OTW Finance: 2021 Budget

During the last year, the OTW Finance team has continued its work of ensuring that the organization’s bills are paid, tax returns filed, and standard accounting procedures met. Preparation for the 2020 audit of financial statements is currently ongoing!

The team has also been diligently working to meet the OTW’s 2021 needs, and is proud to present to you this year’s budget (access the 2021 budget spreadsheet for more detailed information):

2021 Expenses

Expenses by program: Archive of Our Own: 75.0%. Open Doors: 0.2%. Transformative Works and Cultures: 0.3%. Fanlore: 2.7%. Legal Advocacy: 0.9%. Con Outreach: 0.1%. Grant - Vidding Book: 0.1% Admin: 11.2%. Fundraising: 9.5%.

Archive of Our Own (AO3)

US$26,728.93 spent; US$389,523.46 left

  • US$26,728.93 spent so far out of US$416,252.39 total this year, as of February 28, 2021.
  • 75.0% of the OTW’s expenses go towards maintaining the AO3. This includes the bulk of our server expenses—both new purchases and ongoing colocation and maintenance—website performance monitoring tools, and various systems-related licenses, as well as costs highlighted below (access all program expenses).
  • This year’s projected AO3 expenses also contain US$115,000.00 in contractor costs to finish up work on moving AO3 collection searching to Elasticsearch, to upgrade the Archive to Rails 6.1, and to do an external audit of the AO3 site to find any security issues that need to be fixed.
  • Additionally, AO3 expenses include a planned US$203,000.00 for an expansion of server capacity to handle expected site traffic growth through the year. It is possible that some parts of this activity will be postponed to next year depending on various circumstances; the updated budget to be released later this year will provide additional information.

Open Doors

US$128.88 spent; US$735.29 left

  • US$128.88 spent so far out of US$864.17 total this year, as of February 28, 2021.
  • Open Doors’ expenses consist of hosting, backup, and domain costs for imported fanwork archives (access all program expenses).

Transformative Works and Cultures

US$339.00 spent; US$1,492.00 left

  • US$339.00 spent so far out of US$1,831.00 total this year, as of February 28, 2021.
  • Transformative Works and Cultures‘ expenses are the journal’s website hosting, publishing, and storage fees (access all program expenses).


US$1,017.54 spent; US$14,234.12 left

  • US$1,017.54 spent so far out of US$15,251.66 total this year, as of February 28, 2021.
  • Fanlore’s expenses are its share of allocated server hardware, maintenance and colocation costs (access all program expenses).

Legal Advocacy

US$0.00 spent; US$5,000.00 left

  • US$0.00 spent so far out of US$5,000.00 total this year, as of February 28, 2021.
  • Legal’s expenses consist of filing fees and registration fees for conferences and hearings (access all program expenses).

Con Outreach

US$0.00 spent; US$500.00 left

  • US$0.00 spent so far out of US$500.00 total this year, as of February 28, 2021.
  • Budgeted expenses include US$100.00 for producing flyers for virtual cons and US$400.00 for other convention outreach activities on behalf of the OTW (access all program expenses).

Grant for F. Coppa book on the History of Fanvidding

US$0.00 spent; US$598.32 left

  • US$0.00 spent so far out of US$598.32 total this year, as of February 28, 2021.
  • The money for this grant comes from a donation made to the OTW in 2020 for the specific purpose of covering costs related to the production of Francesca Coppa’s book on the history of fanvidding. The University of Michigan will publish the book and host the fanvids, as well as make it accessible for free online for everyone to read and use.
  • Budgeted expenses are for additional proofreading and publication (access all program expenses).


US$5,657.33 spent; US$46,906.67 left

  • US$5,657.33 spent so far out of US$52,564.00 total this year, as of February 28, 2021.
  • Our fundraising expenses consist of transaction fees charged by our third-party payment processors for each donation, thank-you gift purchases and shipping, and the tools used to host the OTW’s membership database and track communications with donors and potential donors (access fundraising expenses).


US$3,154.33 spent; US$58,757.48 left

  • US$3,154.33 spent so far out of US$61,911.81 total this year, as of February 28, 2021.
  • The OTW’s administrative expenses include hosting for our website, trademarks, domains, insurance, tax filing, and annual financial statement audits, as well as communication, management, and accounting tools (access all admin expenses).

2021 Revenue

OTW revenue: April drive donations: 13.9%. October drive donations: 20.8%. Non-drive donations: 55.4%. Donations from matching programs: 9.7%. Interest income: 0.1%. Royalties: 0.1%. Other Income: <0.1%.

  • The OTW is entirely supported by your donations—thank you for your generosity!
  • We receive a significant portion of our donations each year in the April and October fundraising drives, which together should account for about 35% of our income in 2021. We also receive donations via employer matching programs, royalties, Amazon Smile, and PayPal Giving Fund, which administers donations from programs like Humble Bundle and eBay for Charity. If you’d like to support us while making purchases on those websites, please select the Organization for Transformative Works as your charity of choice!
  • Thanks to your generosity in previous years, we have a healthy amount of money in our reserves, which we can use to pay for larger than usual purchases. As mentioned previously, we plan to continue to upgrade the capacity of the Archive’s servers, which significantly increases server equipment and server hosting expenses. The growth of the Archive and other projects of the OTW also requires more volunteers and administrative support, further increasing expenses. The budget spreadsheet projects a withdrawal of US$195,000.00 from reserves to cover the costs that exceed the amount of revenue to be received this year. This amount may be withdrawn as needed during the year.
  • US$55,553.19 received so far (as of February 28, 2021) and US$360,575.00 projected to be received by the end of the year.

US$55,553.19 donated; US$305,021.81 left

Got questions?

If you have any questions about the budget or the OTW’s finances, please contact the Finance committee. We will also be hosting an open chat to answer any questions you may have. This chat will take place in our public chatroom on April 10 at 8pm UTC (what time is that in my timezone?).

Click through here to access the dedicated chatroom where the meeting will take place. Come chat with us, and bring your questions!

To download the OTW’s 2021 budget in spreadsheet format, please follow this link.

  1. linbot commented:

    Beautifully readable and clear as usual. Wonderful job. <333