SK11 Fundraising Update and Matching Challenge!

Audit Cat is examining the moneys.
Image by imarksm from Pixabay

Hey there awesome Skeptonites! We’ve been examining our finances, and need your help! With one week to go, we still need to raise about $10,000 between now and August 11th, when the last SK11 attendee floats home on a lovely cloud of post-con bliss.

The good news is that starting today, August 1st, we have a donation matching challenge. Thanks to very generous and very anonymous donors, for every $ donated to Skepticon between now and the 11th, they will match with a $, making $$! They didn’t give us an upper limit, so let’s take ridiculous advantage of these awesome people.

So please donate! Claim your SK 11 Amazeball with a $100 donation! (Maybe even donate to our legal defense fund if you think that speaking out is worth fighting for!)

Help us if you can! This year’s conference will go on no matter what, but if you love Skepticon and want it to continue, we need you.

For the curious and detail-minded of you out there (Us too!), here are some of the gory details of our current moneys:

As of 7/31:

  • Expenses already paid this year (speaker travel, merch, equipment, etc.): $11,411
  • Anticipated venue expenses (space rental, rooms for speakers): $15,300
  • Anticipated conference expenses (captioning, child care, DJ, rentals): $4,900
  • Balance in the conference fund: $9,408
  • Amount needed to cover conference expenses: $10,792

And then the legal defense fund:

  • Amount of legal bills on credit card: $20,754
  • Legal bills unpaid: $8,533
  • Balance in the legal fund: $1,490
  • Net legal bills needing to be covered: $27,797
  • (We’ll be receiving another large bill next week for July. Yay us.)

Will You Be Our BFF?

A Skepticon “Magic” 11 Amazeball can be yours!

Hi Skepticonville! We’re two months away from Skepticon 11! It’s time to reveal the thank-you gifts that we have for our most generous donors, our bestest best friends. Okay, maybe you’re thinking that we’ve never revealed our $100 donor gift ahead of time before. Well, that’s because we sometimes … shopped at the last minute and didn’t know what to get you lovely people.


But this year is different! This year we are giving you a genuine, hand-crafted Skepticon “Magic” 11 Amazeball. We’re making 47 of these beauties that you can take home to astound others with your ability to answer the toughest of yes/no questions.


That’s right, these are fully-functioning 4 inch Oracles of Limited Wisdom. Just like certain other numbered spheres we could mention, a “Magic” 11 Amazeball can divine the future, give critical life advice, and tell you if you should continue to give all your money to Skepticon forever.


To claim your Amazeball, choose the “One Hundred Dollar Skepticon BFF Donation” option when you register for Skepticon.

And if you donate $250 or more before July 1, we’ll make a custom Amazeball with the 20 messages of your choice! (Email your messages. Some size and content restrictions apply – ask us if unsure).


Help Our Legal Defense Fund, Get Dino Swag

Well, Skepticon fanaroos, here we are, two years into our legal fight with Richard Carrier, and we’re still standing strong for what we believe. But it’s costing us dearly to keep going. Even though we are pooling our resources with the other defendants, our corporate credit card overfloweth, and we will need thousands more $$$ to keep going. (We’d much rather be raising funds for our next conference, so we can see you all, but count on that for next year. We miss all of you amazing people so much!)

So, we’re throwing a fundraiser! (Yay!) And you can choose an amazing and dino-filled, hand-made thank-you gift for your donation. That’s right, each of the fabulous creations on this page were made one at a time by a human Skepticon organizer (okay, except the postcards). The dinos wanted to help, but things came up, and life happened. The usual.

Our penny-pinching ways mean that we were able to keep the material costs for all items to less than 10% of the donation amount on the buttons. So be assured that nearly all of your money will be put directly to work in defending Skepticon and Lauren. We also renew our commitment to use no funds collected for the conference to pay the legal bills. Any leftovers in the legal fund will go to the conference fund, though. Shipping costs to the US are included. If you need international shipping, send us an email and we’ll work it out.

Finally, don’t forget that as a 501(c)(3) organization, funds collected by Skepticon can’t be used for the legal fees for the other defendants. Please also consider donating to the main defense fund.

Select From These Fabulous Thank-You Gifts!

No Thank You, Swag

If you’d just like to send us money and not get anything in return, other than the warm feelings of doing something good in the world, and our heartfelt gratitude, this is the option for you. Picture us doing a happy dance in your honor.

Thank You Postcard

A postcard from our team to you, thanking you for your very welcome donation.

Ask a Dino

A paragraph of no less than 100 words on any topic, from the Skepticon Dino of your choice, posted publicly to our Facebook page. They’ll do their best, but remember that they’re just dinos trying to make a living in this uncertain world of the far future. Some of their knowledge is 65 million years out of date.

Framed Quotes

Quotes on paper, with decorated letters, in 5×7″ wooden frames.

Framed Quote: “You should never let your fears prevent you from doing what you know is right.”

Framed Quote: “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe it.”

Framed Quote: “Words actually matter. They’re significant, they can transform and open up our imagination.”

Framed Quote: “Above all don’t fear difficult moments. The best comes from them.”

Framed Quote: “Always be yourself. Unless you can be a dinosaur. Then always be a dinosaur.”


Custom Framed Quote – Got a favorite quote of a reasonable length? For some extra moolah we’ll make one just for you. (We do reserve the right to reject a quote because of what it says, but never because of who you are.)


Approximately 16″ x 16″, with polyester fill.

Rockets and planets design.

Dinosaur silhouette design.

Cartoon dinosaur design.


Tabletop scenes featuring miniature dinosaurs.

Disco dinorama, featuring colorful disco lighting! Boogie on down to Skeptiprom town. Dinorama is approximately 12″ wide 8″ tall, and 7″ deep. Lighting is powered by 3 AA batteries.

Volcano dinorama, featuring glowing lava! (Note: glowing lava is simulated and will not actually melt your face.) Dinorama is approximately 12″ wide 12″ tall, and 12″ deep. Lava is powered by button batteries.

Space dinorama, featuring helmeted dinos in microgravity! Dinorama is approximately 14″ wide 9″ tall, and 8″ deep. Stars are powered by button batteries.

Protest dinorama, featuring resistant dinos taking to the streets! Dinorama is approximately 12″ wide 6″ tall, and 12″ deep.


All robots are one-of-a-kind sculptures featuring miniature dinos at the controls. They do not move by themselves, but most of them are lighted. If we sell out of robots, we’ll make more and add them here.

We’ll take down the image as soon as we can when a robot is purchased, but it is possible that someone will buy your robot just before you. If that happens, we’ll give you the choice of a refund, another bot, or having us make one as similar to the bot you chose as we can.

Light of Reason Bot

This solid bot is here to help with your toughest reasoning chores. It is lit inside to show you the dinos hard at work.

Doot-Dooer Bot

Inspired by the muppets singing backup to Mahna Mahna (youtube).

Skeptiprom Bot

This graceful dancer is here to help you get your groove on. Bot’s lower half is lit to show the fancy footwork.

Not Tom Servo Bot

They may be related, but this is for sure not the star of MST3K. Tom can talk, but can he light up his globe?

Bottommost Turtle Bot

As we all know, the world is held on the back of a turtle, and from there it’s turtles all the way down. Here is the one at the very bottom, and it’s controlled by dinos, in a well-lit workplace.

Observatory Bot

What, doesn’t everyone have a hovercraft observatory run by dinosaurs? Well, now you don’t have to be the only one missing out. This bot features red light illumination to protect your delicate night vision.

Wise Old Owl Bot

Hard working dinos are here to provide the wisdom of the ages to you from the mouth of this bot. Or such wisdom as was available 65 million years ago. Maybe just “Look out for asteroids!” (This bot is not lighted.)

Safety Dance Bot

Dinos are dancing fools, sure, but with this beauty they’re sure to impress on the dance floor.

Inside Skepticon – Hand Over Your Money and the Dinosaurs Won’t Get Hurt

You can’t spell fundraising without the fun! And we can’t put on an amazebananas free-to-attend Skepticon without the fundraising. Almost all of the money needed for Skepticon comes from donations by wonderful people like you. We also pledge that every penny donated to the conference goes to putting on Skepticon. Raising that money is the responsibility of … The Fundraising Director!

Yeah, I know, not such a creative title, is it? Maybe we should change it to Dinosaur Feeding Director, or Dollar Floodgate Opener Director, or Money Coming At Us … Person. … Maybe we’ll just stick with Fundraising Director.

Anyway, at the beginning of the year we look at how much we’ll need to make Skepticon a reality (mostly based on what it cost the year before), and set a goal to raise that total. This year, we’re looking to raise $30,000. That’s a scary number for us. And it almost always comes down to the wire, or even a bit past the wire. We are usually still trying to meet that goal during the conference. The fingernails, they get bitten around Skepticon town.

About two thirds of that comes from attendee donations. These are usually made during registration, but for an extra special group of humans, donations are made every month. These are the the Dino Club members, they are the awesomest of the awesomest, and you can join them!

The rest of our funding comes from donations made by national sponsors (maybe 10%), fees paid for vendor tables (maybe another 10%), and the rest from merch sales at the conference.

And for our tenth Skepticon, (slogan: The Most Tenth Skepticon Evar!), we have an extra challenge. Yes, it just wasn’t enough that we need to raise funds for the conference this year. We’re also being sued by someone not worth mentioning here, and have to raise money for that, too! Whee. So, we would appreciate any donations you can make to our legal fund.

Here’s the deal with that – we refuse to use any of the conference funds on fighting this alleged individual’s worthless suit. Anything you donate to the conference goes to the conference. Anything donated to our legal fund goes to the legal fund. If there’s any leftover from the legal fund once we’ve won, it will roll into the conference fund.

Have I mentioned that our totally free conference needs your donations? I have? Oh good.

P.S. I know it’s really redundant on this post, but it’s super extra true. Your donations are what make Skepticon 10 possible! And if you really want to lighten our stress levels, please donate to our legal defense fund!


Fundraising: Where we are

Hey Skepticoners!

Can you believe it’s only 42 days left until Skepticon starts? We are SO EXCITED!!! But we’re also having a cash crisis.

We post our financial reports, but we also know that most people don’t want to read those boring reports. So we thought we would give you a glimpse at the budget for this year:

Accessibility 2,650
Attendee Expenses 2,500
Fees & Insurance 700
Printing 1,000
Speaker Hotel Rooms 3,700
Speaker Travel 3,600
Supplies 500
Venue 9,000
Videography 1,200
Subtotal $24,850
Activities 2,000
Merchandise 4,500
Speaker Gifts 1,000
Total $32,350

The subtotal is the estimated amount that we must receive in order to just put on the conference — no extras. We might be able to pinch a few more pennies, but $24,850 is pretty much the minimum we need.

The items under the subtotal are the things that will be cut or eliminated if we don’t reach our full fundraising goal. This would mean no Prom, no t-shirts or shot glasses, and no way to say thank you to our generous speakers.

So where are we now? We’re at $12,556. That’s right, we are only halfway to the basic, bare bones conference. It would still be awesome, because Skepticon always is, but don’t we want it to be awesomer?

We have had some fantastically generous donors give us large sums of money, but a big portion of our donations are $5-100. When we say every dollar counts, we mean it!

How can you help? We’re glad you asked!

We here at Skepticon Headquarters will do our best to pinch all the pennies and squeeze all the dollars, but we need your help to bring that moolah in. Thank you for your help, no matter how you do it!

Team Skepticon

A plastic dinosaur with it's mouth stuck to look like it has a lisp. Meme text reads "ERGHMUHGERD APRIL FOOLTHS" because the Skepticon organizers think they're hilarious.

April Fundraiser: Let’s Pull a Prank!

Helloooooooooo Skepticoners!

It’s April 1st, the day where we all are overly suspicious of the intentions of just about anyone we come into daily contact with. Are there really donuts in that box? Is this a bug on my lamp? Is that quarter I see in my path glued down to the pavement or….?

This year, Skepticon has decided to get in on the pranking fun, but we need your help! We want to pull a mostly harmless but very hilarious prank on one of our previous speakers, but which one? Luckily for us, four of our amazing past speakers have enthusiastically consented to be our unsuspecting victims. For the entire month of April, vote whether or not Heina Dadabhoy, Matt Dillahunty, PZ Myers, or Keith Lowell Jensen will be the lovely recipient of…Magic Mormon Underpants! or a Fancy Cardboard Penis! or a One of a Kind Potato!

Click below to vote for the speaker who you’d like Skepticon to prank at the end of April. 1 dollar=1 vote!

heina(Prank Heina!)

keith_lowell_jensen  (Prank Keith!)

pzmyers(Prank PZ!)

Skepticon_Dillahunty (Prank Matt!)  

Who will win? Or is it lose? We can’t wait to see what happens!



Shop with Amazon Smile and Help Skepticon!

Hey Skepticoners!

We have an easy peasy way for you to help Skepticon. When you shop with AmazonSmile, a portion of your eligible purchase is donated to us! You don’t need a special account, just use the login you usually use. Even better, your purchase price is the same whether you use Smile or not — the full donation comes from Amazon itself.

It’s simple to sign up. We really wanted to give you step-by-step instructions, but everyone we know is already signed up, so we can’t see what it looks like as a new enrollment :/ So go to, log in, and follow the instructions!

We acknowledge that Amazon is controversial. We support those who make the decision to not shop through Amazon, whatever their reason. However, if you shop there already, this is an easy way to help us out! Skepticon needs every dollar it can get, and that small percentage from AmazonSmile adds up!

Our dinos thank you from the bottom of their giant hearts <3


Where Do the Dollars Go?

Hi Skepticon-town!

We here at Skepticon HQ are forever begging you for money. You get it, we need funds to make Skepticon happen. But do you ever wonder where your money is really going?

Wonder no more.

We have a brand new Financials page on our website! We have included reports for both our fiscal year and a report that shows our income and expenses for the calendar year. We have also included copies of our Federal income tax filings.

What is a fiscal year? A fiscal year is a tax year that ends on a date other than December 31. Our fiscal year end is June 30. This means our tax returns are filed based on our income received July 1 through June 30.

What do the reports show? The Statement of Activity shows the income received and expenses incurred by Skepticon for the time period shown at the top of each column. The Statement of Financial Position shows how much money is in our bank accounts, as of the last day of the last month at the top of each column.

Why do these reports start on July 1, 2012? Our official date of incorporation was July 3, 2012, so July 1 seemed like the perfect starting point of our new accounting record keeping. This is your money, we figured you might like to see all the numbers, not just the current ones.

Why did you include a calendar year report? Skepticon’s fundraising cycle is closer to a calendar year than our fiscal year. Technically, each fundraising cycle is from the end of one Skepticon to the end of the next, but since our conference dates change each year, that’s an impractical way of reporting. So, we’ll use a calendar year for the fundraising cycle reporting.

What is a 990-N (e-Postcard)? This is the version of the tax return we file with the IRS. As a non-profit organization that normally earns less than $50,000 in gross revenue (that is, income before any expenses are taken out), we are not required to file a full tax return. A full tax return is required when we receive more than $50,000 in 3 out of 5 consecutive years — this is our dream and goal! Yes, we do actually want to file a big honkin’ tax return, because it means Skepticon has become an even bigger success!

Why did you provide all these reports and stuff? This is your money we’re spending. You deserve to know where it goes.

I have questions about the reports! Email us at [email protected], and we will be happy to answer questions!


We appreciate all you do to help us keep this conference going. If you donate to us, THANK YOU! You rock! If you pass on our calls for donations through your blog, social media or word of mouth, THANK YOU! You also rock! If you don’t do either but still love Skepticon, THANK YOU! We make this conference happen for you, our audience, and we appreciate every single one of you!




P.S. Help us keep Skepticon awesome. Please donate here if you can!

Father’s Day Incoming!

It’s not to late to use our Amazon Smile Link to help out Skepticon if you’ve procrastinated on buying your daddy an epic dinosaur related Father’s Day gift,! Remember, if you sign in to this link- -a portion of what you spent on dear ol’ dad will be donated to Skepticon!!!! You can find exactly the same sweet stuff, and you’ll pay exactly the same amount, but Skepticon gets free dollars! Wahooooo!!!!

Don’t forget about your poppa on June 21st, and don’t forget to help out Skepticon! If you’ve already got this dad-day stuff on lock and his present is already nicely wrapped, you can always just donate directly to help the SK8 cause!!!

If you need help brainstorming on a gift, the Skepticon HQ dads came up with some suggestions for ya!

amazon smile



Dad’s Dinosaur Day book

Grimlock Dinobot Action Figure

Original Jurassic Park on Blu-Ray

Latex Dinosaur Mask


We at Skepticon HQ would hereby like to encourage you to buy a bunch of stuff online- we’re all signed up for Amazon Smile! According to their FAQ, AmazonSmile is a “simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you.” No kidding- all you have to do is change your link to instead of the usual… select Skepticon as your charity of choice… and THEN Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to us!!!!! ERMERGHERD!

Like for realizies, all of you who suggested this to us? Geniuses. The rest of you? Badasses that can donate to Skepticon without using any more dollars than you already planned!!!! (Though, you are certainly welcome to donate more the regular way if you wanna- we’ve got a ways to go for SK8!)

The flaw we can possibly forsee is that this product is no longer available. So close.