Announcing an anonymous challenge grant!

This post brings you a mid-week Hello! from the Development and Membership committee of the OTW and some exciting news!

An anonymous donor has come forward to offer a matching challenge grant of up to US$5000. That means that when you donate now, a contribution of equal value comes from a secret source and effectively doubles the impact of your giving. If you give US$10, it’s matched by another US$10 and the OTW receives a total of US$20. If you give US$50, you can opt to get an OTW sticker & iron-on pack AND your donation is still matched by another US$50, making the total impact of your donation US$100 for the OTW and a premium for you. Matching will continue cumulatively up to US$5000 of donations – US$5000 from you and other donors plus US$5000 in matches equals US$10000 in funds raised for the OTW, for hosting costs for the AOOO and Open Doors, and for future fannish projects not even imagined yet.

We’ll be posting regularly to our twitter account over the next few days to let y’all know how much of the challenge amount we’ve raised. You can subscribe to our twitter feed, or just check in to see the news, here:

Now is a great time to give if you haven’t done so yet, and a great time to give a little bit more if you can. We’d really like to raise all US$5000 needed to max out our challenge grant, and every donation helps!

The Development and Membership Committee of the OTW

Drive Premiums: You Know You Want One!

During this October membership drive, the OTW is launching a new series of “donation premiums”–that’s the technical fundraising term for “small gifts we offer to our donors as a token of our gratitude for your support.” (You know–Merch. Tchatzkes. Clutter.)

OTW Mug OTW Sticker OTW Mug OTW Sticker OTW Mug

We’re offering two premiums this time around (click to see larger images).

OTW Stickers: Your (Laptop, T-Shirt, Notebook Cover) Looks So…Naked!

If you donate US$50 or more, you can receive an OTW sticker and iron-on pack. The stickers and iron-ons are 3″ in diameter; the iron-ons (assorted shapes) are suitable for use on light or dark-colored clothing, tote bags, or other textiles. Stick ’em on your laptop, your writing notebook, your breasts: our Merch Coordinator assures us that they make very generous pasties. Iron-ons turn that boring t-shirt or tote bag from “Blah!” to “Wow”! (or possibly we need to get out more. But really, they’re cool!)

OTW Travel Mug! (Get ‘Em While They’re Hot–No, They’re Cool, Just The Coffee Is–I’ll come in again.)

If you donate US$100 or more, you can snag an insulated OTW travel mug. It holds 14 oz. of your favorite beverage, plus it’s swanky as all hell: acrylic and stainless steel exterior, 18/8 stainless steel inner liner, splash-resistant lid. The OTW graphic is printed with eco-friendly organic inks on both sides of the mug: yes, our mug goes both ways! Come on, you know you want one!

Combo Package!! (Yes, You Can Have It All!)

If you donate $120 or more, you can get it all: the stickers, the iron on, the insulated travel mug, as well as the devotion of all of us here at the OTW. And if you carry something adorned with our logo to a party or a conference or on the bus–well, hey, you might find fans in places you never expected to find us!

ACT NOW! Operators are standing by!

OTW Sticker OTW Mug OTW Sticker OTW Mug OTW Sticker

Election 2009 News!

And now for (some of) the news you’ve all been waiting for: the details of the OTW’s 2009 Election Season! We have great news for you: two fabulous people are joining the OTW Board! Because only two candidates came forward, we won’t be holding a contested election this year. However, they are both awesome and eminently qualified for Board service. Without further ado, let’s introduce them!

Elizabeth Yalkut is a student at Columbia University in New York City. She has worked in development, marketing, and strategy for nonprofit legal and theater organizations, is a long-time American Civil Liberties Union volunteer, and currently works for the Educational Technology department at Barnard College. Elizabeth has been a staffer with the OTW since 2007 and has been particularly instrumental on our Content Policy committee, where she helped to research, write, and publicly workshop our complex, fan-friendly, and highly-readable AO3 Terms of Service as well as general policy documents across the OTW. She also serves as a member of our Development committee, and was asked, as someone intimately familiar with Archive policy, to chair our Abuse committee at the beginning of 2009. Food is one of her fandoms: Elizabeth blogs about food at A Very Uncommon Cook, serves as treasurer of the Columbia University Science Fiction Society, and currently enjoys the hell out of Merlin, Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Elizabeth plans to work on outreach (organizational, fannish, international), accessibility, and education during her term on the Board.

Allison Morris works in a public library as a public services supervisor and has a BA in Japanese Literature from the University of Michigan. An OTW staffer for two years, Allison currently chairs the OTW Webmasters committee, which is responsible for building and maintaining all of, including the OTW blog, donations software, Open Doors subsite, and elections subsite; this requires her to work closely with the Drupal and CiviCRM open source software communities, as well as with people involved in a broad selection of OTW projects. This year, Allison also serves as co-lead with the Tag Wranglers subcommittee and heads the cross-committee Merchandizing workgroup which organized and is carrying out the OTW’s new donation premiums. A lifelong fan, Allison is particularly interested in not only works that transform canon but also fanworks that honor the work of other fans and transform other fanworks, like remixes, podfic, recs, and meta, among other fan arts. She has been a devoted creator and advocate of podfic; she built and maintains the Audiofic archive, providing a stable, permanent home for a constantly growing collection of podfic — currently ~3700 recordings covering ~290 fandoms, including readings in five languages — and she has conducted several podfic workshops at cons. She has many theories concerning robots, clones, and John Sheppard, and has presented on those and related subjects at WisCon and Writercon, as well as informally to whomever will listen.

Allison plans to work on increasing the OTW’s profile among technical women’s organizations as well as on creating a grantwriting team.

We would like for all of you to get to experience their awesomeness yourselves (or bask in it again, if you’ve already met them) and to ask questions about the details of the experience and ambition they bring to the table. They are your Board members – come say “Hi!” To this end, we’ll be hosting a chat at 1400 UTC on 24 October 2009.

Time clock for this event is here:

The chat will take place in our Public Discussion room on Campfire, which can be accessed via this URL:

Alas, the tea and coffee we can provide will be only virtual, but you are welcome to bring your own mug to the computer.

Although we didn’t get to hold a competitive election this year, we are delighted to have attracted two such marvelous new Board members. Welcome, Elizabeth and Allison!

If there’s anything we didn’t cover here that you’re concerned about, or if you want any more information, please respond to this with any questions, comments, or objections you may have. You can reach Elections by leaving a comment on this blog post or any of its mirrors, or by using the Elections contact form; you can reach the Board by leaving a comment on this post or its mirrors, or by using the Board contact form.

Visit the OTW Elections website.