Last time we checked in at the Skepticon ranch (our brand is the Lazy X!), we were fighting over speaker choices. The next order of business is to pick a theme, and brainstorm ideas for fundraising.

Skepticon’s themes aren’t really about the talks. We don’t try to get speakers whose topics fit the theme, though if we do find someone who can talk about a related subject, it gives them a boost in priority. The Skepticon theme is all about  … the artwork! (Insert glitter flourish here.) Skepticon 7 had an outer space theme. SK8 had an 8-bit skater theme. S-K9 had a dogs and cats (9 lives!) theme.

So where does that leave us for SK10? You’ll have to wait for the answer when we unveil our new website look. But I can say that we’re not going with Skepticon Perfect 10, InTENse, ConTENder, Enligh10, TENtacle, Pre10tious, or TEN-Forward. Nor will we be X-ray, X-ylophone, or X-rated. But we think you’ll love the new look!

Once we had settled on a theme, we moved on to fundraising plans. These start early, but don’t tend to get much attention from our donors until June or July (or August…) Last year we pranked PZ Myers in April, and he was a good sport, of course. It was fun, but we didn’t raise much money from it. Then again, Skepticon has always chosen to have fun even if it doesn’t lead to tons of money, so expect to see more themed fundraisers this year! (And donate if you can!)

The two things that do encourage donations are the matching challenges and desperation. Skepticon is fortunate to have multiple generous donors who together put up several thousand dollars per year to use as matching funds. And every year (so far), our awesome attendees have come through for us. Not that we aren’t a big bundle of nerves waiting to see if we’re going to have a conference or anything.

If we’re still short of funds after exhausting our matching challenges, we unleash our secret weapon. That’s right, begging is not just for getting speakers. Early Skepticons featured a good amount of begging, and again our attendees stepped up their game to awesome. But things have actually gone pretty well for us in the past few years.

This brings us to the last piece of our fundraising plan, the Dino Club! Do you want to be amazebanannas just like the other Dino Clubbers? (Wait, that sounds bad. Make that “Dino Club-ateers”.) Sign up to send us your $ every month, and you can! You really have no idea how much help the Dino Club is for Skepticon. We could not do this without their support, and we are very grateful!

P.S. Your donations are what make Skepticon 10 possible, so you are the ones who look like a million bucks to us (or at least about 30 grand!) And if you really want to lighten our stress levels, please donate to our legal defense fund!


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