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July 26, 2012 / Ben Simon

“The world I want to live in”

Over the past few weeks,we’ve made our first attempts to directly fundraise based on our Webmaker initiative.

We led off, two weeks ago, with a monthly donation appeal focused on the core Webmaker program and the need for consistent support. Last week, we switched the focus to more about who some of the new webmakers are that this program is enabling, highlighted by this awesome “Meet the Webmakers” video:

Unfortunately, neither of those did particularly well. I wanted to try a different, more political tack, which is why I care about what we’re doing. In particular, I wanted to explicitly lay out the long-term, world altering vision behind the webmaker initiative, that goes beyond the present tense of enabling people to make awesome stuff on the Web (which is, on its own, awesome).

I’m pleased to be able to say that it does seem to be working better than the first two appeals we tried. It’s not going crazy gangbusters — we still have had more success asking people to donate $30 for a t-shirt — but it does seem to be resonating.

Here’s the appeal. Would love to hear what you think!

From: Me
Subject: The world I want to live in

Hi there,

I care about the Mozilla Webmaker program (I mean, I’d better, right?). But not for the reason you might think.

Yes, I want people to make awesome stuff and express themselves on the Web using our projects and resources. But here’s why I really care about it:

Because I want to live in a world where a proposal that could destroy the Web like SOPA or PIPA or ACTA would simply get laughed out of the room, no matter how powerful its proponents.

Right now, whether we’re talking about Washington or Brussels; Moscow, Ottawa or New Delhi, governments and leaders hold in their hands the power to let the Web flourish or to destroy it — and often they simply don’t understand what they’re dealing with.

But if, together, we can create a world where everyone grows up not just using the Web, but actively making it their own and learning how it works? That’s the world I want to live in.

It won’t be easy, and it cannot happen overnight. That’s why I’m asking you to help make it a reality, by chipping in $5 or more right now.

How do we do it? By building a movement of educators and contributors, kids and parents, learners and community leaders all working together to open the Web up for any and all to come together and make their mark. And by doing it together with the individuals, nonprofits, companies and governments who share our vision.

We’ve got an early set of resources — projects, tools and events — at, but it’s just the beginning. Thousands of budding webmakers across the world have already gotten their first taste through the Summer Code Party.

But where we’re talking in the hundreds and thousands now, we need to be talking in the hundreds of thousands in a few years’ time. And we’ll only get there if you’re with us, from the start.

So what do you say? Can you make a donation of $5 or more, to help create a better world for us all?

Thank you,


P.S. — This is a long-term project, but threats to the Web won’t stop in the meantime. That’s why we’ve helped found the Internet Defense League, it’s why we’re a founding signer of the Declaration of Internet Freedom, and it’s why we’re going to play a role in important policy fights as they come. But we also need to be playing the long game, and we need your support if we’re going to be successful. Please chip in today:

Ben Simon
Sr. Manager of Organizing
Mozilla Foundation

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