[UPDATE] WE SOLD 'EM ALL, RAISING $2,625 for SCRIPTED!
It took a few months, but our experiment of upcycling our unused tokens into fundraising keepsakes finally paid off! It accomplished a whole lot of win in one fell swoop:
- Raising $2,625 for ScriptEd, a NYC-based organization that does amazing work in the local tech community.
- Increasing BrooklynJS ticket availability through reserved ticket bundling.
- Letting me work on a creative physical project with my pals @brianloveswords, @kosamari, and @philduffy.
- Taking bags and bags of unused tokens out of my tiny Brooklyn walkup closets.
Here's the total breakdown by plaque price:
Read on if you'd like to learn more about how and why we created these plaques.
tl;dr: We're selling commemorative plaques containing the tokens we custom 3D-printed for every BrooklynJS event, to help ScriptEd give kids in under-resourced schools the skills they need to access to careers in technology.
But when our first batch of tickets sold out within an hour, we realized that the lack of events wasn't a reflection of demand; folks in the community just needed a venue to hang out and talk shop with each other. And when demand for our event continued to outstrip our seat count, the community picked up the slack, and within a year, the metro area saw the start of ManhattanJS, JerseyScript, and QueensJS, all of which now routinely sell to capacity.
And one interesting thing we did early on to increase our fundraising for ScriptEd was make custom 3d-printed tokens to each attendee, to be redeemed for a craft beer or kept as a contribution. And as counterintuitive as it may sound, it worked; even though we spend $200 more to print the tokens, enough people keep them that we can decrease our bar tab and increase our donation.
But as the number of redeemed tokens grew month after month, it was clear that they deserved a better place than the dark closet of my small Brooklyn apartment. So we've decided to seek a better home for them. And we hope it'll be yours.
So we're selling commemorative plaques containing all 13 tokens we'll ever make, from #3 to #F (we use hexadecimal to fit the event number into the low-res output of the 3D printer).
Each plaque is made from solid birch ply, with the MTA-inspired BrooklynJS logo laser-etched in the corner, and each token we've ever made. It's signed on the back by Brian and me, and comes in a properly Brooklyn burlap bag. And each plaque comes with a ticket to attend Boroughgramming and BrooklynJS #17 (#cedar), on March 19th.