The MasterWP WordCamp US Travel Sponsorship Program

We're paying for travel for organizers, speakers and volunteers to support diversity at WordCamp US.

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We are sponsoring organizers, speakers and volunteers by paying for travel to WordCamp US 2022, taking place Sept. 9-11 in San Diego.

Why? Because we believe that no one should be economically excluded from a wonderful career-building opportunity like WordCamp.

We encourage you to apply now, as spots are filling up quickly. You can remain anonymous if you’d like, or you can get paid to write for us about your experience. To apply, e-mail us at [email protected] and tell us about yourself, your background, how you’re involved in WordPress, and what you hope to get from your trip to WordCamp.

If you’d like to contribute to our sponsorship fund as an individual, you can pitch in any amount you’d like via GoFundMe. 100% of proceeds from the GoFundMe fundraiser will be paid directly to sponsored WordCamp speakers, organizers and volunteers to cover travel expenses, up to $1,500 per person. Our company will not keep any of the funds you contribute, 100% will pass through directly to sponsored WordCamp participants.

Importantly, MasterWP is an independent and separate company; we are not the WordCamp organizers or affiliated with the official WordPress foundation or other WordCamp organizations. WordCamp has asked outside companies to handle all the finances and selection process for sponsorships directly, so that is what we are doing with this program. All financials will be shared with any sponsored person or contributor at any time upon request.

The deadline to apply to be a speaker is Monday, April 25 (today!!!) so please make sure you submit your speaker application today!

We are pumped that WordCamp US has adopted ideas from Winstina Hughes’ post earlier this month and started an official conversation about paying for travel for speakers at WordCamp US.

This year, things are happening on very short notice, but we hope we can kick-start things and set the conference up for an even bigger success next year. We believe that in the future, all speakers and organizers should be paid, and that no one should be economically excluded from such a wonderful career-building opportunity.

Here’s a quick explainer of how we envision this working. If you have questions or ideas, please reach out to us at [email protected] or post on Twitter. This is very much a work in progress, and we’d love to hear how we can improve it.

The speaker application deadline:

I have reached out to the WordCamp team to see if they’re open to extending the speaker deadline for another week in light of these new sponsorships. For now, the deadline is Monday, April 25, and you must submit your pitches here. We encourage you to make multiple pitches if you have several ideas.

The MasterWP team does not have any involvement in the actual selection of speakers – but if you do get selected, we will be offering sponsorships to cover your hotel, airfare and meals. If you do not get selected, we will sponsor your travel so you can participate as a volunteer.

How our sponsorship will work:

The goal of the sponsorship is to ensure that the money required for a trip to San Diego is not a barrier to folks applying to speak or helping out as volunteers or organizers. You can read more on why we think this is the ideal approach here.

Currently, our plan is to provide at least six speakers, organizers and/or volunteers with up to $1,500 in reimbursements for airfare, hotel and meals. We believe this is a reasonable “high-end” estimate (for example, $400 for airfare and $200 per night at a hotel) but if we get feedback that it is too low, we’re open to increasing it to ensure money is not a barrier. We’ll ask that you keep receipts and send them to us as images or forwarded e-mails, but we won’t micromanage you.

We would also love for you to write two articles for MasterWP about your experience and do an episode on our podcast, for which you’ll be paid an extra $600 (we always pay all our contributing writers).

If you work for a tech company that is already paying for your travel or your time at the conference, please do not apply for the sponsorship. Our goal is to provide new opportunities to folks who aren’t already being provided with funds to make the trip.

How we will decide who to sponsor:

We’ve set aside the money for 6 sponsorships (about $9,000) as of now, but we are also actively working with other WordPress companies and individual community members to raise more.

Our goal is to raise enough funds that we can sponsor everyone who makes a request. However, if we are not able to do that, we will attempt to prioritize sponsorships based on financial need and the speaker’s/organizer’s membership in a group that is traditionally underrepresented in tech, including but not limited to women and ethnic or racial minorities.

That being said, if a financial need is preventing you from applying to speak or volunteer, please submit a speaker or volunteer application and then request a sponsorship from us. We’ll be transparent and fair in how we make choices if we’re not able to sponsor everyone.

Next steps:

If you’re interested in the sponsorship, first apply to speak at WordCamp US here. (Again, we are not involved in the speaker selection process directly.) Then, e-mail us at [email protected], tell us about yourself and link us to some relevant portfolio items or places we can learn more about you, your work, and how you got into the tech and WordPress world. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!


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Rob Howard is an editor at MasterWP and the CEO of Howard Development & Consulting, the company behind WP Wallet.

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MasterWP contains no affiliate links. We’re entirely funded by the sponsors highlighted in blue on each article. In addition to MasterWP, we own WP Wallet, Understrap and Howard Development & Consulting.

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