The PHPWomen.org site now has an easy way for you to help out, if you're so inclined. We've added a "Donate" button so that if you have some extra cash and want to support a good cause, you can do so easily and securely.
Where will the money go?As you know, we like to give out our free t-shirts at conferences to help spread the word about our group. Soon, you'll be able to buy them yourself, but in the meantime the cost for all of those shirts (and the travel to and from the conferences) comes out of our pockets. Occasionally we get help from corporate sponsors, which helps tremendously, but other than that it's really been up to us. So some of the money will go to promoting our group through giveaways and exhibiting and traveling to conferences.
We also want to help out those who may be in need of training materials, help with the ZCE exam, or who want to speak at conferences, but may not afford to be able to do it. So part of the money will go to help our members achieve their goals.
Additionally, we have some cool fundraising ideas floating around, but there are times when you have to have money in order to make money. So some of the money will go to helping our fundraising ideas get off the ground.
What if you want to help out but don't have any spare cash?We can still use your help! We are always in need of volunteers for our mentoring program, website help, writing articles that will help our members, and help in other areas. We welcome anyone (and yes that means you too, guys) that wants to lend a helping hand. We can also use your ideas! If you have a great idea for a fundraiser or something that will make our group better and more effective, we would love to hear it! You can email me at elizabeth [at] naramore [dot] net.
Is this PHPWomen thing really making a difference?I have had numerous women come up to me and say "thanks". Thanks for giving them a place to go for PHP help and friendship, thanks for bringing us out of the woodwork, and thanks for saying things that they've always felt but couldn't really say to anyone. I also had someone thank me for being "normal" about it and keeping the group open to everyone. Of course, the same issues exist in other languages besides PHP. Just last week I spoke to several other women at Codemash (Python, Ruby and C# devs) and while we laughed at the lack of the female presence there, it's still unfortunate. It'd be nice to see a difference made in our PHP subculture that other groups can use to their advantage.
Incidentally, on our site, we've also posted the conferences where we will be exhibiting, so if you're going to be there, please stop by our booth and say hello! (And make sure to pick up your t-shirt, sticker, or whatever we happen to be giving away at the time :) )