If you’ve been following this blog over the last few years, you’ve discovered that running an excavation is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process. Unfortunately, it’s also an expensive one. Staff and volunteers have to be housed and fed, we have to buy plaster, burlap, gas for vehicles, replacement tools, and a host of other supplies, and it adds up in a hurry. In the 20 years we’ve been digging at Carmel Church, practically all of our funding has come either from grants or direct donations from the public. In order to raise funds to pay for this summer’s planned dig, we’ve partnered with Petridish.org to formalize what we’ve been doing piecemeal for years: crowdfunding Carmel Church excavations.
Crowdfunding works by getting lots of small direct donations from essentially anyone interested in a project. Political campaigns have been raising money this way for years, but now other organizations have started using the same model. Petridish.org is a crowd sourcing site specifically for scientific research, and has almost 2 dozen current projects, including Carmel Church.
So, here’s how it works: to make a donation, go to the Carmel Church project page, then click on the button to “Fund this Project”. That will take you to a page asking you to log in or register; that’s so we can reach you to give you project updates. After signing in, follow the instructions on the donation page.
We’re asking for $4,000 to fund a two-week excavation. Under Petridish’s rules, we have 60 days to raise that amount. If we don’t raise at least $4,000 in 60 days, we get nothing (and your credit card isn’t charged). However, there’s no cap on the amount we can raise; if we raise $10,000, that’s what we get (minus credit card fees and Petridish’s 5% overhead).
And, by the way, there are rewards for donating at or above certain levels, including Eobalaenoptera posters and baseball caps, casts of Carmel Church specimens, and invitations to participate in the excavation (that one requires a $2,000 donation). If we’re successful, I’ll do a blog post where I list all the donors, regardless of the size of the donation.
So if you’ve enjoyed the daily blog post updates from Carmel Church, or just like fossils, help us out by donating whatever you can.