Budgeting and Funding A Hack Week

Like any other workshop, hack weeks cost money. This includes direct costs such as rooms and catering, as well as indirect costs including the salaries of the organizing committee.

Below, we have an abbreviated list of costs that commonly occur during a hack week. In this folder, you can also find detailed budgets from individual hack weeks, which might give you a closer guidance on how to budget your own event.

Common Budget Items

Here are some items that we often encounter in organizing a hack week:

Not all hack weeks incur all of these costs, and some of these costs might be directly covered by the venue (for example, some venues automatically provide administrative support) and never appear on your budget. In addition, many of the hack week organizers are on the committee as volunteers who do not draw monetary compensation. However, while some of these costs may be hidden, it is worthwhile keeping them in mind, for example when applying for specific grants to support the hack week.

Fundraising for a Hack Week

Here are some of the sources of funding we have relied on in past events:

Charging Participant Fees

Organizers should first determine whether charging a fee is allowed under the rules of any federal awards that might be supporting the event. If fees are allowed, then organizers may wish to charge a small participant fee for hack weeks helps ensure that people who sign up commit to attending. In the past we have charged betwee $75 - $100 which we feel is low enough not to deter people without sufficient funds from even applying. If budgets allow we often waive participant fees for people expressing financial need.

To help avoid last minute dropouts, registration fees can be made refundable only up to a couple weeks before the event when there is still time to offer newly open spots to those the waiting list.