fairs (~300 USD), and food for clubs fairs and tabling (up to ~200 USD per event)
- Venue hire (up to ~200 USD per event)
- Certain software and subscriptions
Basic expenses are easier to get funding for compared to those listed in the additional expenses category below.
- Retreats (by default, we can fund for up to $150 USD/person for a two-night retreat, and only one every semester or every six months per group)
- Honorarium and travel expenses for speakers
Retreats fall under additional expenses because we have a higher bar for deciding to give groups funding to organize a retreat, since they are more costly and can be more difficult to organize.
What Can't Be Covered Via Group Support Funding
- Group travel grants to EAG/EAGx conferences - CEA's Groups Team used to fund these, but starting November 2022, attendees must now apply for these individually via the EAG/EAGx application form instead. (This allows CEA's Events Team to have visibility on the number of travel grants that a person receives per year.)
- Stipends or salaries (e.g. for organizers, or participants of an intro fellowship or program)
- Co-working spaces
- Housing / living expenses
If you would like to find funding for anything from the list above of what can’t be covered, you can look at our resource on funding options for groups.
More detailed information on what you can spend on is in our group expenses guidelines, which we recommend you view before applying for funding. If there’s an expense you want funding for, but it isn’t in our expense guidelines, you can still include it in your application.
At any point in the funding process, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about the content of the application, or contact the Effective Ventures Ops Team at email@example.com about due diligence or payment.
Two Types of Group Support Funding
- Group Support Grants (preferred option). A lump sum to pay for future group expenses for up to 6-12 months.
- Rapid Group Funding. For urgent requests for reimbursement or for costs that need to be paid, usually within 3-4 weeks from the application date. We prefer groups to apply for Group Support Grants, but Rapid Group Funding is available with certain conditions.
Group Support Grants
This is our preferred method of funding groups. We think most groups should apply for a Group Support Grant.
These grants are intended for groups to receive a sum of money to pay for future group expenses for up to 12 months. In some cases, we may also reimburse expenses already made on a case-to-case basis.
We recommend you apply at least five weeks before your group needs the funding (or 6-7 weeks before if you do not have a certified organizer yet). Currently, it takes us on average around 3 weeks to give groups a decision. If we approve funding, within 3 work days, you will be asked to complete our due diligence form if you haven't completed it within the last 2 years. After this step, you'll receive the grant agreement within a week. After signing the grant agreement, you will usually receive the funds within a week for UK and US groups or 2 weeks for groups in other countries.
To read about how to submit a report for your grant, go to this section.
Instructions to Apply for Group Support GrantsApply for a Group Support Grant
(Optional) Prepare your application. You can view the application questions here. (Note that you're supposed to apply by filling out the form in the Grantee Portal linked below, not by duplicating this document with the questions list.) You may wish to make a copy of the document to share with any co-organizers with whom you are discussing the application. You can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Apply via the Effective Ventures Grantee Portal. If you haven't logged in before, click "Self-register here", and make an account. Once you are signed in, you should already land on the group support grant application form. (If not, you can find the application form by going to "Apply for a Grant" and then "Group Support".) Please then fill up the application form. If you would like to save your progress, click "Save my progress and resume later" and then click the "Save" button.
Wait for a decision.
After submitting your application, you will usually receive an email within 7 workdays (or 4 workdays if it's urgent) with one of the following:
- if your group does not have a certified organizer yet, we’ll ask you to have a current main organizer in your group apply for certification, as mentioned here.
- a request for more info or to have a call with a member of CEA's Groups Team
- our decision (and the next steps to complete your grant processing if it's approved)
It currently takes us on average 18 days from the funding application date to give groups a decision. (This already includes if there’s time spent requesting for more info or having a call with the organizer. Now that we have a certification process, the funding decision may take 4-5 weeks for those applying for certification, while it will be faster for those with a certified organizer.)
Note: If you don't receive a response in 7 workdays (or 4 workdays for an urgent application), check your spam folder. If it's not there, email email@example.com.
- Complete due diligence (for provisionally accepted grants when the applicant has not completed due diligence in the last 2 years).
This step is for us to collect the bank account details of where you want to receive the grant, and to fulfill CEA’s legal obligations. It involves the applicant logging in to the grantee portal and filling in a form. The questions can be viewed here.
Sign the grant agreement. Once you've completed due diligence, or if you've already completed it before, you will be sent an email asking you to sign a grant agreement document within 1-2 weeks. If you don't receive a response within 1-2 weeks, check your spam folder. If it's not there, then email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Await payment. It will likely take up to 5 working days after you sign the grant agreement to receive your payment, but transfers to some countries can take up to 14 working days.
Rapid Group Funding
We prefer groups to use Group Support Grants, but Rapid Group Funding is available with these conditions:
- Groups and organizers that are known to CEA’s Groups team and have received CEA group support funding already before
- The total amount is below 5000 USD
- All receipts can be submitted within 1 month of the original application date. (We may make exceptions from time to time that allow organizers to make purchases and submit receipts later than one month from the application date.)
Rapid Group Funding applications will usually be responded to within 5 workdays. (November 2023 note: We're at low capacity currently in November and may take longer to respond to your request, so consider applying ahead of time or planning accordingly.) If approved, you will need to fill out a due diligence form if you haven't yet within the last two years.
You'll also need to sign a grant agreement. Afterwards, it will likely take up to 5 working days after you sign the grant agreement to receive the grant in your bank account, but transfers to a few countries can take up to 10 working days.
To read about how to submit a report for your rapid funding, go to this section.Apply for Rapid Group Funding here
Which bank account to use to receive and manage your funding
You can choose which bank account CEA should send your funding to. Some student groups have a bank account with their university, which they may have to use to receive the funding. Some city or national groups also have their own group bank account. Depending on your bank or your university’s system, there may be an administrative burden to make transactions or add or remove signatories, so most groups just use a personal bank account as where they receive and store the money from CEA.
If you choose not to have a group bank account, you might like to open a separate personal account that just gets used for group-related transactions. This is to make it easier to track expenses and your remaining funds.
After receiving the money, you could also choose to split your funding among a few organizers' bank accounts, so that not all payments/disbursements have to be done by one person. If you do this, we recommend one or more of you include and regularly update details of where you have your money stored and how much is left with each person (e.g. in a spreadsheet), as well as logging regularly all of your group’s expenses there (with links to receipts).
Once your group is bigger and more established, and if you find managing money via personal bank accounts to not be optimal, you can look into the process and pros and cons of getting a group or organization bank account.
Using Your Funding
Keep track of your spending in a spreadsheet (this is a template you could use)
Look at the report process below so that you know what kind of information you will need to collect.
Contact email@example.com for approval if your plan changes and you wish to spend the funds in a significantly different way from your initial application or the common group expenses.
For Group Support Grants:
- Keep all receipts over 500 USD
- Reapply when your funds get low (e.g. down to ~20% of their original grant amount, or if the funds could run out within 2 months). You will have to submit a report for your last grant before you reapply.
- If it seems like you are going through the grant significantly faster than you expected (e.g. you’ll run out of funding earlier than halfway through your grant period) contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If groups have a change of organizer, grant money can be passed to the next organizer. Contact email@example.com to update us.
- Groups can submit a report and receipts before the end of the grant period if they aren’t expecting to use the funds (e.g. if the group becomes dormant).
For Rapid Group Funding: Keep all receipts
At the end of the funding period, groups will receive a request via email to write a review, which is due one month after the completion of their funding period.
Reports for Group Support Grants
For most groups, the grantee will receive a request by email to complete a progress report every 6 months, and a final report at the end date of the grant period (due 1 month later). You may also fill up the report already as soon as you have finished or are about to finish spending all the funding. The report questions are listed here.
Submit your final report before you apply for a new Group Support Grant or at the end of the grant period (whichever comes first).
To submit your report:
- Log in to the Effective Ventures Grantee Portal
- Click the "More" tab at the top navigation bar, then click "Reports".
- You should find a row corresponding to the group support grant that you want to submit a report for. It should say "Please submit your report" under the column "Grant Report Requirement". Click that, and fill up the questions there. Then press submit.
Reports for Rapid Group Funding
If you've gotten rapid funding for a reimbursement, reports are not required. For non-reimbursements, you will receive a request to complete a short report within a month of us sending the grant. Report questions are listed here.Submit your Rapid Group Funding Report
What To Do with Leftover Funding
- If you have leftover funding from your last group support grant or rapid funding that is greater than $200, and you do not need additional group funding from CEA yet, we would still like you to submit a new group support grant application on how you plan to use this leftover money. (You can place $0 in the application as the additional money you'll need.) Please link a budget for how you'll use this funding so we can check if it fits with our group expenses guidelines.
- If you have leftover funding that you won't be able to use within the next 6 months, you can return it ahead via the instructions given when you fill out the report for your grant, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org about how to return funding.