A lot of guides to allyship have been floating around. Some are good, some are kinda meh, and most of them will be ignored by the people who really need to read them. For the TL/DR crowd, here’s my Ultimate Guide to Effective Allyship:
Make sure that what you do lessens the load on the people you’re trying to support.
Seriously, that’s it for me. I may care about people’s motivations, actions, and results, but what I care about the most is whether overall they are saving or causing me work. Do their actions free up my time and energy? Do their contributions help spread the information I’d like to see out in the world? Are they helping my voice being heard, or saving me the effort of having to speak out? Does their emotional support enable me to take a break from being strong? Is the labour they are contributing more than the labour I’m having to put into managing them, or into rewarding them after the fact? Ultimately, are they a resource or a drain?
There is a lot more to effective allyship, but for me this is the very bottom line, because I’m fighting to live, not living to fight. Those whose support is a drain on my resources may mean well, but they are not helping me; and, when it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of allyship, that ought to matter.