Getting more applications 2016
Started off with a custom question on the application form from Seattle chapter: Who else would you suggest apply for the grant?
Some chapters have noticed a “sine wave of quality in submissions” - at the lowest point, all of them have potential, but they’re not the greatest applications. Possible solutions:
- Question: why would you think one of the trustees think this idea was awesome?
- How do we help bad presentations?
- ONABC pitch tool, which teaches you how to get a grant
Picking grants to find
Don’t split grants, bad things happen when people are coming in thinking it's $1000 and it only ends up being $500 Idea for giving out grant money: Bright Pink Envelopes from Amazon!
Question: do you fund grant where it's a portion of a $10K range? Not so much, if people target the grant at something specific, it seems something better The difference between a $300 event and a $1300 event is repeatability - sometimes the money will be required to just go forward
Different places to solicit applications
- Alternative gathering of pitches
- Live application solicitation at a Farmer’s Market or maker faire
- Ordering drinks in a bar and having people come in, people had a hard time following up on the ideas
Question: what do chapters do to maintain relationship with previous winners 25th Pitch Night in Boston - bring projects back
Pitch party Ottawa’s third birthday party had an amazing story about one winner turning over the prize to another applicant, which resulted in some fun media coverage
Is this worthy vs is this awesome? Ideally it’s both
On the waves of applications that go through--as word-of-mouth spreads through a group, like attracts like, so we do get waves of things How does one expand that group? Making tactical grants can come into play: do you make a grant with a group with the hopes of gaining more traction with them?
Try Themed Calls for Pitches:
- Food - (Kind of failed, need to find networks that will share and raise the organization message)
- Youth Communities
- Transportation (who rides the bus, bikes, etc.)
- ->>>> What’s your city passionate about? What’s a hot button topic? Fund that.
Roles for trustees
Residency program - Chicago chapter is looking to get more geographic representation by bringing in people from different groups to be champions of awesome, mix up the debate, vote but don’t contribute money Media student representative as unpaid internship to handle media queries and process PR person - how do other chapters do it?
Debating about how to help applicants reapply--how to suggest different approaches, rephrasing what's going on
Question about the number of applicants that a chapter gets Seattle goes from 30 applications to 3 finalists Ottawa gets more exposure when they do media - radio ads work well Chicago talked about doing a sample application -> here’s a good one and bad one
Advertising and merchandise
Advertising - billboards (Portland has had some success with partnering with The Joy Team),
A Seattle project - rain.works could have some potential
Liverpool chapter distributed pink envelopes with “open me” (very ‘Alice in Wonderland’) - containing 5 pounds and a letter about what the Awesome Foundation is - distributed throughout town and asked people to tweet what they did with the money: press and media attention
Trustees: pitch ideas to each other to create and plug marketing ideas
Marketing pitches and resources
- Marketing pitches: given that we want money to go to pitches, is it weird to spend money on advertising?
- It’s OK to take a month off and take that money to be more proactive
- T-shirt sales aren’t huge, but people tend to buy
- Dropbox full of files for all sorts of ads - vertical banner with Awesome branding, “sponsored by” gets a lot of foot traffic (Add link to Awesome Wiki, too)
- Graphic design - asked students to have new logo and branding campaign
Flyers, flyers flyers
- Advertising at sporting events with flyers - created a small little park on Parking Day
- Ottawa had somebody pack in flyers in the take-home pizza boxes from a restaurant
- Stack of flyers in an Uber or Lyft car
- Incubator sessions of ideas / implementations on YouTube - create an idea but no time to implement them
- How does one get more into maker spaces? It’s hard to organize an event, but if one can piggyback onto an existing one (there are “so many”)
- Identify your target network and think about how to reach them
- Focus a grant on another existing event like Parking Day - Bicycle Festival
- Chicago was really successful with one group of puppeteers, so much so that “We had to put a year-long moratorium on puppeteering projects”
The idea of the “hustler trustees” - identify all the local media contacts and send to them. DC does a newsletter that’s about things that are not just about Awesome but other quirky winners as well. Portland did spend a lot of time on Facebook updates, sending notices of other projects, but there wasn't much impact on applications from it (but it was great to get the word out)