Why funding is important
Registration vs. Travel & Lodging
Registration waver scholarships can be highly effective in creating opportunities for underrepresented folks to attend your event.
Most PyData Diversity Scholarship recipients indicated that receiving funding to cover registration was make-or-break for their ability to attend.
However, registration waivers alone often aren’t enough.
Sometimes PyData Diversity Scholarship recipients who didn’t have additional outside sources of funding for travel & lodging were unable to attend even though their registration was covered.
Interest in Galaxy fellowships went up when covering the first $n of travel costs was added, as well.
✅ Offer grants to support attendance
Applicants should be
from a traditionally underrepresented and/or marginalized group in the technology and/or open source communities including, but not limited to: persons identifying as LGBTQ, indigenous, women, persons of color, and/or persons with disabilities
and be unable to attend without some financial assistance. (language adapted from The Linux Foundation)
Also consider providing support for applicants from developing economies.
You might use the World Bank definitions of low and low-middle income.
Your organizing committee should decide which career stages are eligible: Everyone? Just students and post-docs? Junior faculty/researchers? Unemployed?
The legal issues of specifically funding underrepresented groups varies by country.
Galaxy deals with this by having a separate entity (the Galaxy Community Fund) offer sponsorships.
Typically, recipients either submit receipts for reimbursement, have direct expenses paid for by the organizing committee, or are granted a lump sum up-front.
We encourage conferences to pay for things directly rather than making attendees pay and wait to be reimbursed, or at least offer this as an option for people who want to use it.
Waiting for reimbursement can be a financial burden on scholarship recipients.
Where to seek funding
How to attract funding for scholarships?
Consider posting an opportunity for attendees or community members to make individual donations in support of travel scholarships.
Make corporate sponsor levels specifically tied to travel+lodging and/or registration scholarships. (e.g. PyData offers Diversity Scholarships as sponsor benefits)
Run a crowdfunding campaign to support particular inclusion efforts (e.g. childcare expenses — Open Source Bridge did this.)
Dedicate surpluses from previous events to funding fellowships.
Possible Funding Sources (needs more research)
Offers grants to organizing committees for diversity scholarships
Gives scholarships to PyCon participants