About DonateWC

DonateWC - getting people to WordCamps

What is DonateWC?

DonateWC is an initiative that aims to provide people with lesser financial means with funds to get to a (big) WordCamp. From donations that we collect, we’ll provide deserving community members with the following:

  • Door to door transportation
  • Accommodation
  • Food and drink money
  • Internet access
  • A once-in-a-lifetime experience

All donations will go into a global fund. From that fund, we create sponsorships that are tailored to the recipient’s situation.

We’re also working on sponsor appreciation – either at the WordCamp we’re sending recipients to, or through this website.

Who DonateWC is meant for

Receivers of a DonateWC sponsorship check the following boxes:

  • They do not work for a company that is involved in WordPress or is known to sponsor employees to go to WordCamps
  • They are active members of the community
  • They have applied to be either a speaker or a volunteer at the WordCamp we’re sending them to

This ensures that the sponsorship is valuable for both the recipient and the community as a whole.

Do you need some help getting to a WordCamp? You can do so through the sponsorship application form.

How DonateWC got started

A personal background story: before I joined the ranks of Automattic, I worked as a WordPress freelancer. I had deep roots in the community and was invited to the 2015 Community Summit in Philadelphia. As I did not work for a company that could send me there, I had to pay for travel, accommodation, and food/drinks myself. All in all, I spent a full month’s worth of income to attend.

I consider myself lucky: I made decent money, so I could afford the trip. But there was a feeling that always kept nagging at me since that WordCamp. If I thought it was expensive, coming from a First World Country and having a steady income, what is it like for people who do not have the same financial means?

WordCamps become unintentionally exclusive of the poor and less fortunate. That should change.

Imagine for a moment that you are not backed by a company that will pay for you to go to a community event. You work hard at being a valuable community member but are never able to actually meet the others in your team. This means you are less likely to get a job, less likely to get recognized as a worthwhile member, you’re unlikely to be at the front-end of changes that impact your work significantly.

Ines van Essen is a Happiness Engineer at Automattic. She started DonateWC because of her own experience trying to find funds for a WordCamp trip, and because of a deep-rooted affinity with the WordPress community.
You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.