Today I posted this on FB:
A thing I just did, which I commend to others who are in a fortunate position like me: I am speaking at a small conference. Because of this, I would not normally pay for conference fee or workshop dinner. But I can afford to do so, unlike so many students, un- and under-employed people. So I have paid the fee and the dinner price and asked the organisers to use the money as a small fund for those who need help. If lots of us start doing this, we could really do a bit of good in our field.
A nice discussion has ensued of other things that more privileged members of the profession can do as individuals. (Institutional reform is obviously vital too, but the focus in this discussion is on simple actions individuals can take.) Here are some more. Obviously who can do which will depend on particulars of situations. And in some cases conference organisers are under strict constraints that prevent some of these from working. But they are all things to think about doing, if you’re fortunate enough to be in a privileged position
Pay your own accommodation and/or travel, asking organisers to put the money toward help for those less able to afford the conference.
Refuse an honorarium, asking them to use the money to help those less able to afford the conference.
Join this campaign.
Ask if there are any students (or other junior members of the profession) who work in one’s area and might like to have a cup of coffee.
When giving a department seminar, suggest a cheap restaurant so that those with less money can come.
OK, not everyone’s going to come comfortable with this, but I have often requested that chairs follow a “one question per question” rule, so that I can hear from more people.
Please do add more suggestions in comments!