Spontaneous Scholarships 2014: How to give, how to apply

Yes, it’s the fourth year of this wonderful crowdfunding effort to help our fellow archivists and archives students attend the SAA annual meeting. In the past three years you’ve helped 98 people–58 of them students–and I know how grateful all of them were for your donations. With the SAA meeting in DC this year (traditionally the location with the highest attendance), I think there will be more people than ever who might really appreciate a little bit of help. And so, on to the details!

What is this about?

We’re giving money to people to fund their registration for the SAA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Rather than pay for full travel or lodging for just a few people, I try to give a little bit of help to as many people as possible. This effort is not affiliated with SAA in any way. Your donations are not tax deductible. It’s simple. You send me money. I give it all away within a few weeks to colleagues who need it.  In 2011 this campaign ran for two weeks and 94 generous people gave scholarships to 26 happy people.  In 2012, over four weeks we had 103 donors fund 34 people. Last year, in a little over four weeks 38 lucky people were funded by 84 contributors. Overall you’ve given over $20,000 and helped almost a hundred fellow archivists and future archivists.

How you can help

If you want to give, you have several options, outlined below. My preference is for checks because that means PayPal transaction fees aren’t deducted from your donation, but I know it’s easier to click and donate while you’re thinking of it, so by all means, click and donate if that’s easier for you. Here are your options:

  • Pay by check– email me (info [@] archivesnext.com or my regular email if you have it) or leave a comment (for which you must supply an email). I will reply with a mailing address. Or if you are an SAA, MARAC, or MAC member, you can look up my address in their member directories.
  • Pay via PayPal–click on the “Donate” button at top right of the sidebar.
  • Pay via credit card–send me an email, and I’ll send you an invoice using PayPal.

Give as much as you feel you can. Every little bit helps. Don’t feel like whatever you can afford to give isn’t enough. But if you’re fortunate enough to be in a comfortable position, please give generously.

How to put your name in the hat for scholarship

If you need 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). You must do so by midnight on Friday, June 27. On Saturday June 28 I will draw names out of a hat and notify the lucky people. This will allow you to register by the early-bird deadline of July 7. Once you forward me the confirmation of your registration, I will send you a check.

One note based on a previous year’s experience. One year there were a surprisingly large number of people whose names got pulled from the hat who backed out because they hadn’t realized how high the other costs of attending the meeting would be. Which was fine in the long run. I just gave the money away to people on the waiting list, but it caused quite a hassle for me. So I understand that things happen and your plans could change, but please do a bit of homework first and make sure you think you really can attend the conference before you apply. Also, previous scholarship winners are not eligible to receive another one.

That said, all you need to do to apply is email me with the information listed above.That’s it. It’s on the honor system. Don’t ask unless you need, but if you need, go ahead and ask. This isn’t just for students and new archivists, it’s for everybody who needs a little help.

Which is why I’m asking you now to give, if you can. And why I’ll keep asking until June 27. Please share this through your own networks. (Goodness knows I will!) And if you need some help, throw your name into the virtual hat!

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9 thoughts on “Spontaneous Scholarships 2014: How to give, how to apply”

  1. How are recipients chosen? Does the date of application matter or are they selected at random?

  2. I’ve already registered, but the possibility of having a bit of the cost offset by a scholarship would be great. Is it still ok to put my name in even though I’ve completed my registration?

  3. Hi Ann,

    Yes! In fact, once I notify someone that his/her name has been drawn, I ask for a forwarded copy of SAA’s registration confirmation email before I will reimburse the winner. So there’s no problem at all if you’ve already registered.


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