Max More wrote:
> Ronald Bailey's latest dispatch on the anti-extropians.
> BTW, I have talked to Ronald about speaking at Extro-5, but as an
> East-coaster, funding his travel could be a problem if we don't get
> corporate sponsorship.
> The material below just reinforces what I recently wrote in my intro for
> Extro-5 at:
How much would Mr. Bailey's travel costs be?
Note: What follows is similar to a post I made earlier, though I hope that
there's enough new material to make it worthwhile reading.
Rather than asking sponsors to back the conference as a whole, perhaps it would
be easier to ask them to back an individual. In my opinion, it's more appealing
to sponsor a living person--Ronald Bailey, Wendy McElroy, John McCarthy--than an
abstraction like the "Extropy Institute" or an "Exi Conference".
By giving sponsors the opportunity to back specific individuals, you make
certain that, from the sponsor's perspective, the money goes toward funding
something that they fully support and wish to see. It would also give you
feedback during the planning stages about who potential conference goers wish to
see most, thereby increasing your ability to make the conference as attractive
For example, you may wish to list the speakers you would like to invite, along
with with their corresponding travel costs. Ask sponsors to send in money to
pay for that speaker's travel costs. If you get enough sponsors, then invite
the person formally. You could list the people/corporations who have sponsored
a particular speaker, along with how much they're donating.
For example, "Ronald Bailey, brought to you by the generosity of the following
individuals and corporations..." Those who donate the most would get their
names listed most closely to the speaker's. You could also offer the top 4-5
highest sponsors the opportunity to have exclusive dinner with the speaker
after the conference.
To reduce transaction costs, you could set a minimum sponsorship level of say,
$25.00. You may also wish to deduct a non-refundable administrative fee (say
10% of the amount donated) to handle such a system. (If you make initial
sponsorship levels relatively low, you can take advantage of the "sequential
request" effect--people are more willing to donate large sums, if they have
previously given small sums. For example, someone who has given $25.00 one
year to sponsor a speaker, may be more willing to become a much larger corporate
sponsor in following years. See
If you don't raise enough for a given speaker (or the speaker can't make it for
some reason), give the sponsor the option of donating the amount to EI, applying
the donation to the next Extro conference, or giving them a refund. Since
donors can ask that their donation be applied to future conferences, it may be
worthwhile to implement such a system now, even though you may not raise enough
for this year's speakers.
I realize from your point of view, directed donations are less desirable, since
it reduces your flexibility to allocate funds where they are needed most. And
no doubt setting up an Exi conference like this must take a ton of work--the
added benefits may not be worth the increased complexity right now. This is
just some food for thought.
In the "Who will be there?" section, you may wish to give the people there a way
to specify how likely they will be to be there e.g. (Will definitely be there
(have paid fees), planning to be there (but haven't paid fee yet), thinking
about going, etc...
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