Have you considered hosting an OTW get-together? Whether you’re planning a big fundraiser or a little party with an OTW tip jar, there are a few things you should know about how to handle donations made at events like this.
Does the OTW officially endorse third-party fundraisers?
No, the OTW can’t officially endorse any third-party fundraisers, because doing so would create tax issues. However, we are happy when someone wants to raise money and donate it to us! You are welcome to download flyers, membership forms, and other materials from our website and to hold events encouraging people to donate and join.
Can people join the OTW by donating at a third-party fundraiser?
Membership donations must be made by check or credit card, and must be accompanied by a membership form for each donor: either the electronic form filled out online, or the paper form mailed in. So if you collect a filled-out form and a check made out to the OTW from each donor and forward them all to us (or provide the forms but ask people to mail them in themselves), or have a computer available for attendees to donate online on the spot, then people who donate at the event can become members of the organization.
However, if you collect money yourself and forward it to the OTW, either in cash or as a single payment from you, we have no way to connect individual donors with their donations, and we cannot verify that each is a real, individual person. So in that case, the donations do not confer membership, although we are still pleased to receive them.
Does the OTW guarantee that third-party fundraisers will pass donations on to the OTW?
No. The OTW is not responsible for advertising or claims made by anybody else. As with any third-party drive, donors give at their own risk; we hope that people will be honorable, as they are in most charity drives.
Do I have to contact anyone at the OTW before holding a third-party fundraiser, to make it official?
No. Third-party fundraisers are entirely unofficial and the responsibility of the individual organizer. We hope that people running fundraisers using the OTW name and logo will behave honorably.
Are there good times and bad times for folks to host fundraisers on the OTW’s behalf?
Any time is a good time to collect donations to the OTW and encourage people to join!
What if five fans want to hold five separate events at the same con?
The more the merrier. We’re always happy when people pass the hat for the OTW, and we’re happy to provide suggestions and free downloadable materials to help.
Can other people use OTW logos on promotional literature and invitations? Does such use need to be approved in advance?
You are welcome to use OTW logos and images to promote your event; we don’t try to control other people’s advertising. We do ask that OTW literature and information, including our downloadable flyers and PDF membership and donation form, be made available at events like these. We are able to mail you promotional materials if needed, but would greatly appreciate it if you were able to print your own.
The use of any OTW logo for a third-party event does not constitute an endorsement by the OTW of any product, service, organization, or individual.
Are donations made at third-party events tax deductible?
The IRS has approved OTW’s tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in the United States. Regardless, individual receipts will not be issued for funds raised by third-party events if they are forwarded in a lump sum from the event organizer. The OTW encourages you to provide a computer with internet connection so that participants can become members or make direct donations online; such donations will be receipted, if they wish. Alternately, you can print out copies of our PDF membership and donation form and make them available for postal mailing.
If you are outside the U.S., the OTW would also love for you to host a fundraising event. However, donations are unlikely to be considered deductible by tax authorities outside the U.S.
If you have further questions or would like some ideas for how to run a fundraising event for the OTW, please contact the Development and Membership Committee.