It brings me great pleasure to announce that the #SciFund Challenge is now officially a not-for-profit organization. After two years of planning and careful execution we’ve finally received our IRS approval. Now the REAL fun can begin.
What does this mean for scientists?
You may have already assumed #SciFund was a non-profit organization. So if that is the case, in the very near term not much will change from an outside perspective. Currently we are running the #SciFund Videography course, and have just completed our Intro to Outreach course. In 2015, we will be running these classes again and have plans to create a few more based on your feedback. In the long-run we envision a whole suite of courses that build on one another, a #SciFund University if you will.
We will also be continuing our progress in the realm of crowdfunding. One of the benefits of going the non-profit route is that funders will be able to receive tax deductions for contributing to #SciFund projects. This will be a slower process to undertake as we will look to host a few campaigns as proof-of principle. Eventually all #SciFund crowdfunding campaigns will be eligible for tax deductions. In the meantime, we will still host group crowdfunding rounds, offer the same advice and support that we always have, and continue to raise significant funds for scientific research.
One other role that you will play in #SciFund is the ability to volunteer. As we build programs, courses, and crowdfunding rounds we will need additional help to scale. If you’ve participated in a past course and would like to pay it forward contact us about volunteering. There will be a lot of roles to fill and we could use your help!
What does this mean to the public?
Our efforts have always been focused toward public outreach and engagement. This will NEVER change. Our classes and crowdfunding rounds help you, the scientist, to connect with your audience to deliver the message you want to deliver. As we build the #SciFund Challenge we hope to train you with more ways to make this connection. So as you hone your outreach campaign, the more the public will benefit. Needless to say, being able to train more scientists will dramatically increase this result. Having a larger public impact will not only increase science literacy but also help you in future fundraising, conservation, policy making, and educational efforts.
What does this mean for SciFund?
SciFund has always been powered by the people. Without the scientists, supporters, partners, and general public there would be no #SciFund Challenge crowdfunding, no #SciFund courses, and no #SciFund community. But prior to this moment, #SciFund was only organized and maintained by a few people, in their free time, who are dedicated to making outreach more accessible to scientists.
Now #SciFund can be more.
#SciFund will be able to grow. We will be able to pursue funding for activities, grow the community, develop new programs, and host more crowdfunding rounds with new incentives for funders. Additionally, it will allow us to focus more attention and time on the core activities that make us a unique organization.
The #SciFund Challenge was originally a small joint effort between Jai Ranganathan and Jarrett Byrnes. It has always been organized by them in their free time, which allowed us to grow naturally and slowly. Now the needs of the science community demand that #SciFund grow as an organization to be a fully supported and self sufficient entity. Now #SciFund can be bigger than they ever imagined.
Will you #SciFund?