At the European Beer Bloggers Conference, blogger Chris Routledge suggested a very interesting idea. Should we create a Kickstarter campaign for beer bloggers?
The idea is that many beer bloggers are not in financial position to fund attendance at the Beer Bloggers Conference, which includes registration, hotel, and often plane fare. It would be great to find a way to help bloggers attend.
Wine bloggers address this via a Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship Fund. This blogger-run fund collects donations from dozens of people and companies and provides partial funding for about ten financially needy bloggers to attend each year’s conference. Through the hard work of blogger Thea Dwelle of the Luscious Lushes wine blog, the scholarship fund is thriving with a recent $5000 annual donation from Layer Cake Wines and non-profit status due to a relationship with a non-profit partner.
This is one great option and if any one beer blogger or group of beer bloggers would like to start such a scholarship fund, please let us know.
Of course, the limitation is that a scholarship fund only helps a small number of bloggers. Chris’ suggestion of creating a Kickstarter campaign would help to fund, potentially, every Citizen Beer Blogger wishing to attend the conference. Here’s how it might work.
- Find a system that allows crowd funding. It might be Kickstarter or something else. Possibly create two campaigns, one for the BBC and one for the EBBC.
- Contact bloggers in advance to recruit bloggers interested in participating in the campaign. Bloggers would need to declare their interest in advance to participate and be eligible for any funds raised.
- Each blogger would agree to promote the campaign in concrete ways, such as writing two blog posts, putting a permanent button on the blog homepage, promoting via social media, and directly contacting at least six local breweries.
- Each blogger would agree to give away certain “benefits”: writing a blog post that lists every donor; writing a specific blog post about any donor in his/her region that contributes a certain amount; Tweeting about all donors; etc. Larger donors could receive similar benefits from the Beer Bloggers Conference itself.
- The campaign would begin! Bloggers would collectively promote the campaign and collectively split the funds raised, which would go towards covering the registration and travel costs of attending the conference.
Who would fund such a campaign? We don’t know for sure, but possibly beer industry executives, breweries, or even Joe Blogger’s mom.
Now, we see a few problems, including that a) some bloggers are going to work harder than others, b) Joe Blogger’s mom (or even Brewery X) might prefer to donate to a specific blogger rather than the campaign in general, and c) the entire project needs the direction of a few very organized individuals. There are possible solutions to this. For example, a campaign could be set up so donors could donate to either the general fund or a specific blogger, which would reward successful bloggers and appease certain donors.
If a Kickstarter-style campaign worked, it could be awesome. Not only would it potentially generate funds for all Citizen Bloggers to attend the conferences but it would also create great publicity for beer blogging in general.
So what do you think? Anyone interested to lead the charge?