For those who've not heard, I'm raising money for a good cause: professional development. I'm trying to find the money to pay for my Lavacon registration. Here are some FAQs about the web 2.0 funding experiment.

Why Am I Doing This?
I just found out this week that my company pulled the plug on the funds after I'd been planning all year to attend LavaCon, a conference for advanced technical communication, project management, and related professional development. At the time I started making arrangements I had no idea this was going to happen. It was approved as part of my goals and development training for the year, so I took it for granted. Lesson learned.

How Am I Contributing?
I am paying for the hotel room ($200/night) and airfare ($350) to attend a respected professional conference. But I haven't the money for the registration. I do not have a credit card I can put $750 on. Nor can I get another loan.

Why Do I Need Help?
My husband was out of work from last September until the beginning of this month. And he earns less than I do. We just got married in January and paid for it with our savings. We also just bought a house a year ago. So, there is no way I can afford this opportunity without a little help.

Why Not Just Wait Until Next Year?
Next year and almost every year this conference is in Hawaii. And that is certainly not someplace I could afford (nor would my company believe I was there to learn). A few years back, Lavacon was in New Orleans to help support economic recovery post-hurricane. Once again, it will be there for similar reasons. But when will it next be on the continent? Maybe never.

Why is This Conference So Important to Me?
Many conferences (some much less pricey) offer great information for professionals, but in my experience, Lavacon pins down some of the topics most appropriate to my job and career path. Next to the STC Summit, I would say this is the most important conference for my career.

What Will I Do for These Donations?
In exchange for your assistance, I promise to blog and tweet about this social experiment as well as the entire conference (as much as possible). This will allow you to participate vicariously in the professional conference. If you choose.

What Sessions Do I Plan to Attend?
Although this may change as more information becomes available, these are the sessions I am looking at attending:
* Networking/Reception
* Keynote Address
* Start Early and Plan for Success: Business Readiness for PMs and Tech Writers
* Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: Strategies for Integrating User-Generated Content
* Understanding and Leveraging the Content Lifecycle
* One Hat, Two Hats or Three… How many do you wear?
* Are you a Right-Brain or Left-Brain Thinker? Essential Aptitudes for the Digital Future
* Developing Effective Training for Intangible Products
* Critical Thinking Skills for Conflict Resolution
* Designing and Implementing Embedded, Dynamic User Assistance
* Integrating Usability Testing into Your Product Dev Lifecycle
* Usability Testing and User-Centered Design Activities

How Can You Help?
I'm running this fundraiser through Fundable. There is no risk to you in that if I fail to make the $750 for registration (within the next 4 weeks), the money is not taken from anyone. Not one cent. The website is below:
Thank you everyone who is helping make this happen.

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