For the first time in LeipGlo.com’s five years of existence, we have started a crowdfunding campaign. Besides burning through my savings to keep LeipGlo going, my small team and I had been getting a little bit of money to buy us time towards eventual sustainability mostly from our job fairs and job ads.
Now, that has dried up due to the coronavirus crisis, as companies see themselves having to hold off on hiring new people and we can neither organize events nor get new ads. We have applied for the lowest category of government stimulus money but are not sure we can even get that.
Thinking of a way to help not only ourselves but also other struggling businesses, we launched a GoFundMe campaign last week to create a listing of activities, services and resources available during the Covid-19 crisis.
Some were quick to donate or spread the word, while others were skeptical. As we re-promoted the campaign on social media yesterday, hoping to reach the rest of the goal before finalizing the platform, we received the following comment/question from a reader:
To be honest I really don’t understand why you need money for this? All of the community initiatives you mention wanting to list are building their own databases voluntarily and without such fundraising drives. Could you please be a little more transparent and explain what the money is for and where exactly it will go?
To address the question, in summary, the database would serve to promote local small businesses’ remaining or changing functions to our audience, as well as aggregating essential information and solidarity actions to be easily accessible in one place, in English. We’ve been working hard to enable community interactivity with the platform. We tried to explain our main objectives in the crowdfunding campaign, but have come to understand that they need elaboration, when we had not expressed such urgency to our readers before.
I admit that I have also grown accustomed to getting information online for free. Plus, for the past five years, we largely acted like everything was all right except for reminding people once in a while of the PayPal donation system we had set up on our website. Which is a website that looks good and like it may have some sort of investment behind it. Well, it does not. It was built by volunteers.
We have harbored and announced big ambitions but lost many of our contributors because they needed a stable money source to eat and pay their rent, an elusive goal for LeipGlo that actually needs to be in place before any more growth is possible.
So while we love to serve the community without asking for money, we have come to the point where we can no longer keep going without it. Our time is as valuable as yours and, just like most of you, we are neither keen nor able to work professionally without pay. We should get some compensation for helping internationals get jobs, find doctors, navigate bureaucracy, watch movies in the original, and stay informed and entertained with regularly published quality content. And now, although it’s not pleasant for us, we need to actively campaign for some money to keep going, to at least buy us some more time, as we build yet another time- and labor-intensive resource to help ourselves and the community get through challenging times.
After all, our whole project has been built around helping the international-minded community make it in the Leipzig area. And you probably know how hard that can be even under the best of circumstances.
LeipGlo was never just about making money for ourselves, and we stay true to our mission even as we fight for our own survival.
This is your chance to give back for the past five years and get a shiny new platform/database in return. We wouldn’t ask for money if you were getting nothing useful out of it. We realize that everyone is going through hard times, but if you have even a euro or two to spare, that would already be quite helpful and mean so much to us.