We ended up winning the contest, so thanks for your help everyone!
EST. Thanks for pointing that out.
See http://lesswrong.com/r/lesswrong/lw/j1j/help_the_brain_preservation_foundation/a1ns, my previous comment. Is there something there that you still feel "smells fishy"?
There are two pools of money for the prize:
The first is the $100,000 prize purse which we have secured. This is not money we have on hand, but is instead money that we have a binding legal access to in the event that the prize is won. Like the million dollars for the Ansari X prize, the prize purse money only materializes when the prize is won. We can't use it or access it now, and even if we could, it would be dubious morally, as you say.
The other pool is the General Fund, which we use to fund lab time, disposables involved in electron microscopy, travel costs, etc, with with main cost being equipment/lab time for evaluation. The general fund is much smaller then the prize purse currently, and while we do have enough money to perform several evaluations, we need more money to help us with outreach and the inevitable roadblocks we will face while administering the prize.
Bottom line is that the prize purse is separate from the general fund, and the general fund is quite lean. While we currently have enough money to run the prize (most likely), more money will help us with inevitable setbacks, and also play a critical role in helping us to promote the prize and even recruit new competitors.
I think a good way to ensure that you will be able to be revived sucessfully is to take matters into your own hands and work on improving brain preservation technology / awarness right now. For example, you could volunteer or otherwise help out the Brain Preservation Foundation (http://www.brainpreservation.org/). Or help out research into this technology directly. As we get more information about preservation and how it works (and why it doesn't), it will become more obvious what you can do personally to get a better preservation.
Hi, my name is Robert McIntyre. I'm a graduate researcher at MIT studying AI. I am also a volunteer for the Brain Preservation Foundation (http://www.brainpreservation.org/) You can vote for us to win charity money here (http://on.fb.me/15XFdTG).