Hi everyone, I'm JD. You may know me from such events as MidCamp, Design4Drupal, BADCamp, TCDrupal, and many more as the guy who talks openly in front of people about my mental illnesses and my personal mission to open up the conversation about mental illness in the tech community.
I tell my story and hope that someone hears it and it helps them in the way that Ed Finkler's story helped me when he shared it at a PHP Meetup in Chicago a couple of years ago.
The thing is, a lot of the talks I've been doing are self-funded. My employer is able to support to a point, but if they paid for every session I give, then I would blow through the development department's training budget in no time. That's something I don't want to do, nor do I want any of my coworkers to miss out on trainings because I cleaned out the conference coffers.
OSMI (Open Sourcing Mental Illness), the non-profit I work with, has also helped with my travel costs where they can, but as a fully donation-based non-profit, our budget is pretty limited as well. I don't want to be selfish and ask for more funds from them that may be better used in some of our other initiatives.
About a year ago I launched my GoFundMe campaign, and the responses have been amazing. So many wonderful people have donated to helping me pay for travel and lodging during my trips, and it's kept me energized to continue doing this. Many more than I had ever expected to support me since when I first started the campaign I imagined that I wouldn't get any interest, but everyone who has contributed is amazing and the comments are much nicer than anything I deserve to have said about me. Where else can that be said about a comment section on the internet?
Over the last week I made a decision to try a different fundraising platform: Patreon. The difference between this and a GoFundMe is that Patreon supporters can pledge whatever amount they want to on a monthly basis, cancel support at any time, and it allows me another platform to provide potential "Patreon only" content. Full disclosure, I have NO CLUE what my Patreon only content might be, but I'm working on coming up with something for different tiers.
You can read details of my Patreon campaign for more information, but the TL;DR version is that I'm using funds to help me pay for travel and lodging for conferences and camps that accept me to speak. My goal is to recoup some of the costs I've incurred over the last couple of years and out of pocket expenses. I will also use the funds to help pay for hosting for this site and to help fund blog posts and potentially instructional videos about PHP, Drupal, and Mental Health, among other things.
If you would like to help out, please, visit either the GoFundMe or Patreon campaign and give what you can. I am still working out how to thank you all other than a twitter shout out or a thank you slide on my session, but I didn't want my current creative block to prevent myself from taking this step.
Thank you in advance for your help and I hope to see you soon at an event!