RUNNING A GROUP

Priorities and Group Strategies

Updated 7th October 2020

Priorities for Different Sized Groups

The LEAN team wrote this section using ideas from EA Oxford and EA MIT.

Groups will always be time and funding-constrained, so prioritising between activities is critical. A group’s prioritisation strategy depends on several factors: the group’s stage of development; its members’ demographic, needs and preferences; and its organisers’ skill sets.

To begin prioritising, determine your group’s stage of development. We identify three stages below, organised by group size. All priorities from earlier stages apply to later stages.

We recommend that group organisers tailor our general approach to fit your specific circumstances. It is useful to create a document which lists group priorities. You should revisit the list at fixed intervals, such as every six months, or at the end of every semester. These documents can help you to stay on-track, evaluate progress, and adjust your goals.

Small/New

Common characteristics:

  • 1-2 group organisers and <10 regular group members

Recommended priorities:

  • Create a healthy community atmosphere that people want to be part of
  • Build relationships between group members
  • Connect with organisations offering support for EA groups
  • Find co-organisers (Check out some tips for City Groups and Uni Groups)
  • If the current organisers are considering leaving, find successors and create a preliminary handover process
  • Build an enthusiastic and stable core membership

Medium-sized

Without fail-safes and proper infrastructure, many medium-sized groups may contract.

Common characteristics:

  • 3-5 group organisers and 10-20 regular group members

Recommended priorities:

  • Complete the small-group tasks listed above
  • Connect group members to the broader EA community
  • Develop an overarching group strategy with object-level goals to achieve within a given time frame
  • Establish infrastructure to maintain the group’s level of activity. Developing formalised group roles may help
  • Have a robust handover process in case current organisers may leave
  • Increase engagement in all parts of the funnel model of engagement in EA

    • Move people from “audience” to “followers” by reaching out to people who haven’t heard of EA before
    • Move people from “followers” to “participants” by holding events that help new people become more knowledgeable about EA
    • Move people from “participants” to “contributors” by supporting people to conduct projects, volunteer, attend conferences or make significant commitments
    • Move people from “contributors” to “core” by helping them with their career plans

Large

Common characteristics:

  • >5 organisers who invest substantial time into the group, possibly including paid part- or full-time organisers
  • Active membership of 50+ members, large enough to support subcommunities with different interest areas or demographics
  • At least a few years old
  • Dissolution is improbable

Recommended priorities:

  • Complete the small and medium-group tasks listed above
  • Attract new members who might be particularly valuable to the EA community
  • Provide resources to support EA projects
  • Organise showpiece events with high-profile speakers
  • Build excellent brand-presence. It may be helpful to use social media or set up a website

Strategy Documents from Groups


NEXT: Models of Movement Building

BACK: Strategy


If you have suggestions on how to improve this page, please comment or suggest edits on this google doc.


This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.