ROI microgrant HowTo

I have some "rules" regarding which projects I take on and for what price.

The rules are very simple:

  • If the project is boring and routine, I will try to do it as fast as possible. Generally projects of this nature are websites that do not include new features or work that is beyond my knowledge. This type of work is quick and high quality because I have done many of such sites in the past. I usually charge a sizable fee for this type of work.
  • If the project is interesting and I haven’t done anything like it before, I dedicate more of my time to it in order to check for and correct bugs. Considering this is also a learning process from which I benefit and given that I have little experience in these types of projects, I actually charge less for these.
  • If the project is somehow related to Jewish life (EG/ a community site, an ‘app’ for a Jewish calendar, etc.) and I am familiar with the work that needs to be done, I give a 30% discount off my regular prices. That way, I know I have made somewhat of a contribution to something I find important and identify with.
  • If the project is somehow related to Jewish life and the work that I need to do is new to me, I ask for very little in terms of remuneration.

With regards to the final rule, I would like to mention the latest project I released – Toldot siddur app for Android.

In the beginning of summer, I got a proposal from the IT specialist of the site Toldot.ru. Recently they managed to release Toldot siddur app for iOS and got an idea to make same app for Android.

The main unique features of this app:
– Ashkenaz and Sephard nusach siddur translated to Russian;
– Some prayers are transliterated with Cyrillic letters; and
– Convenient navigation among chapters.

I agreed with pleasure to work on this project and from my preliminary research, I believed there would not be excessive work to do since certain open source (OS) technologies were expected to be available that would help me develop the app. However, in actual fact, the work took much longer than anticipated, mostly due to technical aspects and limitations of Android OS of various versions.

When I realized that my work would be much more labor intensive, spoke to Elissa Krycer who recommended that I apply for a Micro Grant from ROI Community to help me with the app. In all honesty, I hesitated before applying because I wasn’t sure how my work might fit within the framework of the Micro Grant program.

No’a Gorlin clarified that I could apply for a “Go Learn!” Micro Grant and it was amazing how quickly I received a response regarding my application – in just three hours I received notification that my request had been approved!

Due to my work on Toldot siddur app, I had to turn down several other projects and while the app is already available in Google Play, the work is not yet complete. There are certain issues I am already aware of and I am sure, even more will arise and come to our attention courtesy of users who rely on the "zoo" of Android powered devices. The grant I received from ROI Community allowed me remain dedicated to the Jewish project I had decided to undertake, without feeling sorry for myself about other (income-based) opportunities I had to forgo (in order to complete the app).

I participated only in one event organized by ROI – JPropel and it was wonderful experience. I do plan to come some day to some other gathering of ROI members and I would like to advise initiators and brave Jewish social entrepreneurs to take a chance and (seek to) participate in ROI events. This will not only help drive and power your work but (it may) also open possibilities to apply for wonderful opportunities like the ROI Micro Grants program.

Here is the blog post on ROI site Learning with the help of ROI