Startup cost for DonateWC

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?

Big 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.


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

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

Who DonateWC is meant for
Recipients 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.

Why we're asking for donations
To become an official non-profit, a few things need to happen. Most importantly, a notary needs to be involved to validate the non-profit. This costs money, and we could really use your help!

Other costs that we're anticipating:

- Having a logo designed. Designers also need to eat!
- Registering the non-profit (this costs money in The Netherlands)
- A customized theme, plus extensions if they're needed. 

You can do a lot of good with this. If you've ever felt like you wanted to help a fellow WordPress community member, please consider making a donation. 


Ines Van Essen
Buren, NL

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