Logistics & Finance Preparation
Once you’ve decided your initiative you need to think if you will need swag and budget to support them. In this section of the training we will go through both of the swag and budget requests.
In order to know if you will need swag for an initiative ask yourself this question:
- How the swag that I will give will help me or the Rep organizer have a better event?
Important: Make sure that you are submitting a swag request at least 1 month before the event. So having a confirmed set date for the event is really important.
Pro Tip: Swag are a great conversation starter. Try to give them out once you engage into a conversation or at the end of your event. In that way you will have passed your message along. Also don’t give high price swag like t-shirts to random people or to all attendees of an event. That way the t-shirt is losing its meaning. Instead give them as prizes at the end of a hackathon.
Check also how to motivate volunteers guide from Daniele
In order to know the quantities of the swag you can request, you can check our SOP. Remember that our Resources are not unlimited and we try to serve all communities around the world.
Important: Swag will help your initiative but shouldn’t be the reason that attendees appear. If you hear things like: “with no t-shirts nobody will come” ask yourself and the local Mozillians: “do people come only for the swag? And if yes then maybe we attract the wrong kind of people?” Yes, swag can be a motivation but shouldn’t be the only attraction reason.
So you believe your initiative needs budget or another Mozillian is approaching you for help with budget. That’s totally ok! The Reps program has a dedicated budget to use for community driven initiatives. However, the budget is not unlimited and it’s here to serve all communities around the globe. So treat it wisely when you request budget, like it is your own money.
Important: Make sure that you are submitting a request at least 3 weeks before the event
In order to request budget you can follow the following steps:
Step 1: Ensure that the initiative is aligned with Mozilla
As explained on the “goal of the event - Content Preparation” part of the training, ensure that your event has aligned goals, metrics and an agenda before you start thinking about the budget. It is important that your initiative is well aligned with Mozilla’s goals and it will result to impactful results.
Step 2: Make a list of the items you will need
Start by making a simple list of things that will need budget. For example you might need food for attendees in an all night hackathon. List down the items/services you will need by dividing them into 2 sections: necessary and nice to have.
Pro Tip: You don’t know if the item you are requesting is supported by the program? You can check the SOP section. In case that your item doesn’t appear there, don’t worry. E-mail the Review Team and tell them the idea you have.
Step 3: Write down the costs
This is where you’re writing down how much each item costs. In order to do so fill in the following budget breakdown template. Here is how:
Firstly write down the items in the Items/Service section.
- Then write down the cost in your local currency on the Budget (local) field. For example if you are from India, write the cost in INR
- Following, write down the exchange rate on the exchange rate cell using google or oanda exchange rate. If you’re from India write: “1INR to USD” and it will give you the current exchange rate.
Important: Do not fill the Budget USD field, it will be autocompleted.
Pro Tip 1: check 2-3 alternatives for the same item. For example if you’re looking to hire a venue, check with 2-3 local venues and choose the best option possible.
Pro Tip 2: be smart when you’re looking around. Try to minimize your budget as much as possible. For example, instead of a venue, check at your local hackerspace, this will also create a great collaboration with other open source communities. Or if you’re a small group of people instead of a collab place, check a local coffee shop or a university’s lab.
To be clear, if you need to bring people from other cities/countries, and if you need to book venue, hotel, etc. The objectives of the event and metrics you select needs to be very solid. There’s no point to make an event if you don’t have support from your local community, and you need to spend thousands in secure services with vendors (hotel, transportation, etc).
Bringing people from other cities/countries need to be justified with solid reasons. A brief check can include:
- Aren’t any good resources in the local community?
- What is the value of bringing this/these person/s?
- How will these people empower the event/community?
- Why they need to come, and what will be their roles?
Step 4: Fill the budget request form
Now is the time where you need to present the information you have gathered to the Review-Team. Remember, the Review Team might not be aware of the local community’s aspirations or not fully be aware of local customs. Try to provide as much information you can in advance so they can review your request on time.
Important: The Review Team will ask you questions in order to understand your initiative and why your budget is needed. Try to reply by giving all the information needed as soon as possible. The Review Team is volunteers like you that are managing a lot of requests and trying to do the best thing possible. Remember that they are here to help and they mean well.
Here is how you will fill the budget request. If you’re not the organizer of the event, fill this together with your fellow Mozillian by asking him/her the same questions you would ask yourself.
Functional Goals: write down here which functional team inside Mozilla your initiative supports and which goals your initiative will serve (check session the simple 3 questions, contribute to Mozilla’s goals)
Event Goals: write down the goal(s) of your event. (Check session define your goal)
Why is budget needed: Write here why you think budget is necessary. For example, we are going to have a booth in a local open source event and we need tickets for the bus.
Agenda Link: link here the agenda you’ve built (check building the agenda)
Once you click submit, your budget will be sent to either one Review Team member (<500USD) or the whole Review Team (>500 USD).
TIP: In the case of that you’re not the organizer of the event, do not forget to cc the original requester at the bug. Also remember to always add the bug on the event page