Okay, let me clarify my initial proposal. I will refer to your comments on the fly.
Proposals (1) & (4)
Here, my main point is that fundraising should become a continuous activity, driven by an agenda similar to the development roadmap. Such an agenda would entail things as applying for fund XY or certain steps involved in the planning of a crowdfunding campaign. I am aware that fundraising is time-consuming and I agree with @djahnie and @tomasz that it should not happen at the expense of other tasks in the long run. However, in the short term, we naturally have to sacrifice some time to kick-start the fundraising process. Once this process is set up, fundraising will help us to increase Karrot’s global impact, and help us to meet the needs of a growing number of Karrot user groups.
Okay, that was quite abstract, I admit.
So here are some more practical ideas what we could and should do to get started:
- We should communicate that we are looking for funds, and how funding will help Karrot to grow. For example, we could create an info page about funding and add a link to it in the top navigation bar of foodsaving.world.
- We might want to discuss which legal entity fits best for Karrot, and then create one. A legal entity inspires confidence to potential sponsors and lowers the barrier to transfer money.
- We should call for collaboration with respect to fundraising. As far as I know, so far we have been actively searching for developers only. How about looking for a new team member dedicated to fundraising, using the Karrot communication channels?
Proposals (2) & (3)
Here, I suggested to offer paid services. Let me explain what I am thinking of.
First of all, I agree with @djahnie that a freemium model is not a good solution for Karrot.
Moreover, no Karrot group should ever have the feeling it is not taken care of if it does not support us financially.
However, our capacities are limited so we can only support Karrot groups as time permits. Also, the number of features as well as groups will hopefully continue to grow, right? Therefore, I really think we should incentivise the groups to support us in turn, too.
After thinking about incentives for a while, I have the feeling that the following two are most promising:
Karrot Maintenance. I think this is a good incentive because no group depends on this service. A group can always look for its own IT admin. Still, it might be more convenient for them to have us maintain their Karrot instance. Moreover, this way they could benefit from our expertise.
Feature Prioritisation. I am quite fond of this idea, although it creates a slight disadvantage for groups just starting (and @djahnie does not like that). However, the disadvantage is very small as we would work on non-prioritised features, too, just with lower priority. Also, prioritised features would not be exclusive for the groups who “paid” for it. On the contrary, all groups would benefit from them. Apart from that, I believe feature prioritisation fits well for Karrot since it can help to tackle the issue of “lost funding”. It has happened in the past that groups received grants to kick-start foodsaving in their areas. However, instead of collaborating with us, they decided to have their own software tool developed. This is sad. Apparently, Karrot did not fully meet their expectations and they doubted we would be able to implement what they were missing soon enough. Now what if they had had the chance to prioritise desired features such that they could have expected them to be ready soon? And then one final thought. Apart from groups just starting, I think feature prioritisation also has the potential to motivate existing groups to support us. For example, imagine a group would like to have Karrot available on iOS. Imagine further we add this feature request to our backlog where it resides for couple of months because we are busy with other things. Thanks to feature prioritisation, the group does not have to abandon the iOS app to its fate. Instead, they can get engaged in fundraising with a clear goal in mind, namely enabling us to launch that app as soon as possible.
Does this make any sense to you guys?