With all this talk about how expensive the SAA Annual Meeting is and how hard it can be for many people to attend, I decided yesterday that those of us who are more fortunate should do what we can–however modest–to help. It started with my friends on Facebook and then spread to Twitter. I asked people to chip in what they could (recommended donation $20) to help fund one person’s registration. Well, as people started pledging it seemed like a good idea to try to expand it beyond helping one person. I think so far we have about 20 pledges and many people are sending more than $20, so that’s not bad for one day’s work on Facebook and Twitter.
So, here’s the plan, which like this whole effort is pretty much being made up as we go. We’re giving money to people to fund their registration for the Annual Meeting. We’re not going to have enough to help pay for travel or lodging, which I know are probably much larger costs. But funding registrations seems like a manageable goal. So, if you want to give, you have several options:
- Pay by check–send me an email at info [@] archivesnext.com or leave a comment (for which you must supply an email). I will reply with a mailing address.
- Pay via PayPal–click on the “Donate” button at top right of the sidebar.
- Pay via credit card–send me an email at info [@] archivesnext.com and I’ll send you an invoice using PayPal.
Give as much as feel comfortable with. Any money that’s left over will be saved for next year’s scholarships.
And now for the exciting part, how to get funded. If you need some help funding your SAA Annual Meeting registration, please send a message to info [@] archivesnext.com providing your name, and whether you are a student or regular SAA member (note you must be an SAA member to be eligible). Please do so by midnight on Friday, July 8. On Saturday, July 9 I will draw names out of a hat and notify the lucky people. This will allow you to register by the (just extended) early-bird deadline of July 11.
I’m sorry if some of these rules seem arbitrary or this whole effort seems a bit thrown-together. I believe the whole thing started about 36 hours ago, so yes, at least for this year it’s not a very polished effort. But if we have any kind of success I’ll be working on putting together something similar for next year, with more lead time and a better process. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions, and give whatever you can afford. Every little bit helps.
UPDATE: As of 7/5, we now have over $750 raised through PayPal alone and we have 13 people who have thrown their names into the virtual hat. From the feedback I’ve gotten, part of what is making this meaningful to some of our colleagues is that it shows that people really do care. “Reminds me that archivists are a community.” Because so much of the early activity surrounding this took place on Twitter and Facebook (and via PayPal) maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that it looks like most of the donations are coming from “younger” archivists. By which I mean around my age or younger. Or maybe we just have fresher memories of what it’s like to be strapped for cash. So, keep giving, my “mid-career” friends, and maybe you can get some our colleagues with more gray their hair to chip in too. I’ll keep you updated as things start arriving in the mail.