2013 was a challenging but rewarding year. We moved from a development team of one to a full team of six. We took on rebuilding our small dollar program. And we played with models on how best to deliver our programming.
It seems to have paid off. We have a solid team of new leaders hitting their stride, process gaps are getting filled, and all of Mozilla is getting more excited about the potential of fundraising to bring new resources and contributors to the mission.
Most importantly: we hit our targets. We raised $10.5M in institutional funding and $1.5M in small dollar funding. I often say that fundraising is pass/fail. So, in this sense we passed.
There are things that didn’t work. Our early explorations around major donors have largely fallen flat. That said, we’ve learned a lot and have a great sense of how to structure things differently going forward. The prevalence of privacy and surveillance as an issue, our emerging partnership with civil society organizations, and our growing policy program all provide an ideal opportunity to do something huge. I’m looking forward to helping make that happen.
But the biggest challenge heading into 2014 stems from a new role. The communications and development teams have been combined into one engagement team. This larger and expanding team will be responsible for our new, unifying goal: engaging contributors.
Mozilla is a movement. When we succeed, it’s due to the individuals who give their time and resources to the mission. As competition in the browser, phones, education, and privacy space heats up, our ability to compete and win is wholly dependent on getting more people involved. That objective will be my sole focus in 2014.
Fortunately, we have an amazing group of people rallying to the call. The existing communications and development staff will be joined by new hires skilled in large-scale product marketing. We are beefing up our operational capacity by hiring a new program manager. And we are doubling down on major donors by hiring a new person to build that program.
Within the context of recruiting new contributors, my job in 2014 will consist of three objectives:
Hit targets. Success in 2014 is dependent on understanding how to plan for and achieve scale. This means an increased focus on metrics, conversion, and generally building a culture across our organization that cares about going big.
Build a service framework. We lack support infrastructure around engagement activities such as web site development, copy writing, graphic design, press relations, donor management, list growth, etc. Our current systems are the result of incremental decisions made during our rapid growth. They’re the best talented people could make happen at the time. But our current position allows for a chance to reflect on that infrastructure and think of how to make it better.
Empower new leadership. This is easily, and usually correctly, dismissed as HR tripe. But, in our case, this is make or break. There are people out there extremely skilled at what we need to do. We’ve been fortunate to have already found and hired a number of them. My job is to support people with the resources, models, and freedom to take ‘Mozilla’ and run with it.
It all starts this week. It will be tiring, largely because the EOY campaign was very stressful and I haven’t had a chance to take a break. That comes in February. But the extravert in me loves the energy of work weeks. And I’m deeply love with the team we’ve built.
I’m looking forward to it.