How To Run a Pledge Panel Event

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A pledge panel is an event during which an interviewer and audience can ask Giving What We Can members questions about their decision to take a pledge to give more and more effectively. Panelists can help address concerns and answer common questions that people might have about effective giving and pledging to give.

Members who've taken the pledge will often talk about how they decided to make a commitment to pledge a portion of their income to charitable organizations, and how it fits into their lives. This brief talk is usually followed by questions and answers session, which creates an opportunity for people to talk about their motivations and charity choice in a public way.

The pledge panel event can also include panelists who haven't taken a pledge, but who want to share their reasons as to why they are still considering whether to take the pledge or not.

Moderator

The moderator should have some basic, factual knowledge about GWWC to be able to lead the conversation, answer any questions that may come, and clarify when needed. Read our Frequently Asked Questions.

Panelists selection

Panelists should be fairly familiar with GWWC and basic concepts of Effective Altruism. To help panelists prepare for the event, make sure that you provide them with some tips on how to talk about GWWC. It might be also helpful have panelists who:

  • Are motivating
  • Are comfortable speaking about their charitable giving
  • Come from a variety of backgrounds and career paths (i.e. direct work, earning to give), and whose salaries and giving percentages range from low to high
  • Have made different pledges
  • Give to organizations that support a variety of cause areas

It's likely that you won't be able to invite panelists who will fulfill all these criteria, but it is vital to ensure that the panelists represent the diversity of the Giving What We Can community to their best capacity.

If you need help finding panelists for your event, please reach out to us at community@givingwhatwecan.org with the details of your event.

Event Format

Introduction

Introduce Giving What We Can (GWWC) and Effective Altruism (EA) – this could be the pitch presentation, or a cut down version of it if the audience is already fairly familiar with GWWC and the EA concepts.

  • Briefly go over the history of GWWC and explain how the GWWC community has grown over the time.

  • Mention other upcoming events, i.e. the pledge campaign, giving season, and share any news or updates from recent newsletters or blog posts.

Panelists

Start by briefly introducing the panelists and then invite them to share a little bit more about themselves, i.e.:

  • Their background (where they are from, career, major etc)

  • Their journey with GWWC / EA

Q&A

Open the floor to questions from the audience. Have some starting questions ready to help start the conversations:

  • Why did you decide to take a pledge?
  • Which organizations do you donate to?
  • How do you decide which organizations to donate to?
  • In what ways does giving affect your life (e.g. Has it affected their happiness, lifestyle, finances etc?)
  • What does your family think about you taking the pledge?
  • Under what circumstances might you resign from your pledge?
  • What are your giving plans for the future (e.g. increase or decrease, investigate different causes, make a bequest etc)?
  • What other plans do you have for the future (e.g. careers, family, location)?
  • How else do you like to affect change in the world (e.g. careers, advocacy, volunteering)?

Templates

Event Listing

Event Name:

Pledge Panel: Ask anything about pledging to give

Event Description:

Over {number_of_group_pledgers} {group context, e.g. "Sydneysiders" or "Cambridge students"} so far have taken a Giving What We Can pledge to a portion of their future income to effective charities.

They are part of a fast-growing community of over {number_of_global_pledgers} people around the world who have made significant commitments to use their incomes to improve the lives of others.

Come and hear from {number_of_pannelists} people about how they came to sign their pledge and how it fits into their lives, in an informal discussion and Q&A.

This is a great chance to find out about the pledge and ask any questions you may have, from the small practical details to the difficult questions about 'making a difference'.

There will be free snacks and drinks.

Our three guest speakers are:

  • {speaker_name}: {short_bio}
  • {speaker_name}: {short_bio}
  • {speaker_name}: {short_bio}

They will form an interesting and diverse group, who all took a pledge as part of their own paths to try to do the most good in the world. After the panel there will be a chance to chat more with any of the speakers.

We hope you can join us at this fascinating and inspiring event!

Emails

Advertising the event to your group members

Goal:

  • Encourage attendance to Pledge Panel and them to bring friends along

  • Ask to publicise

Subject:

Giving What We Can Pledge Panel event

Body:

Hi {their_name},

Hope you're having a great week!

We wanted to remind you about our Pledge Panel event on {event date}.

{Profile of members, e.g. "Three recent graduates"} will join us to share what motivated them to sign the Giving What We Can Pledge to give away a portion of their income, and how it fits into their lives. This will be followed by an "ask me anything" where attendees will get the opportunity to ask more questions.

This is a great opportunity to find out about the pledge, and asking any questions you may have in an informal environment. On a personal level ({your anecdote}), I genuinely recommend clearing your schedule for this… it can have such a significant impact on your life.

Whether you're able to attend yourself or not, please take the time to publicise the event and try to get your friends to come - especially ones who are considering taking a pledge!

Please message anyone you know who might be interested in the pledge, and invite as many of your friends as possible to the facebook event. You can also click 'Going' to the Facebook event, and share the event on your own timeline. If you need some ideas on how to phrase your outreach message or pledge conversation starter then do get in contact with us.

Thanks again for being a part of this community – hope to see you at the event!

All the best,

{your name}

Following up with those interested in learning more

Goal:

  • Let them know about ways to learn more
  • Let them know how to get in contact with us

Subject: Follow-up from Pledge Panel event

Body:

Hi {their name},

So glad you could make it to our Pledge Panel event - hope you found it as special and motivating an occasion as we did!

You said that you'd be interested in learning more, or meeting up to discuss getting more involved. We'd love to have you on board!

Ways to learn more:

Ways to get involved:

  • Attend our {your next upcoming event} on {event date}
  • {other ways to get involved}

If you want to meet up in person or organise a call to chat just respond to this email or message us on and we can find a time that suits

Thanks again for coming along to the event!

All my best,

{your name}