At Ponderosa, we work towards creating a space that is both accessible and sustainable. As part of this work, we are in the process of introducing a voluntary direct solidarity contribution system.
From the beginning of 2018 on, when you sign up to participate in any workshop or other event at Ponderosa, you will be offered an extra step in the process of signing up — the voluntary direct solidarity contribution. This step will offer you the possibility to contribute an extra amount, on top of the cost of the workshop. At the moment, this extra amount is either 10% extra, or 100% extra, or any other amount of your choosing.
This step is entirely voluntary, and you are completely free to skip it, with no questions asked.
However, if you are in the position where you can choose to give any direct solidarity contribution, this money will be used entirely, directly, and only to ensure that another attendee [in the workshop/at Ponderosa] can participate at a reduced cost. If you give 10% more, then another attendee can receive 10% off the cost of participating. If you give 100% more, then another attendee can participate for free. If you are in a position where you can afford to contribute, or if you are in the position where your participation is being supported by a funding body and your funding permits you to pay more than the base cost of the workshop, then you can directly help other participants, and contribute to the accessibility of Ponderosa as a social space. Your support is direct, and the benefit is immediate.
This is a program that is in the process of being introduced, and we do not yet have exact answers for every single eventuality about how it works and will work in the future. However, the basic principle is simple: all money raised goes directly towards ensuring access for other participants. Ponderosa does not take any part of it.
How do I become a beneficiary of the voluntary direct solidarity contribution?
If you would like to become a beneficiary of the voluntary direct solidarity contribution, we ask that you check this page for available solidarity bursaries. These bursaries
We are aware of the difficult situation of requiring specific answers. We do not want to contribute further to the bureaucratisation of disadvantage — the situation where being broke means permanently filling out forms. However, we also need some sort of practical method through which to administrate this process. In attempting to balance these two realities, we have tried to create a form that is as simple, short, and straightforward as possible. All information submitted is treated in confidence.
A system such as this requires trust and faith in the goodwill of the framers. It also requires visibility as to its effects. In order to engender this trust and ensure this visibility, we will be publishing an anonymised general account of the voluntary direct solidarity contribution system at the end of 2018. It will contain no personal information, but it will specify the amount of money contributed throughout the year, and the ways in which these contributions were disbursed.