Fundraising at Mozilla Festival: Fund Your Project, Raise a Community
Communities are growing bigger everyday and as they scale so do their needs. Funding is one of the most important resources projects need to do to sustain and succeed. Ben, Lawrence and Lynn led a session at Mozilla Festival London 2014 to offer some insight and guidance on how to go about this with the assistance Mozilla is offering communities and those affiliated with it to achieve their goals.
Many people around the world access the web today. There are new online supplementary fundraising tools that utilize crowd funding such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Kickstarter is great but restrictive to the countries that can use it to source for funding. It also does not let you keep all the money you raise if you don’t reach your funding goal, which makes Indiegogo more fit for the task since it allows all countries and has an option for flexible funding.
Using a case study of the Mozilla Festival East Africa 2014, the first cause supported by Mozilla by running a campaign on Indiegogo that was successfully run in two weeks, to start a successful campaign you must have a clear understanding of what you need the money for and how much you need. What is the title and description of the project? What will you use the money for? Objectives and reasons for fundraising (Why should people give you their money?) These questions may take some time to answer but they’ll offer a lot of guidance when creating the campaign summary.
Sometimes all you want to say may be best described by so many words but when someone visits your campaign page they only have so much time and the morale to go on reading is determined by the Title and the first 3-4 lines in the introduction, so it’s always great to create a short 1-minute video and info graphic explaining to the supporters about your cause. This is much more engaging and fun to the reader.
Perks. The best bit about crowdfunding is that you can offer something to supporters; today most people are more interested in the idea to do that than to only donate. The most popular perks fall between $1 to $50, so any attractive product or package here might raise a lot of money. Some good perks would for instance be including $1,000+ perk for those who want to be partners or advertisers or exclusive access to a product, software or event ticket. It’s also good to mention some of the popular perks in the description. You should also ask the supporters in your description to help share the campaign in their social media channels to rally up support so those who are unable to offer any funds can also feel part of the campaign. You could also for in kind donations from those who can.
You should try raising at least $50 – 100 in the first week of setting up the campaign from friends and family then after increase efforts to the whole public. It gives a boost to people to offer money when they see some people already donated. When you reach 30% of your funding goal, Indiegogo will help promote your campaign on the front page, email newsletter and their social media. Keep in contact with the Mozilla Fundraising team and our contact at Indiegogo causes.
However crowdfunding more often than not may not cover all your needs and may be used as a supplementary source of funds. You should consider other sources such as depending on the scale of your project finding institutional funding or partnerships. To get institutional funding you should understand the scale of your project, how much you actually need, very clear objectives and outcomes from the project or event. This helps you to know which institutions to approach, how to approach them and how to pitch the idea to them. Identify what that organization will benefit from helping you or joining your endeavors, to them this is return on investment and clearly pitch what you would like them to do for you.
We suggest that you at least more than one method when seeking funds, because using them together will probably help deliver a better result. With communities increasing their number of events, projects, promotions, and expansion of community spaces, and so much more we are positive that there are going to be a lot of great things happening.
Please also read some of these guidelines here.
Lawk is a mozillian, director at Innovware and consults part time for Every1Mobile.
He loves open source, the open web, writing, reading and developing literacy tools that can teach the youth around the world especially in East Africa.