By Jeremy Taub, Executive Director, OpenAQ
Growing now more than ever
While 2020 is not even over, the past year has been a time of incredible accomplishment and growth for OpenAQ and the OpenAQ community, despite challenges posed by the pandemic, and a number of ongoing social and ecological struggles. With the help of community contributions, the OpenAQ platform has grown to host over 700 million data points from 95 countries, and monthly API requests are now averaging 40 million. Among other things, we have extended the availability of data from the API from 90 days to 2 years, launched a Research Data Upload Tool, shared a Beta version of a new Averaging endpoint, and will soon be launching more tools and initiatives like our snapshot tool and low cost sensor pilot that will harmonize a greater variety of air quality data onto our platform, and engage and expand the number of users who access and utilize data to fight air inequality. We have just launched recruitment for our inaugural Community Ambassador program, which will provide new opportunities for us to extend our impact, leveraging our data to create engagement with new community and regional air quality efforts across the Global South and in marginalized communities in the US.
Continuing Our Growth
All of this work is made possible through the contributions of our community, and through financial support from several exceptional institutional funders and partners committed to our work. While we remain an agile organization whose impact continues to be much greater than the work of any one person, this growth has also been enabled by the growth of our team to three full-time staff. In the fall as our amazing founder, Christa, moved on, we also brought on a new Executive Director, Jeremy Taub to lead our next chapter. We recognize that if we want to keep this pace of growth, expand our community, and further our fight against air inequality, AND remain an open source platform where data is available to everyone for free, we need to develop new financial resources including unrestricted funding that allows us to be flexible, and to support the infrastructure and continued growth of our organization into the future. One way we are doing this is by participating in GivingTuesday in 2020.
What is GivingTuesday and what does this mean for OpenAQ?
GivingTuesday is a global movement started in 2012 focused on generosity and supporting nonprofits, and taking place the Tuesday following the US Thanksgiving holiday. This year, GivingTuesday will take place on Tuesday, December 1st. GivingTuesday is an opportunity to create awareness and bring in new friends and contributors (both financial and otherwise) to nonprofits through a targeted campaign. As part of GivingTuesday, OpenAQ will take this opportunity to raise individual funds, which is new for our organization. Our participation, however, is much more than just raising funds. We see this as a key opportunity to keep fighting to end air inequality by raising awareness about our work more broadly, and bringing in new community members and contributors to the platform. As importantly, we see GivingTuesday as a way to give thanks to and celebrate our community, board, advisory board, and the many champions who have supported and continue to support us in so many different ways. To show their gratitude and to celebrate our community, a generous donor will be matching donations on a 1/1 basis up to $5000 dollars as part of our campaign.
We will be sharing more about GivingTuesday and our campaign in the next two weeks, but we wanted to provide some details in the name of transparency as to why we are taking this step, given that this represents a new direction for OpenAQ. If you are interested in getting involved in this campaign and helping spread the word, or have any questions or comments, do please reach out to us at email@example.com. We look forward to our continued work together!