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05/05/2014

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Justin Caouette

I would vote in favor of a fund. As a late stage grad student it is difficult to travel often which is why I have not submitted to the conference in the past. A fund that helped with travel accommodations would be most beneficial.

Nice idea.

Jeb

I'm betting all those tenured progressive professors will contribute. Out of solidarity.

Marcus Arvan

Jeb: I appreciate your skepticism, but let's try to be supportive here - in line with the blog's mission. If my past several years with the blog and in the profession have taught me anything, it is that, more often than not, genuine goodwill tends to be repaid in kind.

I'm not a tenured (or even tenure-track) professor, but I hereby resolve to contribute $10 a month to the Cocoon fund once it starts. If just a fraction of our contributors and readers contribute to the fund -- a big if, I realize, but I like to be optimistic -- we will be able to help a lot of people attend our annual conference who otherwise lack the means to attend!

David Morrow

Marcus: I like the general idea of having the Cocoon community share in the costs of various Cocoon projects. I'd like to suggest a more piecemeal funding structure, though.

The most important issue, it seems to me, is providing travel stipends for people to attend the Cocoon conference. Maybe we could run something like a Kickstarter campaign every year to raise money for travel stipends? Kickstarter itself is probably not the best venue, since we'd only keep about 90% of the contributions, but we could find some other way to implement the basic idea of people making pledges that they only have to keep if funding goals are reached.

Other things, like paying for parties at the APA, might be better handled on an ad hoc basis. You could delegate responsibility for each party to someone in particular, so that it wouldn't be too burdensome for you.

What do you think?

Marcus Arvan

Hi David: I think that is a very good suggestion. I might begin, for instance, by proposing to fund (say) the two people who cannot afford to attend this year's conference, and then end the "donation period" when sufficient funds are collected -- and then do similar things in the future. We could then also do something similar for the APA Party, etc.

This piecemeal structure would, I think, have many obvious benefits. Does that sound good to you?

Matt DeStefano

I like the idea of a fund. One way to raise funds would be to put advertising on the blog (either Google Adsense or solicited advertisements), and then use the proceeds from the ads to supplement the fund.

David Morrow

Yes, Marcus, that sounds good. Would you like me to look into alternatives to Kickstarter, or do you think we can do without the "conditional pledge" approach?

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