Hat in hand

Dec 20, 2006

I’ve never been good at raising money. That’s what I told myself for the longest time, anyway.

I have this memory from my grade-school days: to raise money for the parochial school that I and my brothers attended — and where my mother taught — I had to canvass the neighborhood to find buyers of the scented liquid hand soap that was the fundraiser product du jour. The summer before, I’d failed to sell any subscriptions to Grit, and I was the perennial underseller on fundraising efforts for baseball teams and church groups. Maybe I found one buyer this time, but I didn’t have the confidence to find others, and for the longest time, we had bottles of soap beneath our kitchen sink.

Selling scrip scarred me for life. And now with my own children in schools, I’m involved in fundraising all over again.

But over the last few years, I’ve gotten better at asking people for money, especially for the projects and events I’ve instigated. When I started the Narratives of HIV series at UNC, I found financial support from within the university. When I started planning the Triangle Bloggers Conference, I partnered with Paul Jones and others and found sponsors for that event.

And that brings me to the NC Science Blogging Conference. You can see from the main page of that conference wiki that Bora and I have rounded up a good group of sponsors for the event. But we need a few more, especially an organization to sponsor the lunch for the 150 attendees.

So here’s me with my hat in hand: Please help me find a corporate, institutional or individual sponsor for our conference. Here are three specific ways a sponsor can support the event:

  • Donate $1500 for the lunch.
  • Donate $1000 for the travel and lodging expenses of our guest speakers.
  • Make a cash donation of any size for use on other expenses (such as publicity, supplies, printing).

If you can help with this, please contact me as soon as possible.

Anton Zuiker

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