Buoy wouldn’t be where it is today without the people who support it by dedicating their time, skills, knowledge, by giving talks about it, and supporting the project with material resources.


There’s always a lot of work to do for everyone, for example for people who do programming, design, writing, testing, organizing, outreach and many more. We especially love collaborating with folks who want to try out and improve new skills by working on a real world project they care about. Do you have a few hours to contribute or an idea you want to run by us? Please jump in!

Here are some ways you can help support Buoy:

Share your skills and knowledge

Buoy is still work in progress, and you can help us make it more awesome. Support us in working towards Buoy’s eventual goals and making Buoy a tool which enables communities to protect and care for each other in any kind of emergency. No matter your level of skills or knowledge, we appreciate your support and would love to welcome you on board.


This is a great time to contribute code to Buoy, no matter what level of programming experience you have. Our lead developer, Maymay, is a self-taught “jack of all languages” and a fabulous mentor. They enjoy working together with new programmers, helping them improve their skills, and empowering them to write code that changes the world.

To get started, check out:

Or just say “hi” and introduce yourself in our public chat room.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.


We appreciate great design, good user interfaces, seamless user experiences, and beautiful logos and illustrations. The Buoy team currently lacks a dedicated designer, so any contributions of this nature are especially valued! Some ways you might support Buoy are by creating graphics and designs for our social media presence, helping with Buoy’s graphical interfaces, making improvements on our current UX flow, and of course anything else you’d like to help us with. (You’re the expert here and your feedback would help us a lot.)


Creating good software requires people who can talk to computers, and it requires people who can talk to humans, too. Because Buoy is a community-based, human-powered technology, we especially value contributors who can communicate about the tool in human languages. Writing documentation, creating content for a website or blog, editing our wiki, improving our video scripts, perfecting the language within the software itself, public relations, social media, storytelling, and much more – all of these are necessary skills for getting Buoy up and running in the communities that need it most. If writing or editing are your jam, we’d love to hear from you.


Do you speak another language – or several? We need help translating Buoy into as many other language as possible. Buoy’s code is fully localized, which means all on-screen text can easily be translated into multiple languages, as soon as those translations are submitted to Transifex. The chart below shows our project’s current translation statistics:

Translation statistics

To help translate Buoy, join our team of translators.

Video Creation

From crowdsourcing promos to demos and walkthroughs, no modern software project is complete without some great videos to capture it. Buoy has some existing video footage, and we’ve got some fun ideas for future video projects, but we could use your expertise! Editing, scripting, shooting, interviewing Buoy’s users and designers, creating voiceovers and screen captures of the UX flow, and any other ideas you have for us. If you want to help us get the word out about Buoy in video format, please get in touch.

Share Buoy with others


Do you like Buoy and want to tell other people about it? Awesome! Domestic violence shelters, legal aid organizations, street medic collectives, copwatchers, addiction recovery and other support groups – these are just some of the types of community organizations you might reach out to with information about Buoy. You can see one example of a presentation that talks about Buoy here: Prison Abolition Panel: Direct Action Software Development We know that preparing talks takes a lot of time. To support you and your efforts, we would be happy to make all our presentation slides available and videos available to you. Just let us know what resources you need to help us spread the word!

Testing Networks

One of the best ways to support Buoy is to try it out with your friends! Buoy currently exists as a fully functional prototype, but it needs significant user testing before it’s ready to deploy in real life crisis situations. If you can get a group of friends, co-workers, neighbors, members of your organization, other activists, etc. together to play with the tool, you can give us incredibly valuable feedback on how to make it better – and you can help us build Buoy features that fit your community’s unique needs. Start by checking out the Buoy Administration Guide and if you need further support, ping us, we’re happy to help! Depending on where you’re located, we might even be able to visit your group in person to help get your Buoy network set up.


Buoy’s success depends on community collaboration at all levels—from the very earliest development stages all the way down to when your best friend hits the “Crisis Alert” button on their phone. This means we can’t make Buoy happen without a huge diversity of folks involved at every level: end users, administrators, testers, developers, dreamers and, yes, funders. Are you connected to an organization, group, or community that would be excited about contributing their skills, resources, and unique knowledge to Buoy? Please help us reach them!

Give Material Resources

We couldn’t build Buoy without our incredible supporters who donate money, food, shelter, and other material support to our volunteer team. Our primary developer lives on the road and works full-time on Buoy for free, which means they are 100% dependent on the generosity of folks who want to see the project succeed. If you’d like to make a financial contribution to the project itself, you can do that on our Indiegogo Generosity page here: Buoy: Empowering Community-Based Crisis Response. You can also support Maymay directly (through cash donations, grocery gift cards, travel points, couchsurfing offers, and more) through their Cyberbusking page.