MozFest is Mozilla’s largest annual, public-facing event. Its purpose is to gather bright minds from around the world to envision — and build — a better web. Fundraising has traditionally had a fairly low profile at MozFest; the event is more about fostering collaboration between the science, journalism, advocacy, education and coding communities than attracting collaborators to Mozilla-specific initiatives. But, in the past few years there have been a number of creative sessions and activities that have allowed festival attendees to contribute to the Mozilla Foundation’s fundraising projects.
Building Fundraising Apps
In 2013, Bobby Richter ran a session called ‘Pass the App’ to prototype a simple widget that anyone could use (and customize) in order to accept Paypal payments for their favourite cause. Fun fact: Among the MozFest newbies that attended Bobby’s Pass the App hackjam was Adam Lofting, who later came to work at the Mozilla Foundation and now plays a key role on the Fundraising Team! Read Adam’s Pass the App blog to see how we lured him in.
Localizing in Person
Localizers are critical to the success of the fundraising program. They bridge the gap between our English-based fundraising team and our many supporters across the globe. But our localizers are spread out all over the world – we rarely get to meet them in person, let alone work alongside each other. This year, Ali Al Dallal held two localization sessions at MozFest. At the request of the participants, the second session focused on the challenge of languages that read right to left (unlike English which reads left to right). The group devised a solution for implementing RTL languages on our donation form, paving the way for us to reach our Arabic, Hebrew, Syriac and Urdu communities.
Thanking our Donors
Donor stewardship is, quite frankly, an area our team can improve in. The new, more robust infrastructure we’ve built (plus a much-anticipated new hire) will allow us to do a much better job of stewardship in the years to come. In the meantime, we’re having fun with a tried-and-true initiative: hand-written thank you cards. At MozFest 2015, we created an area where attendees could take a moment to hand-write a card for the generous donors who help make Mozilla’s work to protect the open web possible. We’re looking forward to mailing these heartfelt messages of thanks to some of our donors around the world.