Capitalize! The DisCon III Fan Fund

One of the most important ways to ensure a fabulous Worldcon is to have participants and attendees as diverse as fandom itself. To help make this possible, DisCon III is announcing Capitalize! The DisCon III Fan Fund, inspired by the successes of the Worldcon 76 Mexicanx Initiative and the Fantastic Dublin Fund. We will be financially supporting fans, staff, and program participants from marginalized communities in an effort to lift voices across science fiction, fantasy, and fandom who have not been recognized in the past. Help us open the doors to fandom!

What DisCon III Is Doing

To expand the reach of Worldcon fandom in 2021, DisCon III is seeding Capitalize! with 20 memberships that will be discounted for Washington, DC area residents or given out to fans and participants from marginalized communities, who have limited financial means, or who suffer from other barriers to attendance.

How You can Help!

We will need your generosity, kindness, and participation to help facilitate diversity in DisCon III attendance. Please help Capitalize! The DisCon III Fan Fund by making a financial gift of any amount or by donating any unused memberships to Capitalize! Click the donation button on this page to make a difference today!

Please share this page with your friends and networks any way you can. The more people who know about and give to Capitalize!, the more fans and participants we will be able to bring to DisCon III.

DisCon III is a project of the Baltimore-Washington Area Worldcon Association, Inc., a US-based 501(c)(3) charity (EIN: 52-1936731) and your donations may be tax deductible depending on your individual situation.

How will Capitalize! The DisCon III Fan Fund be used?

Our inclusion efforts help in different ways:

  • Washington, DC Fans of Limited Financial Means:
    Through contributions to Capitalize!, DisCon III will offer pay-what-you-can memberships to residents of the Washington, DC area (within 20 miles of the city borders) who would otherwise be unable to afford to attend DisCon III. The discount amount will depend on the recipient’s circumstance and availability of Capitalize! funds.
  • Attendees and Participants from Marginalized Communities:
    Funds donated to Capitalize! will be used to provide memberships and travel stipends in the amount of up to $500 to fans and participants who are BIPOC, LGBTQ, disabled, and/or from other groups that have been historically underrepresented within the Worldcon community. The stipend amount represents our estimate of average accommodation expenses for someone in a shared double room, but stipends can be used as needed by the recipient for travel expenses. Depending on the level of funds contributed, DisCon III will offer this assistance to as many eligible attendees from marginalized communities living outside the Washington, DC region as we can.

Although we recognize that this does not address all of the reasons these fans have not participated in the past, DisCon III wishes to lessen the financial barriers of attendance for fans from these groups and enable them to join the big tent that we call Worldcon.

Make sure to donate no later than December 19th, 2021 to help with the fund.  Any remaining funds will be passed on to the Chicago Worldcon Community Fund to help marginalized fans attend Chicon 8.

On behalf of DisCon III, we thank you for the generosity and support that makes the Capitalize! DisCon III Fan Fund possible. We look forward to seeing you next August to celebrate speculative fiction and art in all of its glory. To make a contribution, please use the button below.

How to Apply for Assistance

If you fall into one of the above two groups (i.e living in Washington, DC or within 20 miles of the city borders and/or self-identifying as a member of a marginalized group within Worldcon fandom), and want to seek assistance from Capitalize! to attend DisCon III, please complete the Capitalize! application form. If you check the box indicating that you wish to be a program participant, please also complete our Program Participant Application.

All applications and awards will be kept strictly confidential. Our goal is to help as many people as possible through Capitalize! If we are unable to meet all requests for expenses or discounted memberships due to insufficient donations, then we (or a partner organization we bring on to help administer Capitalize!) will attempt to assist as many people as possible.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in March 2021 with priority given to those fans for whom DisCon III would be their first Worldcon and those with multiple barriers to attendance. Stipends will begin being awarded in late spring 2021, based upon funding availability within Capitalize!.

If you want to be eligible to vote for the Hugo Awards, you must apply for assistance no later than October 19th, 2021. All applications close on November 15th, 2021. The Capitalize! Fan Fund will be distributing funds throughout the application period, so you are welcome to apply for assistance now.

DisCon III program staff will be consulted on all applications from potential program participants. Our goal is to have all applications responded to in a timely manner to ensure adequate time for fans to make arrangements and for our program staff to complete the convention program.


Q: Is my donation tax-deductible?
A: DisCon III is a project of the Baltimore-Washington Area Worldcon Association, Inc., a US-based 501(c)(3) charity (EIN: 52-1936731) and donations may be tax-deductible depending on your individual situation.

Q: I will not be able to use my attending membership. How can I donate it to Capitalize!?
A: Send an email to to let them know you’d like to transfer your membership to the Capitalize! pool.

Q: If I give to Capitalize!, how will I know where my money is going?
A: All funds and memberships given to Capitalize! will be given to eligible people applying for assistance according to the instructions on this page. We will provide general statistics regarding the awards given, but all awards are confidential and recipient names will not be made public.

Q: Will there be fixed percentages set aside for membership discounts for fans from Washington, DC and for memberships and stipends for fans and participants from marginalized communities?
A: Not at this time.  Our goal is to try to help everyone who applies.

Q: If I receive a Capitalize! assisted membership and it turns out that I cannot attend, can I give or sell my membership to another person?
A: Capitalize! assisted memberships cannot be regifted or resold to others. If you are unable to use your membership, please contact so that your membership can be returned to the pool.

Q: How can my local/regional convention or organization get involved in Capitalize!?
A: If your convention or organization would like to contribute to Capitalize!, please use the donation button above. We’d love for conventions and organizations to help us promote Capitalize! via social media or your own web pages. Feel free to link to this page in any newsletters or social media posts you make, and contact for graphics you can use in promotion. Our thanks in advance!

Q: Are you engaging in other efforts to increase the levels of diversity and inclusion at DisCon III?
A: Yes. We are taking several steps to make DisCon III a welcoming and accepting environment for all. One of those steps is to prioritize program participation, as much as possible, by members of marginalized communities; you can learn more about the others on our page about inclusion at DisCon III.

Q: I have a question that isn’t answered here. How do I get more information?
A: Email

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