What’s next? Stretch goals!
Thank you! Your support has been amazing. We are overwhelmed and thrilled to see such an engaged group of people who are committed to making access to government information as easy as possible.
Now that we have surpassed our initial goal, it's fair to ask how that extra money will be used. Quite simply, it will go towards making FOIA Machine a better product.
We've more than doubled our funding, but we aren't stopping there. There are still many features and ideas that we want to build upon. That's why we're going for a stretch goal of $50,000 on Kickstarter.
$50,000: Five FOIA events in five states
FOIA Machine relies on an engaged group of users, who share their knowledge for the betterment of others. We want to engage with those people and improve open access.
If we reach our stretch goal of $50,000, we will host five open-records training and “data-thon” sessions in five different states. During those events, we will show how the platform works, improve local contacts and legal knowledge in FOIA MAchine for those states, and start a conversation about the best way to improve government access in those states.
Think of it like a hack-a-thon, but with a focus on building knowledge and not just tools. We know that the power to improve open government is a group effort and we want to get that group together to start talking.
Plus: More features!
Our initial goal allowed for a seriously shoestring budget. With the additional money, we can work on some great features to make FOIA Machine more useful:
- Add more support for social interactions, like following other users’ requests and building an embeddable widget allowing others to publicly show their support for your request.
- Fulfilled FOIA requests generally have attachments with them that contain important data that might be useful to others. We’ll build an interface to expose the database of documents that result from public FOIA requests for anyone to search and download.
- Build a more robust database of public records laws and local contacts.Finish our API so that all the statistics for agency response times and public records laws are available to external applications.
- Additional funding will cover at least one year of additional hosting, depending on FOIA Machine traffic.
- We’ll compile an annual report on FOIA compliance based on data generated by our users and data compiled by the federal government.
- We’ll compose helpful videos to walk users through the process of using FOIA Machine and detail tips for filing more successful requests.
- Now that we have some financial wiggle room, we can spend more time improving the system based on how users actually use it!
Support of FOIA Machine through this Kickstarter and interest we’ve gotten from elsewhere shows us there is already a community of users ready to get started. We want FOIA Machine to be as easy and responsive as possible for all of those people.
Your support will help make that happen.