OTW Finance: 2022 Budget Update

Throughout the 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. The team also revamped the accounting structure to better reflect the OTW’s financial activity. Preparation for the audit of 2021 financial statements continues!

The team has also been diligently working on the 2022 budget update and are happy to present it here (access the 2022 budget spreadsheet for more detailed information):

2022 Expenses

Expenses by program: Archive of Our Own: 66.7%. Open Doors: 0.6%. Transformative Works and Cultures: 0.4%. Fanlore: 3.4%. Legal Advocacy: 0.7%. Con Outreach: 0.1%. Grant - Vidding Book: 0.1%. Admin: 13.5%. Fundraising & Development: 14.4%.

Archive of Our Own (AO3)

US$290,688.25 spent; US$85,498.19 left

  • US$290,688.25 spent so far out of US$376,186.44 total this year, as of July 31, 2022.
  • 66.7% 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 updated estimated AO3 expenses include a planned US$42,000 for a modest expansion of server capacity to continue to handle site traffic growth efficiently, as well as to replace existing equipment.

Open Doors

US$1,234.42 spent; US$2,225.56 left

  • US$1,234.42 spent so far out of US$3,459.98 total this year, as of July 31, 2022.
  • Open Doors’ expenses include hosting, backup, and domain costs for imported fanwork archives, shipping costs associated with preserving fanworks, and ticketing software (access all program expenses).

Transformative Works and Cultures

US$275.00 spent; US$2,074.00 left

  • US$275.00 spent so far out of US$2,349.00 total this year, as of July 31, 2022.
  • Transformative Works and Cultures‘ expenses are the journal’s website hosting, publishing, and storage fees (access all program expenses).


US$14,564.40 spent; US$4,712.50 left

  • US$14,564.40 spent so far out of US$19,276.90 total this year, as of July 31, 2022.
  • Fanlore’s expenses are a citation tool for the wiki, as well as its share of allocated server hardware, maintenance and colocation costs (access all program expenses).

Legal Advocacy

US$0.00 spent; US$4,000.00 left

  • US$0.00 spent so far out of US$4,000.00 total this year, as of July 31, 2022.
  • Legal’s expenses consist of filing fees and other costs associated with conferences and hearings (access all program expenses).

Con Outreach

US$0.00 spent; US$780.00 left

  • US$0.00 spent so far out of US$780.00 total this year, as of July 31, 2022.
  • Budgeted expenses include WorldCon memberships for volunteers to attend and represent the OTW at ChiCon (access all program expenses).

Grant for F. Coppa book on the History of Fanvidding

US$660.00 spent; US$0 left

  • US$660.00 spent so far out of US$660.00 total this year, as of July 31, 2022.
  • 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 has published the book and it is freely accessible online now. Since the full amount of the grant has been spent and its purpose has been accomplished, the grant is now closed.
  • Remaining expenses were spent on the final proofreading and creating a table of contents for the book (access all program expenses).

Fundraising and Development

US$48,796.15 spent; US$32,166.00 left

  • US$48,796.15 spent so far out of US$80,962.15 total this year, as of July 31, 2022.
  • Our fundraising and development 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$27,985.04 spent; US$48,162.28 left

  • US$27,985.04 spent so far out of US$76,147.32 total this year, as of July 31, 2022.
  • 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, encrypted document storage, and accounting tools (access all admin expenses).

2022 Revenue

OTW revenue: April drive donations: 46.6%. October drive donations: 8.3%. Non-drive donations: 33.2%. Donations from matching programs: 11.7%. 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 55% of our income in 2022. 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!
  • US$512,358.90 received so far (as of July 31, 2022) and US$600,118.51 is projected to be received by the end of the year.

US$512,358.90 donated; US$87,759.61 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 October 15 at 8pm UTC (what time is that in my timezone?).

To download the OTW’s 2022 budget in spreadsheet format, please follow this link.

  1. josilver commented:

    Thank you for the transparency!

  2. kekspeek commented:

    When will the October fundraiser be?

    • Claudia Rebaza commented:

      Hi kekspeek

      It will start in under 48 hours.

      Claudia Rebaza
      OTW Communications

  3. evansrogerskitten commented:

    I love AO3 so much. Thank you. ❤️

  4. Rom commented:

    thank you for the hard work that is mantaining ao3<3

  5. KatieDingo commented:

    Thank you to everyone involved in keeping AO3 and OTW going. I’m continually impressed by your professionalism and passion for keeping the archive going, and to protecting our right to transform works for our and others enjoyment. We couldn’t do it without you. Thank you 💛

  6. C.F commented:

    AO3 is my late night and morning cup of tea. Thank you for keeping the archive going

  7. Jaye Markham commented:

    I’m not able to donate at this time, but I do want to thank all of you for this wonderful treasure. I found fanfiction and AO3 in late 2026 and it’s changed my life by giving me much reading pleasure and encouraging me to write. Please keep up the excellent work.

    • Sabrina commented:

      Thank you so much for all the hard work you do for this site! I’m sure it’s not easy. Very Impressive!

    • Sabrina commented:

      Ao3 is my absolutely favorite. Very Impressive!

  8. , commented:

  9. A commented:

    Thank you for all the hard work you do for this site! I it can’t be easy but it is incredibly appreciated.

  10. Влади́мир commented:

    $10 from me. After diving through Ao3 tags I was stunned by how pro free speech that site is, it was definitely worth the wait for an account that’s for sure.

    I think we all need some fluff in these dark times.

  11. Tiffany commented:

    Is there a savings fund for AO3 to housing the excess funding since income has exceeded anticipated expenses this year?

  12. Reverb commented:

    This is my first time ever donating to Ao3, and honestly I am glad that I finally did. I have never seen such a transparent site before, with such care put into maintaining it.

    Thank you for being one of the last censorship free fan spaces!

  13. Chise Hatori commented:

    I am always amazed by how dedicated people are to AO3. These fundraisers usually raise three or four times the amount that was set as the goal, and it’s always so heartening to see. I have donated several times, and this time is no different. I use AO3 every day. Thank you for all you do.

  14. Madpaddy commented:

    I didnt know we can donate whilst using ebay or humble bundle to you guys!! I am never able to donate to these things but i am forever thankful for the others who donate and the AO3 team! Thankyou! Also thankyou for the transparency 🙂

  15. Writerbear369! commented:

    Thank you for sharing all of this information. AO3 has really helped me develop my writing over the last year and I love the support and community. I felt comfortable making a donation because I knew exactly where monies were going. Thank you for all you do.

  16. jane commented:

    Hi Claudia,

    I’m following-up on reply related the Grant for F. Coppa book on the History of Fanvidding. Can you clarify why HP Education Fanon made this donation specifically to OTW and why OTW specifically chose to accept it? Why not through another avenue instead of OTW?

    A published book by a professional academic separate from OTW is not exactly a fanwork by a fan nor is it an article published by an acefan on TWC.

    While I support the endeavor, can we have more disclosure about this donation and the decision-making? This donation will contribute to the earnings the book and the professional career of F. Coppa who is a founding member of OTW. Is there no appearance of a conflict of interest?

    Thank you for your help.

    > Jess H commented: Hi Jane, Thanks for your interest. HP Education Fanon offered to make a donation to the OTW with the requirement to use the money for a specific purpose, should the OTW choose to accept. The Board of Directors agreed to accept the donation and conditions. HP Education Fanon and the OTW agreed that the money should be used to support Francesca Coppa’s book on the history of fanvidding. There are no conflicts of interest involved here. The support of the fanvidding book complies with the OTW’s mission to support fanworks by fans, including preserving the history of fanworks, and also HPEF’s desire to use the money to support literacy. If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact the Finance Committee using the form on the website (about > contact us). – https://www.transformativeworks.org/2020-budget-update-post/

    • Claudia Rebaza commented:

      Hello Jane

      Here is what Francesca Coppa passed along: “My understanding is that the HPEF (which was the Harry Potter Education Project) had to close down and in doing that, were required to donate their remaining money but did NOT want it going to fan works, ironically. They wanted it to go to something educational and I was told that they’d rejected all of the [OTW]’s other suggestions. Then the OTW pitched me and my project to HPEF—OTW knew that I was looking for funding because I wanted my book to a) host the vids that I talked about so that people could appreciate them and they wouldn’t disappear and b) be free to read to all since it was about fandom–and HPEF liked the idea.

      Believe me, as a founder I asked Finance like 12,000 times if there was any way that we could use this money elsewhere, and the answer was no, the donor had very specific wants. The money does support the (expensive, and non-profit funded) open source version of the book and the vid hosting therein, and the HPEF was not really the bulk of that funding either: I also got contributions from the Mellon Foundation, my college Muhlenberg, and another nonprofit fund.

      You can read the book and watch the vids here: https://www.fulcrum.org/concern/monographs/hq37vq792

      I’m a tenured full professor—like, I’ve already been promoted to the highest level and so the book isn’t for promotion nor will it earn money since it’s free to read? Though I am proud of having written it!! 😀 :D”

      • jane commented:

        Hi Claudia, Thank you for the reply! As a follow-up, because it’s not clear here but did OTW approach HPEF for donations or…? If so, why did OTW approach HPEF for the donation? And why did they continue to approach HPEF when it’s clear that HPEF did not want the money going to fan works? And why did they specifically pitch F. Coppa’s project? What was the decision-making process? Why not open the grant to applications? And re: earnings & career promotion: the printed version costs $29.95? And a career includes outside & other aspects of tenures and professorship, including reputation, publishing, research, etc. Thank you for your help again.