July 07, 2008 | Becky Hogge

Growing the ORG community - and having fun doing it

Update: We've had quite literally tens of new supporters sign up to support ORG in the last week or so. Please keep telling your mates about Open Rights and why our issues deserve their support. Here's a recording from Open Tech, where Becky and Danny launched the ORG-GRO campaign.

Or if you want to download the MP3 ORG-GRO.mp3

ORG needs your help. Over the next five months, we want to do something really ambitious.

Not explain to MPs and record companies why DRM was a dead-end technology (done that). Not marshall a team of election observers to uncover e-voting bungling that could have swayed an election, and put electronic voting on the back-burner for years (tick). Not singlehandedly beat back the music industry's lobbying for copyright term extension in the UK (yawn, done it). Not even make sure Britain was safe for knitted Dr Who monsters everywhere (well, you get the idea).

No, what we want to do is *everything else* on our ever-growing list of digital rights fights. And to do that we need you. And your money.

And the money of all of your friends.

By December of this year, we intend to double the amount of financial support we receive directly from individuals who are concerned about the erosion of civil liberties in the digital age.

Why? Because we want ORG sustainable with money from individuals' donations. After all, we're here to protect individual rights for all tech users. And we think the best way to do that is through the direct advice and support of smart, well-informed individuals.

That's why, in 2005, ORG started with nothing more than 1,000 people pledging to give £5/month to fund a UK digital rights organisation.

Today, we receive the equivalent of roughly 750 of those fivers from ORG supporters (that's accounting for the fact that some folk give more than £5, while some chose to pay at our concessionary rate of £2.50/month). By 1 December 2008, we want that figure to be 1,500. But we won't be able to do that unless everybody gets involved and makes this happen. Here's how:

If you already support the Open Rights Group:

  • Get as many of your friends to join as you can. If every ORG supporter recruited just one of their friends, we'd reach our target. We're not beneath bribery, here: if you recruit three friends or more, we'll send you a glamorous ORG T-Shirt.
  • Double your support for ORG. If none of your friends care about digital rights, make an investment in their future now and they'll be sure to thank you later. If you double (or more!) your support to ORG, let us know and we’ll send you a special gift.
  • Do all of the above and do more. Get creative. Run a mini-ORG fundraising campaign on your blog. Approach strangers on the street. Knock on your neighbour's door. Sign up on behalf of your pets. If you've got an idea of how to enlist more people to the ORG community – go for it. If you need our help, get in touch.

If you're not already supporting the Open Rights Group

  • Start. Now. Then do all of the things we've just listed above.

1,500 regular supporters are enough to make ORG sustainable into the foreseeable future. We're not being greedy – we'll make every penny we receive from the Open Rights Group community count. To see what we'll spend your money on, click here.

This year and last we've received grants from organisations like JRRT Ltd and the Open Society Institute – for which we're very grateful. But ORG's heart lies with the views of its independent membership, and being funded direct by our community means we can represent your concerns 100%.

Over the coming months, we'll be announcing more initiatives and happenings that we think will help us reach that magic number.

And if we make it to 1,500 by December 2008, we'll throw a big party for everyone who helped us get there (note to self: do not spend all of new income on this party).

Databases that log where you go, what you buy and who you talk to and pass it on to state snoopers. Electronic elections that rob you of your right to vote. Constricted copyright laws that mean you can't even post your holiday snaps online. Every day, your digital rights are under threat. Supporting the Open Rights Group won't make it all go away, it won't mean we stop asking you to do stuff. It won't help you become even smarter and glamorous than you are now[1]. But joining the ORG community will ensure that in the corridors of Westminster, the warrens of Brussels, in the national and international media, and for years into the future that you know so well, and even now are helping to craft, your voice gets heard.

[1] Because that would be impossible.

Comments (12)

  1. The Open Rights Group : Blog Archive » Bristol calling:
    Aug 20, 2008 at 12:59 PM

    [...] been about six weeks since we launched the ORG-GRO supporter drive. We’re now over the 900 fivers mark and closing fast on the 1,000 milestone. To put the [...]

  2. poons:
    Jul 07, 2008 at 11:40 PM

    cheers Glyn - rapid response! website updated

  3. Michael:
    Jul 08, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    @Sly, great shout, and we've thought of something similar ourselves and are trying to get in touch with the show's producers. We certainly need more glam merchandise and any budding designers or sloganeers are very very welcome to have a go. Thanks.

  4. tsKegel.com/blog » Blog Archive » ORG-GRO:
    Jul 10, 2008 at 08:05 PM

    [...] Their blog post is available to read in full here. [...]

  5. GeekLawyer’s Blog » 3 strikes through the back door:
    Jul 11, 2008 at 07:53 PM

    [...] You would do well to join ORG. This entry was written by Geeklawyer, posted on July 9, 2008 at 5:24 pm, filed under Digital [...]

  6. poons:
    Jul 07, 2008 at 11:17 PM

    I'll be donating just as soon as I have my new account set up - in the meantime can you make the org donations graphic available so I can blog it?

  7. i blog, you blog, they blog, weblog » Open Tech 2008 - a quick and unhelpful summary:
    Jul 07, 2008 at 11:22 PM

    [...] Danny O’Brien (excellent as always) somehow turning the Open Rights Group talk into a revivalist meeting, as Bill Thompson led a movement of those not yet saved to come forward and be baptised (and hand over a tenner). Also, the first half of the talk was conducted entirely in Foundation references, the second half entirely in Doctor Who references. It was all very enjoyable, and a delight to see how well the completely spontaneous idea (ahem) that Open Tech 2005 came up with has progressed. If you care about any of the issues ORG fights on - privacy, e-Voting, freedom of information, copyright reform, and host of others - you should probably go and join them now. [...]

  8. Glyn:
    Jul 07, 2008 at 11:27 PM

    @poons Every thing you need should be on this url http://www.openrightsgroup.org/org-gro/

  9. Sly:
    Jul 07, 2008 at 11:34 PM

    Just a thought but maybe as the ORG sign has been used in the 'IT crowd' on channel 4, maybe we should contact the creator or production company and ask if we can produce T-shirts etc. with the leader characters on including the ORG logo of course... It'd make the merchandise abit more glam?!? throw in a few extra slogans

    I'm useless with photoshop myself but if someone could pull it together it'd be excellent for the group.

  10. Graceful Exits » Blog Archive » Remember, remember:
    Jul 23, 2008 at 08:30 PM

    [...] at No2ID about this, and rather politely he explained that, no, it wasn’t them: it was the Open Rights Group. He refrained from adding “you buffoon.” But now, thanks to mylifemyid.org, I’m a [...]

  11. John Leach’s Blog » £5/month for your digitial civil liberties:
    Jul 11, 2008 at 08:01 PM

    [...] They have a tiny staff and many other volunteers who are extremely dedicated to the cause and are working very hard for our freedoms.  They are funded entirely by donations which pays for the staff, an office and expenses of running campaigns and pestering politicians.  They’re currently hoping to push their income up so things are more sustainable. [...]

  12. Open Rights Group : : talkingCode:
    Jul 07, 2008 at 11:07 PM

    [...] Go here to find out about more about them: http://www.openrightsgroup.org/2008/07/07/growing-the-org-community-and-having-fun-doing-it/ [...]