Norwescon is an annual convention in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
I spoke (okay, emailed) Kathy Bond, the chair of Norwescon 38, 39, and 40, who talked a bit about the fundraising and charity work the convention does.
In 2016 alone, Norwescon donated:
- over $2,500 for Northwest Harvest, a local organization that feeds hungry people. (They also donated about 30 pounds of food.)
- $3,800 to Clarion West, which was given to 2 writers to help them attend the workshop this year
- $2,500 to help sponsor the Science Fiction Fantasy Short Film Festival
- $2,500 to help sponsor the Locus Awards
Let’s look at just one of those items. From the Northwest Harvest website, “Northwest Harvest can feed a family of three a nutritious meal for just 67 cents.” That means the convention paid for more than 3700 of those three-person meals.
Where does the money come from? Short answer: from fandom. From the hard work of convention volunteers, and the generosity of attendees. Kathy explains in more detail:
“For, the scholarships and sponsorships, the money came from our general fund. After 40 years, Norwescon has been lucky to build up a cash reserve that we’re able to re-deploy. For Northwest Harvest, we raise funds by soliciting donations when people buy their memberships, selling a specific charity ribbon at the convention, and with a Charity Auction on the last day of the convention. The food is done through a combination of food drive and donating the con suite leftovers.”
That is some impressive fundraising and generosity.
Do you have a recommendation for a person or group in the SF/F community who deserves a shout-out for doing generous, awesome, and generally wonderful work? Let me know!