#WalkToWCEU is collecting donations for DonateWC

Marcel Bootsman, a very active member of the WordPress community, will be walking from his home in The Netherlands to WordCamp Europe 2019, held in Berlin. That’s a whopping 700 km, door to door. It started out as just a fun idea, Bootsman said, but then quickly turned into something bigger.

Collecting donations

Marcel decided to collect donations; not just to cover some of his expenses during the trip itself, but also for DonateWC. Needless to say, we’re mad thankful! His effort will help other community members get to a WordCamp they’d otherwise not be able to attend. If that isn’t community love, we don’t know what is!

You can help!

If you, like us, think this is a crazy awesome thing to do, there are things you can do to help out. First of all, you can make a donation on the WalkToWCEU website. You can donate either to Bootman’s travel expenses or specify that your donation is meant for DonateWC. Either way, you’ll be seen as a rock star!

You can also help by spreading the word. Here are a couple of ready-to-go tweets you can use:

@mbootsman needs places to sleep along his #WalkToWCEU route. Can you help? https://walktowc.eu/route/ Click To Tweet @mbootsman will be walking from his home in Rotterdam (NL) to WordCamp Europe in Berlin (DE), raising donations for @Donate_WC. That's 700km! Help make #WalkToWCEU a giant success, donate today at: https://walktowc.eu/donate Click To Tweet @mbootsman will be walking to WordCamp Europe in Berlin. Check out his progress at https://walktowc.eu/ Click To Tweet

Last but not least: Marcel is still in need of places to sleep along his route. Know of a couch he can crash in Germany? Let him know!

Corporate sponsors

As Marcel’s trip will take around 30 days, he will not be able to work during that time. As he is self-employed, you can imagine what effects that have on his finances. Marcel is doing this out of love for the community – it would be great if the community loves him back just the same!

If you are or know of a company that’s interested in non-traditional ways of sponsoring WordPress community efforts, this is the place to be: https://walktowc.eu/sponsoring. There are some pretty spectacular perks available, at any price range!

Thanks Marcel!

We from DonateWC would like to thank Marcel for his amazing initiative. People like you are what make the world a better place!

Community Updates June 2018

Yesterday, the very first meeting of the newly formed DonateWC team took place. A huge thank you to Luminus, Kim, Topher, and Arno for putting in time and effort!

I’d like to take a moment to discuss the most important decisions that have been made, what the nearby future is going to look like for us, and how you can help out.

We have a bank account!

It took more time and effort than anticipated to get a bank account opened up for the foundation. While the foundation itself has been a legal entity since 2017, it turned out to be quite difficult to get the bank account going. Some thought the foundation’s aim was to traffic people from one country to the other – a ridiculous notion, but one that gave us a lot of trouble nonetheless.

Luckily, Bunq saw things differently and set us up with a shiny new bank account within about 30 minutes of signing up.

Application stop for 2018

We decided to pause applications for 2018. No bank account meant that collecting donations has been nigh on impossible for the past 6 months, even with a working PayPal account. That means the foundation has virtually no funds right now to offer any kind of sponsorship.

We’ve decided to instead spend the next 6 months focussing on talking to potential corporate sponsors and collecting donations for our 2019 goal of €10.000,-.

If you would like to know more about becoming a corporate sponsor,  we invite you to get in touch for more information.

Refining sponsorship prerequisites

Determining who gets a sponsorship is hard. We can’t apply the same ‘rules’ to each case that comes through the door, so the recipient selection process is undergoing some much-needed scrutiny. Things we have so far decided on are:

Sponsorships will be for local WordCamps

This means that until we have a stable financial situation, the foundation does not facilitate a round-the-world trip. Instead, we’re choosing to help more people to get involved in their local communities. We feel that this is the best use of community funds and will help further the WordPress community most.

Limiting the number of available sponsorships

The foundation functions as a company; we need to take a long, hard look at what we want to achieve, and what money allows us to achieve. Again, this depends very much on the assistance of donators. That’s why we’ve determined that having a specific goal for the number of sponsorships we’re handing out is required; it’ll help us to 1) get the funding we need, and 2) keep a handle on what we can do.

How you can help out

While we’re now a team of 5, more help is still needed. Particularly as we are looking to focus on donator outreach, we can use a few more hands to reach our 2019 goal.

Do you enjoy writing, social media, or generally talking to other people – and are you not shy about asking folks to pitch in on this wonderful cause? We have a couple of volunteer roles open and are looking for your help!

If you are a WordCamp organizer: we would love it if you could let your audience know that we exist. This is a global effort, looking to improve and diversify your visitors as well as those going to other WordCamps. Send out a tweet, email, or Facebook post and we’ll be super grateful 🙂 thanks in advance!

The WordCamp Cape Town Experience

The WordCamp Cape Town Experience

I am excited that I made to the WordCamp Cape Town this year! Thanks to the DonateWC team and those who gave to make this possible. I want to share my experience at the WordCamp. It is so important for the community to help more people like me get these opportunities.

A little background story

I started using WordPress in 2008 during my internship at Bindura University. I have built more than 100 websites using WordPress since then. In August 2016, I was listening to the WordPress Weekly Podcast when I heard an announcement.  There was going to be an incubation WordCamp for Harare and another town in Bangladesh.

I was so excited and Googled for more detailed. I got a link from meetup.com for the first meetup. Thabo Tswana was the meetup organizer. That is how i joined the community and I ended being a speaker at the WordCamp Harare 2016 on SEO (Video Link). I have been active in the community groups on WhatsApp and hosted a monthly meetup.

Wanting more

This year, when I saw the speaker invitation for WordCamp in Cape Town, Nairobi and Harare. I made my applications – I was not expecting all them to accept my application but they all did! I was so excited and began preparing for the Cape Town event since it was the first on the calendar.

Attending the Nairobi WordCamp was not possible for me because the dates are the same with WordCamp Harare.

The challenge

While I was preparing to attend WordCamp Cape Town, which I was going to, travel there by bus (2 500 km + 3 days travelling). Round about the time of buying tickets, the government blocked all international payments. I had to buy cash in US dollars. That change meant that the trip would cost me three times the initial budget.

Thabo Tswana then informed me about DonateWC. We were both speaking at a local artist conference on WordPress and Google tools. I went to make my application straight away.

Application Accepted

I went home that evening and made my application. A few days later, they accepted my application. They were going to pay for my air ticket, accommodation and food while I am there!

Wow, I was so excited.

So, I made it to Cape Town and held a workshop on Content Generation for Business on the first day. To be honest, I was so nervous. This was my first time doing a workshop outside my country and to very mixed audience! My English accent was huge worry! You can get the slides from the Workshop here.

Trust the Pastor - Preaching SEO

My gratitude

I want to thank everyone who donated towards my trip. Thank you DonateWC team, especially Ines, for working extra hours to be helpful! They did not ask me to do anything in return to this huge favour. It was all free.

So why was this worth doing?

One of the benefits I got by attending and speaking at this WordCamp is a confidence boost. My life background does not give me much advantage when it comes to confidence in life. I am still fighting timidity. The workshop had the one of the highest tweets on the first day of the WordCamp. Maybe, that means it was good!

Visiting the aquarium after WordCamp Cape Town

I also got several contacts, which I am hoping will bring business my way in the future. I have tried to have international clients for SEO and digital marketing services. It has not been easy but it seems this WordCamp is going to make this dream a reality.

I was also invited to the Automatic Office for a co-working day. I could not go because I had left the city already. However, that invitation meant a lot to me.

Then something personal! This was my first time at a beach. I made to the sea for the first time! Exciting.

This is a few days after the WordCamp. I am sure months after, there will be more exciting stories to share.

Want to help people like Trust get to WordCamps around the world? Please consider making a donation!

Getting To WordCamp Udaipur

Getting To WordCamp Udaipur

My name is Arvind Singh and I am sixteen years old. I have been using WordPress for the last 4 years and to be honest I did not know about WordCamps before. One day I was surfing Facebook and saw a post from ResellerClub that they were sponsoring WordCamp Udaipur. That made me check out more about WordCamps on the internet. That’s  how I came to know that WordCamps are the official WordPress conferences, and I wanted to attend one of these WordCamps.
Continue reading “Getting To WordCamp Udaipur”

Thank you!

Now that the startup fund for DonateWc has been fully funded, things are going to move fairly quickly. I made a quick video to thank everyone, and to talk a little about what’s going to happen now.

The take-away:

  • Thank you to all who made a donation, especially GiveWP!
  • You can still donate, even if the GoFundMe page is now deactivated. Please make a donation here!
  • If you want to help in a different way, I’m looking for content creators and guest bloggers. Get in touch!
Surprise! Our goal is fully funded

Surprise! Our goal is fully funded

Oh my word, y’all. Thursday, 21th of September was an amazing day. Not only did WP Tavern write about DonateWC this week, we have reached the €1000 startup goal I had last Sunday. Repeat: DonateWC’s goal is fully funded. How crazy is that?!

I am beyond grateful. Not going to lie: there were some tears. Okay, maybe more than a few.  The responses and feedback that have come in during the past week have been overwhelming. I can’t believe we can already move to legalizing things and actually getting things done. Lesson learned: do not spend two years thinking about something you could maybe do at some point in the future. The time is now, and it’s time to change some lives.

Special shout out

While I am forever grateful to each person who donated, I want to make a special mention of GiveWP. They’re offering half of the entire goal. It’s amazingly generous, and I love how they’re jumping in on this.
GiveWP logo

What will happen to the donations?

The startup fund is meant for a couple of things. The most important step to take is to set up an appointment with a notary. He or she will legalize DonateWC as a non-profit. That means I can open a bank account in the charity’s name, which in turn means we can actually start distributing funds. Yay!

Meanwhile, a logo is also very much needed. If you are a graphic designer and have an affinity with the WordPress community, I’d love to hear from youThis is a paid job! There are funds available for work like this – though if you are willing to donate your time, that’s also very much welcome.

A part of the funds will be used for marketing (think Twitter Facebook ads). Even charities need to get their name out there. The more people know about us, the more funds we can raise. And the more funds we have, the more people we can help get to a WordCamp.

You can still help!

Even though the first goal has been reached, we still need all the help we can get. Every bit helps, and even the smallest donations are going to help change some lives!

Think of your favorite WordPress person. Now imagine them not being able to come to a WordCamp, because they do not have the money to go. Would you help them? Of course you would! Please consider skipping your morning Starbucks, and donating that money to DonateWC instead.

Looking for guest bloggers

To provide potential sponsors with insight on why it’s important to support poor and underprivileged WordPress community members, it’s super helpful if more stories are told. Stories like yours.

Do you pay for your own trips?

If so, I’d love to get in touch with you about writing a guest blog for donatewc.org. You will get to tell your story and help us help others.

It doesn’t matter if your story is one that happened a while ago, or if it has happened quite recently. What matters is that we get to know a bit more about what it means to be underprivileged. Putting a face on the underrepresented group of people who have a hard time going to these conferences really helps to show why DonateWC is an important step to take.

Who can sign up?

It doesn’t matter where you come from (folks from First World Countries can be poor too). Whether you are white or a person of color, what gender you are, or what sexuality you have. I want to give everyone a voice.

If you are currently working for a company that is sponsoring you to go to WordCamps but you have a story similar to mine, you are also free to get in touch.

Have questions?

Please do leave a comment if you have any questions, or if you’d just like to say something nice. I always love hearing from you.