Rethink Charity

Powering High-Impact Charitable Projects

Local Effective Altruism Network

The Local Effective Altruism Network (LEAN) supports over 350 local groups working to bring effective altruism to a wider audience, giving people the opportunity to engage via Meetups, lectures, discussion groups, fundraisers, workathons, and more. 

  • Local groups appear to be a primary source of converting EAs - A majority (>53%) of members found local groups to be a ‘’large’ to ‘very large’ factor for their involvement in EA.
  • LEAN is among the most useful organizations to the operation of local groups - group organizers found CEA most useful (39), followed by LEAN (22) and the Effective Altruism Foundation (22).
  • Local groups estimated counterfactual fundraising - $51,495.36 moved to effective charities in 2017, and $806,832.93 in influenced personal donations.
  • Strong demand for support from local groups >90% rated practical support and ideas for group activities useful or very useful and almost 80% rated personal feedback and support via social media, email and video call as useful or very useful
  • Counterfactually discounted value of a medium group is estimated by .impact as $250,000 – $1,500,000.
  • Counterfactually discounted value of a large group is estimated by .impact as $1,000,000 – $3,000,000.
  • LEAN seeded ~158 groups.

We’re revamping LEAN in response to community feedback. Matching community demand will require meaningful investment in local groups, and a strategic revision of important services provided by LEAN.

Informed by the 2017 LEAN Impact Assessment, the most in-depth data collection and analysis of local EA groups to date, our 2018 plans address crucial gaps in grassroots support for local groups.


  • Creating purpose-built websites and fronting web hosting costs.
  • Fronting paid Mailchimp, Meetup and volunteer recruitment website accounts.
  • Giving tailored advice and training on outreach, recruitment, member management, events, and fundraising.
  • Cultivating resources and expertise on best practices. 
  • Collaborating with the Centre for Effective Altruism to coordinate local group initiatives, produce the Effective Altruism and local group newsletters, and launch an EA mentorship program.