We've all hit that slump before. How do you break it?
How do you get more gems?
People have an easier time coming up with ideas if they see something else.
Stickers are great. Give them to everyone. Reach out to the groups you want to apply, or people already doing the type of projects you want to fund. Doing PR to get in all the local weekly news and mainstream press. NPR story helped. The projects you fund get the word out, so you get more of those. Actively soliciting grants from people in the past who seem creative. Business cards to give out to people who seem special. If you've talked to people ahead of time, a trustee knows someone, they can champion the idea. Making friends and actively pushing people to apply. Telling your friends. Going back to people who were on the short list. Some chapters allow trustees to re-nominate an app from a couple months. How can we leverage our trustees existing relationships better? Adding "how do you find out about us?" to the application in the optional questions.
In direct ways of sharing "What Awesome Is" - Awesome Camp (inspire/give examples/other people to interact with), individual blog posts from different trustees. Toronto wanted to have a weekend long camp to bring together all the people and short list, and then it got to processy so they stopped.
Our form doesn't help people express their ideas clearly. We could ask different questions to get different results - "who are you trying to impact?" Might also be able to add copy explaining what types of things would be helpful to include in the project text box. Sample application of someone who is wrong.
How do you leverage past winners to spread the word?
Is it okay to ask grantees for this? Where is the line? What's the line for inserting yourself? Don't guide the applications.
How does press impact your apps?
Affects quantity, not quality (but more apps means more better apps). Do we have analytics on the website?
Do we have a list of all applicants? Telling the alumni about the grant deadline. Collaborating and cross promoting with other groups. If you have to repeatedly push someone to submit, will they really follow through on doing it once they have the funding? We could make a list of all the awesome projects we like (giant hammock) so people can replicate them in other places. Natural ebb and flow of applications. Do people pitch to universities? Another possible org to partner with: Dorkbot Another possible org to talk at: TEDX Idea: If each trustee had a page of my favorite kinds of projects. Continually reach out to different audiences and different partners. Keeping projects diverse. "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've already got." Different types of press reaches different people. Neighborhood organizations. General discussion around "coaching." Awesome Food does constant rolling of applications.
What could we do that would be weird? How could we work with media to do a regular column about Awesome? We'll supply you about one item of Awesome per week. We have tumblr "found awesome." How do we segment our media? Media is important to get people we wouldn't talk to.
Awesome is inspiring.
iftt.com (if this than that, blog readership improvement tips) as a tool.
Giving people an Awesome badge to put on their page.
Creating aggregation of what trustees are already doing.
Sharing "wrap up" email.
Chapters having issues
How do you break out work to keep sustained interest? Reverse grant - "we'll give $1000 to do THIS" (i.e. copying balloonacy from SF). Debate around if this is "strings attached."