Now that we’ve firmly established ourselves in the new year, it seems appropriate to look back at what we’ve accomplished over the last year. 2007 was a really big year for E-Democracy.Org, with lots of exciting developments.
- 1000 New Participants: Over the course of the last year, participation in our core group of forums grew from 1750 – 2600. (We hope to have 10,000 by the end of 2008.)
- 5 New Forums: In 2007, we launched 5 new forums, bringing us up to a total of 11 forums.
- â€¢ Headington & Marston Neighbourhood Forum, Oxford (UK)
- â€¢ Central, South and West Neighbourhood Forum, Oxford (UK)
- â€¢ Greater Bedminster Neighbourhood Forum, Bristol (UK)
- â€¢ Canterbury Public Issues Forum (New Zealand)
- â€¢ Seward Neighbors Forums, Minneapolis (USA)
- Relaunch of Minnesota Politics and Issues Forum: We relaunched our oldest forum on our current web site, connecting it with our other forums. We first launched MN-Politics in 1994.
Start-A-Forum Template: We launched a beta version of our “Start-A-Forum” template, to help users walk through the process of launching their own Local Issues Forum.
During the first quater of the year and beyond, E-Democracy.Org spend alot of time looking inward. Evaluating where we were at the moment and where we wanted to go. Highlights of that process included:
- Board Retreat: Our board met face to face for the first time, since we’ve begun to expand and refresh its membership. Out of state board members from the UK and Colorado, visited Minnesota on one of the coldest days of the year for a full day of strategic planning.
Participant Survey: For the first time, we surveyed participants across our various forums to get their input on the future of our organization.
- Strategic Plan: We created and published our first ever strategic plan or our roadmap for the next 3 years.
- Budget: For the first time ever, we actually put together a detailed budget for the next year and set concrete fundraising goals.
Fundraising / Resources:
- CTEP – Americorps: We placed our first Americorps volunteer with the St. Paul E-Democracy outreach project.
Rural Voices – Online Citizen Engagement and Media: The Blandin Foundation awarded us $49,000 for an 18 month project to promote rural voices in Minnesota online (full proposal PDF).
Neighborhood Forums in High Immigrant/Communities of Color/Low Income Areas of the Twin Cities: The MSNet fund of the Minneapolis Foundation awarded us $25,000 to deepen our local e-democracy efforts in Minneapolis and St. Paul through our new neighborhood forum efforts.