- contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- WisCon 41 deadline: February 28, 2017
Do you need some financial assistance to make attending WisCon possible for you? The WisCon Member Assistance Fund may be able to help!
The way the Fund works is fairly straightforward. The Fund is a pool of money to which anyone can apply to request some funds to put toward attending WisCon — whether that’s to cover airfare, gas money, hotel costs, childcare, or any other prohibitive cost. Details on our nomination process are below.
One of the aims of the fund is to promote diversity and to give folks a way to join us if they’ve been unable to do so in the past. If you’ve never attended WisCon because the cost kept getting in the way, we strongly encourage you to nominate yourself for the Fund! Whether you’re an established industry professional, a long-time reader, or a brand-new fan, we’d love to have you. Whether you want to be on panels, give readings, or sit quietly in the back of a conference room, we want you at WisCon.
If you have attended WisCon via Member Assistance Fund monies in the past, you can be nominated again. If funding is limited, we will give priority to people who have not previously received assistance. But we do try to fund as many nominees as we possibly can, so please don’t pre-deny yourself by not applying!
Is this a scholarship fund? We used to be known as the WisCon Scholarships, so perhaps you recall that name! But funding is for everyone who needs assistance, not only scholars and academics, so in 2013, WisCon changed the name to encourage anyone who needs assistance to apply.
We’re able to award funding in any amount up to $500 — many requests fall into the $100-$300 range, and we’ve awarded funding amounts as low as $50.
Nominating Someone (Including Yourself!)
The Fund is open to everyone. You can nominate a friend or an acquaintance. And we absolutely encourage you to nominate yourself! To nominate someone, send an email (to the email address listed at the top of the page) with a quick synopsis that includes the following:
- A little bit about the person you’re nominating.
- The nominee’s email address.
- An estimate of how much funding will be needed (see notes below).
A good way to look at this is — What dollar amount would make the difference between being able to attend and not being able to attend? Also, if that dollar amount is flexible, please let us know by providing a range. The Fund strongly prefers to assist as many nominees as possible, and occasionally we’re able to do that by offering a nominee slightly less than their maximum requested amount, which then frees up some funding for another nominee.
The Fund has a fixed nomination period. The dates that nominations open and close are listed at the top of this page. Nominations must be received by 11:59pm Central Time on the deadline listed. There’s no advantage to applying earlier — the decision process will not begin until we know how many nominations we have, and how much money is in the fund. However, please do not send a nomination before the nomination period has opened, as we may not receive it.
Our timeline is arranged so that everyone nominated will hear from us in time to sign up for programming, which generally ends in mid-March.
Donating to the Fund
Money for the Member Assistance Fund primarily comes from donations. If you happen to have a little extra to share with others, we are grateful for your help! Our parent organization, SF3, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, so your donations will be tax deductible.
There are three ways to donate:
- During online registration when you buy your WisCon membership.
- Via check. Make the check out to SF3 and put “WisCon Member Assistance Fund” or “WMAFund” in the memo line. Then mail it to: SF3 / Attn: WMAFund / P.O. Box 1624 / Madison, WI 53701
- Via PayPal using one of these 2 buttons: