(Cross-posted from the EA Forum)

This post was written by Buck and Claire Zabel but it’s written in Buck’s voice, and “I” here refers to Buck, because it’s about grantmaking that he might do. (Claire contributed in her personal capacity, not as an Open Phil grantmaker). 

In addition to accepting applications for EA groups in some locations as part of my EAIF grantmaking, I am interested in evaluating applications from people who run groups (in-person or online, full-time or part-time) on a variety of related topics, including:

  • Reading groups, eg for The Precipice or Scout Mindset
  • Groups at companies, online-only groups, and other groups not based in particular geographic locations or universities.
  • Groups discussing blogs or forums that are popular with EAs, such as Slate Star Codex / Astral Codex Ten or LessWrong.
  • Longtermist-only, AI-centric or biosafety-centric groups, animal welfare groups, or other groups that address only a single EA cause area. (I might refer these applications to the Long-Term Future Fund or the Animal Welfare Fund as appropriate; both of these funds have confirmed to me that they’re interested in making grants of this type.)

I also welcome applications from people who do or want to do work for existing groups, or group organizers who want funding to hire someone else to work with them. Eg: 

  • Maintaining or overhauling group websites, if you think this is worthwhile for your particular group
  • Working 10hrs/week on a student group
  • Running group mailing lists

In cases where the project/expense isn’t a good fit for the EA Funds, but I think it’s worth supporting, I am likely able to offer alternative sources of funds.

I might stop doing this if someone appears who’s able to commit more time and thought to funding and supporting these kinds of groups, but for the time being I want to offer folks who want to work on these kinds of things a chance to request support.

I think that people who put serious time into creating high-quality groups deserve compensation for the time they put in, so please don’t let thoughts like “I only work on this for 10 hours a week” or “I’m happy to do this in a volunteer capacity” discourage you from applying. If you’re unsure if something is a reasonable fit, feel free to email me (bshlegeris@gmail.com) and ask before applying. Depending on your cost of living, ask for a rate of $20-50 per hour (this includes employer's payroll tax and would correspond to ~$15-40/h gross salary).

The EAIF application form is here; you should also feel free to email me any questions you have about this.

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Anecdote from the NYC rationalist (OBNYC) group: Something I think we'd want that other groups might want too is an easy way for people organizing meetups to post to multiple channels like a website, mailing list, LessWrong and meetup.com.

Another issue we have that others may have too is that we tend to host meetups at people's apartments, and the people hosting don't necessarily want their addresses to be posted publicly. We currently handle this by only posting the address on a Google Group which is configured so you have to "apply" with a text box, and then we basically accept every application that seems like a reasonable human or mentions how they found the group. But Google doesn't give us any way to say what to put in the box, or make the box less intimidating. I know when I first visited NYC the "application" almost intimidated me out of joining, and made me more hesitant to show up to some person's apartment in case I was intruding on a social group I wasn't really welcome in. I imagine a lower-friction and more welcoming way to put up a small roadblock to seeing the address would help recruiting.

I'll add another voice agreeing that an easier way to crosspost events would be great. Meetup.com allows repeating events, but LessWrong does not, and I find the LessWrong calendar/time interface so frustrating I've stopped posting events on the community page here. 

I completely agree with the first one. It's a task I found annoying enough in the past to limit the spaces where I post announcements. 

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