Right, so there are fans of color out there who want to go to Wiscon but who currently don't have the resources. As I discussed yesterday on my personal LJ, I'm thinking about organizing a fundraiser to help them go—just to attend and be themselves as they would normally.
I had thought something like a DonorsChoose model, where potential attendees say, "I'd like to go and this is what I need" ($X, a couch, etc.), and then people pledged toward the needs of a given attendee or attendees, with no payment unless the attendee was fully funded (or contributed to a general fund to be distributed among the potential attendees as needed). This seemed, to me, a way to ensure as much money was raised as needed, but no more (since there'd be specific goals to pursue).
Several people have instead suggested a general help fund in response to private requests. This has the advantages of not requiring people to ask for assistance in public and of avoiding a popularity-contest problem. Moreover, if people let me know ahead of time what their needs were likely to be, then I could set that as a target for the fundraiser. On the other hand, I'm not comfortable with administering an ongoing fund all by my individual lonesome, so if there was money left over, something would have to be done with it.
So, what I'm thinking now for a plan is:
- Fans of color who want to go to Wiscon would contact me privately, in a screened post, with what resources they will need and how to get in touch with them—preferably by a specific date, because—
- After the given date, I will open up the fundraiser with an announced goal of the sum of the needs communicated to me privately.
- Contributors would tell me whether they wanted any extra money to be returned to them, or to go to the Carl Brandon Society, or some other option. My goal for this year would be that we not have any money left over, however, and if we met our goal I might actually stop the fundraiser early. But if this seemed to work, we could talk then about having an organization administer it in the future.
Two questions for you all, then.
- Logistically and otherwise, does this sound like a good plan to you? Suggestions for improving it?
- Wiscon is May 22-25. I think we should have this completed by, let's say, Monday April 13, to give people time to make travel arrangements? Or is that too short? In which case I'd want to start fundraising by, say, Wednesday March 18—that's three and a half weeks. Does this sound at all reasonable for a timescale? If not, what dates would you suggest?
Let's hear it!