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this is an INCOMPLETE DRAFT - Jan 2 2009 

Context: 2009 MozFdn ops plan

2009 was a productive year for Mozilla Foundation. We now have a major new program ready to go and a stronger ability to support the core Mozilla community. The Foundation team and the organization are on much more solid footing than they were in 2008.

At the beginning of 2009, we decided to engage in a number experiments and conversations to uncover new program possibilities for the Foundation. The ideas we explored included education, research, open video, open government, hybrid orgs and more. We stepped back to assess in the summer. Building on our learning from the first half of the year, we agreed to develop one large, ambitious program that would grow a new community of Mozillians. This new community would not focus on building core internet technology, but rather on *using* this technology in novel ways to make the web more open. This program became Drumbeat.

Early in the year, we also decided early that we needed to build up our ability to support the existing community. Much of this effort focused on telling the Mozilla story more effectively and resolving community issues in areas like governance. Our aim was to simultaneously improve our ability to support the work of the broader Mozilla community and rebuild community confidence in the Foundation.

As a result of these efforts, Mozilla Foundation's goals for 2010 and beyond are now clear. The new Drumbeat initiative will help internet users around the world better understand, participate and control of their online lives. And the foundation will also continue to carry the Mozilla flag as the leading public benefit organization promoting an open internet and serve as a governance and support structure for existing community efforts.

This report provides a brief overview of MoFo achievements and learning from 2009 as well as a preview of where we're headed in 2010. For people interested in more detail, see also: the original 2009 plan which this document uses as a framework and MoFo 2010 plan.

Things we achieved

1. We agreed on a vision for Mozilla Foundation's primary new effort for the coming years: Drumbeat. Premised on the idea that there are many ways to make the internet better and more open, Drumbeat will dramatically expand the ways that web users can get participate in the Mozilla community. Our many small program experiments and community conversations from the first half of 2009 helped to shape Drumbeat.

2. We built up our skills as flag carrier for Mozilla's story -- clearly communicating our role as the leading public benefit organization promoting an open internet. This included the successful re-launch of as well as a number of efforts to improve the language and branding we use to describe Mozilla. We also built the foundations for a new fundraising and engagement program that will roll out during 2010.

3. Our experiments in education to the expansion of Mozilla courses from a single college in Canada to x colleges and y students on z continents. Students are working on both core software projects like Firefox and on promising projects like Processing.js which are on the outer edges of Mozilla's work. This effort taught us the collaborating with universities isn't just a 'program' -- it's a ongoing skill and function needs to be integrated into the Mozilla community.

4. By the end of the year, we found focus and traction with core community support efforts. In particular, we helped resolve several long-standing governance issues, developed tools to help people innovate how they use Bugzilla and created new methods for recruiting volunteers to work on core Mozilla technology projects. During 2010, the plan is to develop community feedback loops that make this work more nimble and responsive.

5. With the global financial crisis as a backdrop, we streamlined finances and found cost savings. While we did much more in 2009 than in 2008, we were still able to lower operating and program expenses by 15% ($1.8m in 2008 vs. $1.5m in 2009).

In addition, we also explored a number of additional program ideas -- hybrid orgs, Mozilla Research, Powered by Mozilla amongst them. These ideas were either dropped or put on hold by then end of 2009. See the MoFo 2009 goals and priorities review for more details.

Challenges we faced

1. With the exception of some success in education, we did little to meet our goal of expand Foundation programs to key geographies such as Europe, Brasil and India. This was due to both the small scale nature of our program experiments and the lack of team members focused on regional outreach. Drumbeat should help us make progress on this front in 2010.

2. We had limited success attracting new volunteers and community members to work directly on Mozilla Foundation efforts during the first part of 2009. While few people stepped forward to work on, we had difficulty deploying them. Early indications are that Drumbeat is changing this: a number of new community members have already stepped forward with project ideas and offers of help.

3. Our first fundraising and engagement experiments didn't yield the results we'd hoped for. In particular, neither Service Week nor One Web Day yielded significant donations or new community members. There are a number of likely reasons -- the wrong 'cause' for Service Week, ad hoc strategy for One Web Day and overall lack of fundraising and engagement web instrastructure. We have plans to address all of these issues in 2010 fundraising efforts.

Where we're headed next

We have three main goals for 2010:

  1. Mozilla Drumbeat. Introduce Drumbeat to the world. Build compelling projects and vibrant community.
  2. Mozilla Core. Find simple and novel ways to make the existing Mozilla community more productive, cohesive and understandable.
  3. Fundraising and engagement. Strengthen Mozilla's position as the leading publicly supported charity building and protecting the open Internet.

See more detail on our planning page.


Feedback is very much encouraged, especially from Mozilla community members. Please post comments in response to [add link to blog posting]

See also 2009 status reports: Jan | Feb | March | May | July | Sept | Nov