When we restarted the New York City PostgreSQL User Group (NYCPUG) in April 2010, about 15 of us gathered in a conference room that we had rented near Penn Station and talked about what we wanted to get out of the user group. At the time, we had about 40 people on the mailing list and absolutely no momentum behind our user group.
Fast-forward to January 2014, NYCPUG is now the largest PostgreSQL User Group in the United States with almost 850 people (and growing) on the mailing list and a monthly attendance that averages around 50.
There are many factors that made this growth possible, including the rising popularity of PostgreSQL usage and being in a metropolitan area with over 23 million people; this does provide us with a large addressable audience. However, because we compete for the peoples’ attention with in a city littered with large tech meetup groups, we sometimes need to provide some incentives to make sure we have both attendees and speakers present.
Because our monthly meetups usually start at 6:30pm, we try to offer food (pizza) and beverages (soda, beer) so our attendees do not worry about being hungry. Sometimes, our meetup hosts have graciously provide food, and other times where we, as the organizers, pick up the tab.
By partnering with the United States PostgreSQL Association (PG.US), NYCPUG was able to easily acquire nonprofit (501(c)(3)) status and also have some money allocated in the overall PG.US budget towards our monthly expenses. Additionally, PG.US can help us sponsor speakers to fly to New York to present at one of our meetups!
With PG.US as a launching pad, we have been able to successfully raise money for NYCPUG during the year through the annual PGConf NYC user-focused PostgreSQL conference. Even if we did not have the conference, we have enough active members who would be willing to provide a tax-deductible donation to NYCPUG to ensure we could offer the high-level of educational programming (and I don’t mean code!) that has come to be expected of NYCPUG.
Does your local PostgreSQL User Group (PUG) need a funding boost? Would you like to enjoy similar benefits to NYCPUG? Reach out to PG.US or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help your PUG get the resources it needs to grow and thrive!