What’s up w/ MoFo – May Update

May 20, 2009 § 3 Comments

Here is a brief Mozilla Foundation status update that I shared at this week’s board meeting.

Building on the team priorities list posted in early April, the MoFo team is focused on a small number of activities aimed at having impact in impact in 2009 as well as creating a framework for future growth. Current highlights:

  • Programs. Good early results from education, contact with 25+ colleges. Accessibility plan ready and gathering comments.
  • Communications. Collaboration across Mozilla on mission messaging increasing, plus mozilla.org redesign and recruitment for fundraising manager going well.
  • Community. People ping us regularly with ideas. We aren’t well set up to respond. This should improve somewhat when Gerv Markham returns full time.
  • Org Development. Board development proposal on table. Staff-wise, MoFo team becoming stronger and more focused.

More details on each of these areas are outlined below.


  • 2009 team goal: develop a small handful of programs that go beyond software as a way to promote Mozilla’s mission (e.g. education).
  • On track and good early results from Mozilla Education, especially at college level.
    • Seneca in contact w/ 25+ colleges, w/ at least five good leads for colleges that will offer Mozilla courses this fall. Students from 14 schools already doing projects.
    • Major roadblock is building deeper / wider involvement from Mozilla community, getting people to see students more systematically as new contributor pool.
    • Online courses by Mozilla Labs and Mozilla / Creative Commons demonstrated there is interest for more general education products, but implementation bumpy.
  • Draft accessibility plan circulating for comment. Focus on 1) ubiquitous a11y and 2) integrating a11y deeply into innovation and product development. See Section 7 below.
    • a11y = good opportunity for Foundation leadership and story telling here, and possibly also fundraising. However, specific projects quite tied to product and open web tech.
  • While no progress on big picture plan for Mozilla Research, interest is bubbling up.
    • Could make progress by a) starting a public conversation w/ people who have expressed interest (now) and doing small MozResearchCamp on specific topic (Q3).
  • Building good framework for growth in strategic programs over the term.
    • Team learning how to run programs in leveraged, open manner.
    • Making progress on grant coordination system across Mozilla orgs.


  • 2009 team goal: dramatically increase awareness of Mozilla’s mission and public benefit nature amongst the broader public.
  • Working closely people across Mozilla to better message Mozilla’s mission and status as a public benefit organization.
    • Includes overall messaging, plus Mozilla Service Day and local Mozilla events.
  • mozilla.org redesign moving, forcing us to work harder on mission-focused web content.
    • Attracting interest and new volunteers to MoFo, which is one of our goals.
    • Should launch as planned end Q2 or start Q3 within budget. May benefit by investing in more more features and content later, but no concrete plans yet.
  • Organizing hybrid summit‘ in June to learn from other organizations like Mozilla.
    • Aim is also to get media coverage and start public conversation on hybrid orgs.
  • Recruiting for fundraising and communications manager progressing well.


  • 2009 team goal: improve the Foundation’s ability to support, strengthen and grow the Mozilla community.
  • Some of this just happens naturally through other activities. However, generally get the feeling that Mozilla community expects more from us here.
    • People ping us regularly on items like project-wide metrics, the community directory, bringing in new contributors, innovating infrastructure like Bugzilla.
    • There are also issues like updating module ownership where we could to move the conversation forward.
  • Will be better able to respond on some of these things when Gerv becomes available full time in July. From there, we can assess and look at how to apply resources in 2010.

Organizational Development

  • 2009 team goal: consolidate and strengthen the Foundation team, and develop a long term vision that clarifies the Foundation’s role within Mozilla.
  • Pending decisions at this meeting, board expansion begins soon. Hopefully two new board members by year end.
  • Plan is to loop back to vision and roadmap process in September. Should ask vision questions quite broadly, more so than in previous roadmap discussion.

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