2012 Annual Report


Celebrating 5 Transformative Years

Annual Report 2012

Table of Contents

  • Letter from the Board of Directors
  • 2012 Year in Review: Celebrating Five Transformative Years Projects
    • Archive of Our Own
    • Fanlore
    • Legal Advocacy
    • Open Doors
    • Transformative Works and Cultures
    • Fundraising and Outreach Communication and Public Relations People and Planning
  • Timeline
  • Continuing to Serve Fans: Goals for 2013
  • Finances
    • Statement of Financial Position
    • Statement of Activities
    • Statement of Functional Expenses Notes to Financial Statements
  • About the OTW
    • Mission, Vision, Values
    • Board of Directors
    • Emerita Board Members
    • OTW Committees and Workgroups


Dear friends of the OTW,

In 2012 the Organization for Transformative Works celebrated its fifth anniversary amid several exciting milestones. Our fundraising reached an all-time high of over $90,000 USD, the Archive of Our Own grew to more than 100,000 users, Fanlore’s content expanded by nearly 30%, and we implemented our first staff and volunteer Code of Conduct.

Throughout the organization, we made progress — sometimes in great strides and sometimes in baby steps — toward a wide range of goals focused on everything from strengthening the documentation of our internal processes, to building contacts in the media. As you read through the 2012 Annual Report, you will have the chance to hear more about our progress from each of our committees. Here, we want to share a bit of the Board’s journey through 2012 and our goals for 2013.

In November 2011, outgoing board member Rachel Barenblat and continuing board members Ira Gladkova, Francesca Coppa, and Kristen Murphy met with their newly-elected counterparts. The elected cohort consisted of first-time board members Jenny Scott-Thompson, Julia Beck, and Nikisha Sanders, as well as Naomi Novik, returning to serve a second term on the Board of Directors. As a group, we made our first introductions to each other as colleagues and identified our goals for the next term of OTW, including milestones for individual work and hopes for policy and project development. These goals were as follows:

  1. Code of conduct
  2. Strategic planning
  3. Internal comms
  4. External comms
  5. Robust coding team
  6. OTW convention
  7. Marshall AO3 user base for OTW funding and recruiting
  8. Budgeting process
  9. Consider our fannish vs. non-profit identity
  10. Make use of non-profit best practice
  11. Work on importing (Open Doors)
  12. Develop the Dark Archive for vids
  13. Board culture/comms
  14. Board liaison role
  15. Consider identity as legal project, wiki project, OSS project
  16. Talk to EFF and Dreamwidth about best practices
  17. Website redesign

Throughout the year, the Board engaged in discussions about generally accepted best practices for the boards of non-profit organizations, including examining aspect of our current staff and financial management plans. The most intense, vital, and rewarding part of our work, however, was in simply learning to communicate with each other. Those of us who joined the Board for the first time, and Naomi, who returned after a year away, did so after a contentious election and on the heels of a Board that struggled with widespread burnout amongst themselves and our all-volunteer staff. While we inherited and faced a number of challenges at the start of the term, our largest by far was simply learning to support and listen to each other, and how to strengthen our individual and collective relationships with committees and staff members across the organization.

Shifting a new location for Board meetings, making them accessible to all staff rather than restricted to chairs, was an early and important step in making our work more transparent. Making the minutes of our meetings publicly available is another step we took toward increasing our accountability to our staff, volunteers, and members. Admittedly, we still haven’t found a perfect balance, and improving communication and transparency both from the Board and across the organization remain a goal for 2013.

In addition to our work within the Board, we also supported and were supported by nineteen committees and five workgroups, comprised of hundreds of volunteers. Some committees and workgroups were newly inaugurated this year, while others transitioned in status, giving us another opportunity to examine our overall organizational structure and continue processes of examining and defining the structures and practices that will make us a better and stronger organization.

One such improvement had been a longtime goal and was finally achieved. The Volunteers and Recruitment Committee presented a comprehensive Code of Conduct, and its companion Constructive Corrective Action Policy, to the Board for consideration at the beginning of November. Several of us had supported this effort even before joining Board, and the Board as a whole was proud to unanimously approve both documents, with Julia and sanders working directly with VolCom as Board liaisons through the process. It was a tremendous effort, two years in the works, and we commend and thank VolCom for their work.

Strategic Planning hit the ground running from a Board perspective, with Jenny and sanders continuing to build on the foundation laid by emerita Board member Allison Morris in 2011, to recruit solid staff to shape the strategic planning process for OTW. A proposal for overall, long-term process was presented to the Board in April and, again, unanimously approved. Jenny and sanders worked with the committee through the year wearing the hats of both staff and Board liaisons.

With the help of Jintian, a Communications staffer, we were able to begin a series of posts on transformativeworks.org addressing topics near and dear to the hearts of individual Board members. Ira, Jenny, Julia, and Kristen each took a turn as a featured writer, covering elections, Board goals, committee liaising, and personal and professional development. Jintian was also invaluable in assembling the 2011 Annual Report, soliciting Board opinions and assistance in producing the final document. Claudia and Lucy, the chairs of the Communications Committee, along with the rest of their staff, provided assistance in coordinating the announcements of significant developments within the Board, and — along with Webmasters — making our meeting minutes publicly available.

In April, Development and Membership bolstered the numbers of potential donors by crafting an appeal that went directly to the 40,000+ registered users of AO3. Kristen and Naomi did stellar work in making this happen in a true cross-committee collaboration. Later in the report, you will be able to see the impact this had on our finances, our all-volunteer staff, and membership. Suffice to say, it was a brilliant idea, so brilliant that DevMem did it again in October and will be making appeals to AO3 users a regular part of our fundraising plan in the future.

Along with raising money, decisions had to be made about how to spend it. Proposals were considered for a variety of projects and equipment, and ultimately, we added four servers to our existing machines. Two of these were donated by Systems staff member James, and live in Europe, giving us our first servers hosted outside of the US. We also provided resources for VolCom to begin developing screencasts for staff and volunteer training. Accounts were opened and maintained to run the public survey spearheaded by Julia and supported by the Survey Workgroup, and to develop surveys targeting each committee by Strategic Planning. We were also able to provide support for a media studies reader edited by our own Karen Hellekson and Kristina Busse, both of the Journal Committee. Royalties from the book will provide a steady stream of income for OTW.

As you can tell, this was a year of tremendous growth and intense self-examination. We continue to learn about ourselves and our audience, and look forward to putting this knowledge to use in building a better, stronger organization throughout 2013.

Thanks to the support of our volunteers, members, and users, we are larger, and must also learn to adjust to our continuing growth; we are changing, and must keep learning to better support each other through moments of challenge as well as moments of success; and we are, always, learning and loving fandom and will always seek more and better ways to do both. We could not have gotten this far without our tireless volunteers, generous members, an enthusiastic users, and we will continue to need your support as we work toward our goals for 2013.

Thank you for a great year,

Kristen Murphy, President Ira Gladkova, Secretary Nikisha Sanders, Treasurer Maia Bobrowicz Franzeska Dickson Eylul Dogruel Andrea Horbinski Cat Meier


Since the Organization for Transformative Works was founded in September 2007, the organization has experienced success, overcome challenges, and expanded its programs in supporting its mission. This past year has been no exception as the organization has continued to grow and mature.
The OTW’s five major projects all had a great year. The accomplishments of the teams supporting each project were many and the challenges overcome by the volunteer personnel stand as a testament to their commitment and dedication to the organization and to fans everywhere.
The Archive of Our Own (AO3) continued to experience major growth during 2012. Use of the site grew considerably, taking us to over 100,000 user accounts and more than 500,000 works archived by the end of the year. Works on the archive now represent over 10,000 different fandoms.

This growth did not come without challenges, which received swift responses from the Accessibility, Design & Technology Committee and Systems Committee. When increasing usage caused major site stability issues in June, seven code updates were deployed in a single month to address the problems. Caching was instituted in a few places, the filters were temporarily disabled, and requests for invitations from existing users were temporarily suspended. Through the diligent work of staff and volunteers, new and improved tag filtering was deployed to the AO3 in November and invitation requests were restored in December.

In addition to responding to site performance issues and fixing bugs, several improvements and new features were rolled out through 15 code deploys during 2012. These improvements included: fixes to the HTML parser; the ability to edit multiple works simultaneously; RSS feeds for fandom, character, and relationship tags; new user stats pages; and subscriptions to individual works-in-progress. Dedicated hardware for coding and development was purchased and installed to support more coders actively working on the AO3.

The Tag Wrangling team continued to keep up with the growth in users and works – and, therefore, tags. A public open house was held in April to answer questions about the wrangling process on the archive. The committee also made the tag wrangling guidelines public as AO3 FAQs in September to improve transparency and accessibility of wrangling procedures.
Systems supported the AO3’s servers and applications, sometimes responding on short notice to issues that arose. Systems also oversaw the installation of Squid, a proxy server and web cache daemon, to deliver cached pages for guest visitors to the archive in June and the upgrade of Nginx and MySQL in July. The AO3 servers were also moved behind a firewall in August to improve site security.

The Support and Abuse Committees diligently served AO3 users throughout the year. Support received and answered the archive’s 10,000th user-submitted ticket and held the first live support chat. Abuse responded to a growing number of reports as the number of users and types of works being posted to the AO3 continued to increase and diversify this year.

Two additional workgroups were formed to support work on the archive this year. The AO3 Documentation Workgroup is responsible for maintaining and updating the FAQs and other user documentation. The Category Change Workgroup is charged with evaluating fandom media categories currently in use and recommending revisions that better meet the needs across fandoms.

In November, the Content Policy Workgroup posted revisions to the AO3 Terms of Service and Frequently Asked Questions for public comment. These changes were approved by the Board of Directors in December.

Fanlore also experienced growth in 2012 – surpassing the 20,000 article mark – with the Wiki Committee rising to the challenges presented. The committee was actively in discussion throughout the year with Fanlore editors and gardeners regarding category proposals and other policies through the Fanlore Dreamwidth community. Additionally, dedicated editing chats were held in March, April, September, and December to answer questions and encourage fans new to the process of adding and editing content on Fanlore.

The Wiki Committee also spent time this year working with the Legal Committee on questions and concerns raised by fan artists in relation to fair use. As Fanlore has continued to grow, gardeners focused on combating increased spam and exploring options for continuing to reduce spam on the site. The committee also worked with Systems on major site upgrades. Fanlore was upgraded to a new version of MediaWiki in November, and a project to develop a new skin for the site is in progress.

The Legal Committee continued receiving and responding to queries from fans around the world regarding the legality of fanworks, Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices, and cease and desist letters. The committee often provides clarification for fans regarding these questions and helps to point them in the direction of other resources that might assist them should they choose to take legal action on their own behalf.

In addition to general queries, the Legal Committee continued to advocate for fans, fanworks, and fan creators in a variety of venues. In January, they joined other committees to raise awareness about the Stop Online Piracy Act/Protect Intellectual Property Act (SOPA/PIPA) – legislation introduced in the United States Congress – and the potential impact the legislation could have on fans and online fandom. An alert to fan creators was posted in July about potential legal issues with an audio fiction contest being held by a major publisher. And in November, the OTW helped connect fans who may have lost fanworks as part of the Megaupload takedown to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who is taking action on behalf of those affected.
One notable achievement of the Legal Advocacy project came this year when the United States Copyright Office renewed and extended the DMCA exemption for non-commercial vidders for another three years. Members of both the Legal and Vidding Committees testified before Copyright Office in June, and a ruling was announced in October.

The Open Doors Committee achieved a number of milestones during 2012. The project announced the development of the first mass importer to bring at-risk archives into the AO3, worked with the Accessibility, Design & Technology Committee to import the Smallville Slash Archive into the AO3, and continued to work with the Fan Culture Preservation Project and Special Collections at the University of Iowa in archiving fan zines and other analog artifacts related to fan culture.
Open Doors continued to work with moderators of online archives interested in moving works into the AO3. In March, it was announced that 852 Prospect, an archive of works in the Sentinel fandom, would be the next major import. The import has taken longer than expected due to coding issues, but the committee has worked with fans wishing to import their works in the interim. The committee has also assisted fans and moderators in conducting manual imports of complete archives into the AO3.

The Journal Committee has continued to promote and provide access to scholarship on fanworks and practices through Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC). The committee released two standard issues and one special issue in 2012, with each focusing on various aspects of the fan experience.

In March, TWC no. 9, a guest-edited issue entitled “Fan/Remix Video” was released. The issue was edited by Francesca Coppa of Muhlenberg College and Julie Levin Russo of Brown University. A special issue (no. 10), “Transformative Works and Fan Activism”, was published in June. The issue was guest edited by Henry Jenkins and Sangita Shresthova of the University of Southern California. Issue number 11, published in September, included articles on fanfiction in historical contexts, slash, gender in online role-playing games, and lip dubbing on YouTube, among others.

The Journal Committee was also hard at work planning a reboot of the Symposium blog, with a new name and renewed focus on connecting fans and scholars with research on fandom. They also solicited papers for two upcoming special issues entitled “Transnational Boys’ Love Fan Studies” and “Appropriating, Interpreting, and Transforming Comic Books”.

The Development & Membership Committee led a record-setting year for the organization in the area of fundraising. The first fundraising drive of the year was held in April and was the first to include an e- mail to all registered AO3 users in addition to other methods of promotion. The drive was incredibly successful, resulting in $37,744 raised for the organization. The second drive, held in October, brought in more than $18,600. Contributions outside of the two drive periods and recurring donations brought the total raised in 2012 to $92,271.54.

In February, the committee split into two teams: one focused on managing the fundraising drives and convention outreach and the other tasked with researching and soliciting grant funds for the organization. In April, the grants team reorganized to form a separate Grants Committee. The separate committee status will allow the staff to focus even more on grant writing and research.

Work on building a convention outreach plan continued this year. Development & Membership sponsored a table at a fandom convention for the first time during Ascendio in July. The committee has continued to work on developing materials that can be provided to individuals attending conventions and processes for reporting outreach work back to the organization.

The organization continued to keep its audience aware of its operations and fandom-related news during 2012 through newsletters and project announcements. The Communications Committee’s regular spotlights on committees and workgroups were joined by expanded news link roundups (renamed OTW Fannews in 2012). The committee also launched monthly roundups of events posted on the organization’s public events calendar, and also started including calls for papers and requests for research participation related to fan studies in those posts. Fandom First Friday launched on the organization’s Tumblr account in June and the OTW’s fifth anniversary was celebrated across all of the organization’s social media outlets in early September. There was a particularly high number of OTW mentions added to our Press Room, coming from print, radio, and video interviews.

In an effort to learn more about the OTW’s stakeholders, the Internationalization & Outreach Committee launched the OTW Community Survey in April. The survey had 5,985 respondents and the Survey Workgroup was formed in June to analyze and distribute the results. Some preliminary results were posted through the OTW blog, but the workgroup eventually put the analysis on hold to review the processes being used to analyze and report results. (A full report of the results was
released in March 2013.)

In September, the Webmasters Committee moved the organization’s website, along with the elections and Open Doors subdomains, to a managed hosting provider. The committee also facilitated the upgrade of the website from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 in December, giving the organization access to the latest modules, functionality, and support for the website and blog.

The Translation Committee has continued to work on translating OTW materials to increase the organization’s ability to serve fandom around the world. Pages on the organization’s website continue to be updated and expanded and the organization’s monthly newsletter was made available in languages other than English for the first time. The committee also continued to work with Accessibility, Design & Technology on a planned translation interface for the AO3.

The OTW restaffed in January, with the Board of Directors approving committee chairs and the staff for each committee in 2012. In April, during an influx of volunteers, the Volunteers & Recruiting Committee identified issues with the organization’s recruiting processes, which had largely been in place since the organization was founded. The organization suspended external recruitment so the committee could embark on projects to improve and update internal documentation and to develop a more sustainable recruiting process that would more directly serve the needs of each committee, workgroup, and volunteer pool.

After months of research into best practices and working with an outside volunteer consultant, the Volunteers & Recruiting Committee proposed a Code of Conduct and Constructive Corrective Action Procedure in August. All current OTW personnel were invited to comment on the drafts, which were revised and sent for a second round of review in October. In November, the Board of Directors officially endorsed both documents, which went into effect immediately. These documents will continue to be reviewed on an annual basis.

As part of the OTW’s commitment to improving and building the organization, a Strategic Planning Workgroup was authorized by the Board of Directors in March. The workgroup was given the charge of analyzing the current state of the organization and advising the Board of Directors in creating a new strategic plan to guide the OTW into the future. The team set to work immediately, surveying current staff and volunteers regarding their experiences with a goal of developing a report on each team.

The information from the initial reports will be used to create an overall report with recommendations for the organization. The workgroup was reclassified as the Strategic Planning Committee in August, further underscoring the importance of the committee and its work.

In July, the Board of Directors announced plans to expand their membership from seven to nine members. This expansion would help to spread the workload more evenly among the Board and also help ensure that one-third of the membership is up for election each year. In September, Board member Jenny Scott-Thompson announced that she would be stepping down at the end of the year.

The organization also announced that the 2012 election would be uncontested and Andrea Horbinski, Eylul Dogruel, and Franzeska Dickson took office on November 1. In December, Francesca Coppa and Naomi Novik announced their resignations from the Board. Maia Bobrowicz and Cat Meier were appointed by the Board to fill out the remainder of their terms.


  • The OTW restaffed and launched another year!
  • The AO3 deployed fixes to the HTML parser, added feeds for fandom tags, and enabled subscriptions to
  • individual works-in-progress.
  • Several OTW committees worked together to raise awareness about SOPA/PIPA and the potential impacts
  • of the legislation on internet freedom and fan sites.


  • Having completed its core work, the Content Policy committee reorganized as a workgroup to periodically review and update the Terms of Service and Frequently Asked Questions for the AO3 going forward.
  • Development & Membership split into two teams: one to work on fundraising drives and outreach and another to focus on researching and soliciting grant funding for the organization.
  • Open Doors announced the development of the first mass importer for bringing an at-risk archive into the AO3.
  • The Seven Days of Love challenge on the AO3 encouraged users to read, comment, leave kudos, and add new content to the archive.
  • Wiki hosted a Valentine-themed challenge encouraging editors to “show their love” by adding information about their favorite fanworks and various gift exchanges and fests.


  • Journal released a guest-edited issue focusing on fan/remix video (Transformative Works and Cultures, No. 9).
  • Open Doors worked with Accessibility, Design & Technology to facilitate the import of the Smallville Slash
  • Archive into the AO3.
  • A new workgroup, AO3 Documentation, was formed to manage the AO3 FAQs and additional
  • documentation related to the archive.
  • A Strategic Planning workgroup was approved by the Board of Directors.
  • The functionality for editing multiple works on the AO3 was greatly improved and a large number of layout
  • and display issues were fixed.


  • Development & Membership hosted the first fundraising drive of the year, bringing in $37,744. This was the first drive to include an e-mail to all users of the AO3 and banners on the archive in addition to other methods of promotion.
  • Communications launched monthly roundup posts to feature listings from the public events calendar on the OTW website.
  • The Internationalization & Outreach Committee launched the OTW Community Survey which was answered by 5,986 respondents.
  • The April Showers promotion was held on the AO3 and Fanlore to encourage fans to add content for underrepresented fandoms on the archive.
  • The Development & Membership grants team was reorganized as an official Grants Committee.
  • Character and relationship feeds and the ability to edit drafts without posting them right away were deployed to the AO3.
  • The Tag Wrangling Committee hosted a public open house to help users learn more about wrangling and answer questions about the process.
  • Code to institute more informative page titles and subscriptions to series was deployed to the AO3.
  • After an influx of volunteers, Volunteers & Recruiting suspended external recruitment in order to improve
  • documentation and develop more efficient recruiting procedures. The project’s goals also included providing better support for the organization and volunteers.


  • Open Doors announced plans to import 852 Prospect, an archive of fanworks for the Sentinel fandom, into the AO3.
  • The OTW registered the IRC channel #otw-dev on Freenode.


  • Members of the Legal and Vidding committees testified before the Copyright Office related to renewing and extending exemptions for non-commercial vidders.
  • A rapidly growing user base caused some struggles for the AO3, necessitating seven code deploys during the month of June.
  • Support unveiled a “Fanfiction.net to AO3 FAQ” for new users migrating to the archive.
  • Transformative Works and Cultures issue number 10 was published, a special issue on fan activism guest edited by Henry Jenkins and Sangita Shresthova.
  • The Category Change workgroup was created to explore revisions of the fandom categories currently used on the AO3.
  • Communications launched Fandom First Friday, a monthly event to explore and celebrate aspects of fandom, on the organization’s Tumblr account.
  • New user stats pages were unveiled on the AO3 and e-mail batching was instituted for subscriptions and kudos notifications.
  • Caching was instituted on the first five pages of fandom results and kudos counts, while bookmarks listings were simplified to improve performance on the AO3.
  • Squid, a proxy server and web cache daemon, was added to the AO3 to provide caching on pages for guest visitors to the archive.
  • Filters on the AO3 were disabled, requests for invitations by existing users were suspended, and more caching was instituted as emergency measures due to performance issues.
  • The Survey Workgroup was formed to analyze and report results for the OTW Community Survey.


  • Communications announced the creation of an OTW Pinboard account to collect links to content produced by the OTW and of general interest to fans.
  • The Board announced plans to expand their membership from seven to nine members and ensure that one- third of the Board is up for election each year.
  • Nginx and MySQL were upgraded on the AO3.
  • Development & Membership sponsored their first information table at a fandom convention during
  • Ascendio, July 12-15.
  • The AO3 Diversity & Accessibility Policy proposed by Internationalization & Outreach was approved by
  • stakeholder committees.


  • The Strategic Planning workgroup was reclassified as an official organization committee.
  • The servers hosting the AO3 were moved behind a firewall for added security.


  • The OTW celebrated its fifth anniversary with a weeklong event taking place across its social media outlets.
  • Board member Jenny Scott-Thompson announced her resignation to be effective December 1.
  • It was announced that the election for the year would be uncontested with Andrea Horbinski, Eylul
  • Dogruel, and Franzeska Dickson to join the Board for 2013.
  • Journal published Transformative Works and Cultures issue number 11.
  • Fanlore hosted the Stub September challenge to encourage editors to expand articles in need of additional
  • context and information.
  • Tag Wrangling made the wrangling guidelines publicly available as AO3 FAQs.
  • The organization’s website, along with the elections and Open Doors subdomains, were migrated to a
  • managed hosting provider.
  • The otwarchive software rolled over to version 0.9.0 with a release that made tag relationship pages public,
  • upgraded the rich text editor, and allowed tags on bookmarks to be wrangled by Tag Wranglers.
  • The AO3 announced it would stop actively supporting Internet Explorer 6 and 7 but had added support for
  • Dewplayer to embed audio files on the archive.


  • Legal and Vidding received news that the DMCA exemption for non-commercial vidders was successfully renewed and expanded for another 3 years.
  • Communications released the second of two press releases using a new PR Newswire account that announced the Legal team’s victory. This notice was distributed to over 400 media outlets.
  • Development & Membership’s second fundraising drive of the year brought in more than $18,600.
  • Dedicated hardware was installed for development on the AO3 to support a larger number of coders
  • actively working on the archive.


  • New Board members took office on November 1.
  • Support held its first public support chat to directly visit with and assist users in real time.
  • Fanlore was upgraded to a new version of MediaWiki.
  • New and improved tag filtering was deployed to the AO3 along with new search forms and index pages for
  • works and bookmarks.
  • The Content Policy workgroup posted changes to the AO3 Terms of Service and FAQ for public comment.
  • The number of works hosted on the AO3 surpassed 500,000.
  • The Board endorsed two documents from Volunteers & Recruiting: the Code of Conduct and the
  • Constructive Corrective Action Procedure.
  • Volunteers & Recruiting administered the Still Willing to Serve survey to solicit feedback on the staff
  • experience and to find out which staff were planning to continue serving in 2013.


  • The Board announced the resignations of Francesca Coppa and Naomi Novik effective December 15. Maia
  • Bobrowicz and Cat Meier were appointed to fill out the remainder of their respective terms.
  • The ability to anonymously comment on one’s own anonymous work, preserving creator anonymity before
  • official reveals in challenges, was deployed to the AO3.
  • The fifteenth code update of the year was deployed to the AO3 to fix a number of reported bugs.
  • Requests for invitations by existing users on the AO3 were re-enabled.
  • Support received the 10,000th AO3 support ticket and the archive surpassed 100,000 user accounts.
  • Revisions to the AO3 Terms of Service and FAQs were approved by the Board of Directors.
  • Webmasters upgraded transformativeworks.org and the elections and Open Doors subdomains from
  • Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.

As the end of 2012 approached, having a mix of founders, original staff, and those who more recently joined the organization on the Board, paired with celebrating the OTW’s fifth anniversary, provided a unique opportunity to reflect on all of the accomplishments of the organization. It also gave the Board a chance to look at where the organization is struggling and to begin brainstorming solutions across the organization. As Eylul, Franzeska, and Andrea joined the board in November, and Maia and Cat joined in December, the Board revisited its 2012 goals and began discussing what where they wanted to see OTW go in the next year. The goals for 2013 reflect those conversations as well as feedback received from members and participants in various OTW projects.

  1. Continue to improve the design-build-test process for OTW technical projects. In particular to support cross-committee communication; training and support for designers, coders and testers; and better support for all OTW projects.
  2. Raise the profile of Fanlore through increased publicity and support for the Wiki Committee. Build the community of Fanlore contributors.
  3. Build and improve the Board’s internal documentation and training resources.
  4. Work toward sustainability and reduced burnout among our committees by promoting mentoring and improving succession processes.
  5. Increase Board capacity for financial management and fundraising. Work to offer more support and training in the areas of finances and fundraising for interested staff and volunteers.
  6. Explore ways to expand the scope and profile of the Legal Advocacy project.
  7. Be accountable for previous goals, particularly goals related to budgeting, strategic planning, and communications.

All currency amounts are presented in USD.

Organization for Transformative Works
For the Year Ended December 31, 2012

As of Dec 31, 2012 As of Dec 31, 2011 (PY) Change % Change
  Current Assets
    Bank Accounts
      Checking 49,889.22 33,913.74 15,975.48 47
      Paypal 26,876.49 22,921.54 3,954.95 17
   Total Bank Accounts 76,765.71 56,835.28* 19,930.43 35
   Accounts Receivable
     Accounts Receivable 0.00 0.00 0.00
   Total Accounts Receivable 0.00 0.00 0.00
  Total Current Assets 76,765.71 56,835.28 19,930.43 35
  Fixed Assets
    Machinery & Equipment 49,468.51 18,982.83 30,485.68 161
      Depreciation 3,791.68 3,791.68 0.00 0
    Total Machinery & Equipment 53,260.19 22,774.51 30,485.68 134
  Total Fixed Assets 53,260.19 22,774.51 30,485.68 134
  Other Assets
    Other Long-Term Assets 10,073.36 10,067.57 5.79 0
  Total Other Assets 10,073.36 10,067.57 5.79 0
  TOTAL ASSETS 140,099.26 89,677.36 50,421.90 56
  Total Liabilities 0.00
    Retained Earnings 89,677.36 71,434.74 18,242.62 26
    Net Income 50,421.90 18,242.62 32,179.28 176
  Total Equity 140,099.26 89,677.36 50,421.90 56
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND EQUITY 140,099.26 89,677.36 50,421.90 56

* reflects adjustment to Paypal from 2011 AR

All currency amounts are presented in USD.
Organization for Transformative Works
January – December 2012


  Discounts given 70.00
  Non Profit Income 92,271.54
Total Income 92,341.54
  Bank Charges 130.00
  Dues & Subscriptions 320.00
  Fundraising 7,859.22
  Insurance 2,000.00
  Media Studies Reader 3,197.40
  Office/General Administrative Expenses 4,648.04
  Project Management 1,721.82
  Systems Expenses 22,023.95
  Taxes & Licenses 25.00
Total Expenses 41,925.43
Net Operating Income 50,416.11
Other Income
  Interest Earned 5.79
Total Other Income 5.79
Net Other Income 5.79
Net Income 50,421.90


Accounting  Admin  Communications  Fanlore  Fundraising 
Total Income
  Bank Charges 80.00 5.00
  Dues & Subscriptions
  Fundraising 7,859.22
  Insurance 2,000.00
  Media Studies Reader
  Office/General Administrative Expenses 143.31 2,053.41 1,440.79
  Project Management 1,320.00 302.82
  Systems Expenses
  Taxes & Licenses 25.00
Total Expenses 248.31 5,378.41 1,440.79 302.82 7,859.22


Strategic Planning  Survey  Systems  Volunteers & Recruitment  Webmasters 
Total Income
  Bank Charges
  Dues & Subscriptions
  Media Studies Reader
  Office/General Administrative Expenses 144.00 371.23 495.30
  Project Management 99.00
  Systems Expenses 22,023.95
  Taxes & Licenses
Total Expenses 144.00 371.23 22,023.95 99.00 495.30

Organization for Transformative Works
December 31, 2012

Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Organization: The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in Delaware. The OTW was established by fans to serve the interests of fans by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan culture in its myriad forms. The OTW is a collaborative effort initiated and driven by fans for fans.

Basis of Presentation: The accompanying financial statements are presented using a modified cash method of accounting.

Financial Statement Presentation: Information regarding the financial position and activities are classified into the applicable classes of net assets: unrestricted net assets, temporarily restricted net assets, and permanently restricted net assets. Currently, all assets are categorized as unrestricted. Additionally, expenses are classified into program service expenses and support expenses.

Cash and cash equivalents: The OTW maintains cash balances within federally insured limits. No cash equivalents are held by the organization.

Use of Estimates: The preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

Contributions: The OTW recognizes all unconditional contributions received as income in the period received. Contributions received are recorded as unrestricted, temporarily restricted, or permanently restricted support depending on the existence and/or nature of any donor restrictions. All contributions are considered to be available for unrestricted use unless specifically restricted by the donor.

Donated Services: The OTW does not assign a value to volunteer activities in the statement of activities. Membership Dues: Membership dues are recognized as revenue based on the membership period covered by the member dues.

Functional Allocation of Expenses: The costs of providing the various programs and other activities of the organization have been summarized on a functional basis in the statement of activities. Accordingly, certain costs may have been allocated among the programs and supporting services benefited.

Income Taxes: The OTW is a 501(c)(3) organization exempt from Federal income and State franchise taxes under provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and Section 1902(b)(6), Title 30 of the Delaware State Taxation Code respectively. As such, no provision for income taxes has been provided in these financial statements.

Concentration of Credit Risk: The OTW maintains its cash balances at one bank. Accounts at the bank are insured by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $100,000.



The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) is a nonprofit organization established by fans to serve the interests of fans by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan culture in its myriad forms. We believe that fanworks are transformative and that transformative works are legitimate.

The OTW represents a practice of transformative fanwork historically rooted in a primarily female culture. The OTW will preserve the record of that history as we pursue our mission while encouraging new and non-mainstream expressions of cultural identity within fandom.

We envision a future in which all fannish works are recognized as legal and transformative and are accepted as a legitimate creative activity. We are proactive and innovative in protecting and defending our work from commercial exploitation and legal challenge. We preserve our fannish economy, values, and creative expression by protecting and nurturing our fellow fans, our work, our commentary, our history, and our identity while providing the broadest possible access to fannish activity for all fans.


  1. We value transformative fanworks and the innovative communities from which they have arisen, including media, real person fiction, anime, comics, music, and vidding.
  2. We value our identity as a predominantly female community with a rich history of creativity and commentary.
  3. We value our volunteer-based infrastructure and the fannish gift economy that recognizes and celebrates worth in myriad and diverse activities.
  4. We value making fannish activities as accessible as possible to all those who wish to participate.
  5. We value infinite diversity in infinite combinations. We value all fans engaged in transformative work: fans of any race, gender, culture, sexual identity, or ability. We value the unhindered cross- pollination and exchange of fannish ideas and cultures while seeking to avoid the homogenization or centralization of fandom.


The Organization for Transformative Works is run for fans by fans. The directors of OTW’s Board are all active in fandom, as are the more than 100 other people serving on our committees.

Kristen Murphy
(President) is on the staff of the Individualized Major Program at Indiana University and is pursuing a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs. She co-organized the first U.S. conference on individualized major programs, which has become an annual event. She has worked on a professional Web development team and as a writer and editor for print and online media. Murphy joined online fandom in 1996, beginning with Quantum Leap and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and branching out to numerous science fiction and fantasy fandoms. She is an avid writer, beta reader, and podficcer.

Ira Gladkova (Secretary) is a Web designer and developer who focuses on user interfaces, usability, accessibility, and Web standards. A lifelong fan and media omnivore, zie has particular interest in fan projects that bring together diverse communities and media. A community moderator and staff of two fandom newsletters, hir work in an annual multi-fandom exchange involves co-moderation, the design and front-end coding of signup forms, and crafting guidelines that use inclusive language and welcome diversity across media, kinks, and gender preferences. Gladkova has created stories, art, comics, and graphics in over fifty fandoms, is an active reccer and beta reader, and hopes to finish hir first vids soon. Zie has an unfortunate propensity for falling in love with background characters.

Nikisha Sanders (Treasurer) holds a BA in sociology and anthropology from Earlham College, where she authored a senior thesis on gender representation among queer women. She has worked as an activist for AIDS awareness and education, lobbied for LGBT rights at the local and state level as staff for the Fairness Campaign, and served as member of the board of the Kentucky coalition of Jobs with Justice. She brings experience in non-profit management and accounting to the board, and has a personal interest in outreach to fannish communities of color. She is relatively new to online fandom, joining in 2000 as an avid reader of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfic; and has been writing in various television and film fandoms, including NCIS, Criminal Minds, and Harry Potter, since 2006.

Maia Bobrowicz is a business analyst and project manager with the software development branch of an international company and has trouble staying away from school. She has a BSc in Chemistry, Metallurgy and Philosophy, a Bachelor of Journalism and is completing a MBA at night. Maia got involved in online fandom in 2001 and slid slowly from reading, to organising, to volunteering. A volunteer with the OTW since 2008, Maia has chaired AD&T and helped launch the Archive of Our Own into open beta. As part of a philosophy of giving back to the community Maia was on the Swancon (an annual Western Australia science fiction convention) committee for 2009 as program coordinator. Maia championed a women and family friendly program and managed to get 49% female panelists and presenters. Maia co-runs an annual discussion panel called Safe Spaces dedicated to exploring ways to make conventions enjoyable and safe(r) for all attendees.

Franzeska Dickson does back office work in finance. Always a geek, she was introduced to fanfiction by alt.tv.x-files at the tender age of 13 and has been in fanworks fandom ever since, first as a reader, then a writer and beta, and now a vidder. Her favorite venues and events are pan-fandom ones, including her own rare Asian fandoms exchange. She has previously served on the Content, Abuse, Webmasters, and Tag Wrangling Committees as well as filling various other volunteering positions within OTW.

Eylul Dogruel is an artist and an MFA candidate at Marmara University, Istanbul. She has an eclectic background combining computer sciences and art. Her knowledge and interests cover a range of topics including new media, sci-fi, customer support, web technologies, and usability. Eylul is a lifelong fan and has moved through various media and gaming fandoms. She is a fanfic reader, fanart appreciator, an MMO roleplayer and, occasionally, a meta writer. Her current fandoms include Warcraft, Doctor Who and The Longest Journey/Dreamfall.

Andrea Horbinski is a Ph.D. student in modern Japanese history at the University of California, Berkeley. She was previously a Fulbright Fellow to Japan, studying hypernationalist manga in Kyoto, and was a founding member of the OTW’s Internationalization & Outreach committee. She joined online fandom in 1999 after writing her middle school graduation speech on her love of Star Wars, and soon became involved in anime and manga fandom as an AMV editor and later a fan translator. She has discussed fandom, anime, manga, and Japanese history and folklore at conventions and conferences including Otakon, Sirens, WisCon, AnimeExpo, and the Popular Culture Association, and currently writes for the Symposium blog of the Transformative Works and Cultures journal. Her articles and reviews have appeared in The WisCon Chronicles vol. 6, Mechademia, and Transformative Works and Cultures, and she continues to actively produce fan translations, fanfic, and vids.

Cat Meier studied International Relations at American University and has since worked in a variety of completely unrelated fields including financial administration, marketing and political canvassing. She is currently co-chair of the OTW Finance Committee, which she has served on since its inception. A science fiction and fantasy reader all her life, she has been a member of online fandom since 1999 as a reader, reccer, beta reader and meta writer in fandoms ranging from historical movies to superhero comics. From 2005-2011 she served as one of the compilers of the popular fannish newsletter Metafandom.
For more information about our former Board members, see: https://transformativeworks.org/about/emeritus

Rachel Barenblat (2009-2011)
Julia Beck (2011-2013)
KellyAnn Bessa (2007-2009)
Hele Braunstein (2011)
Francesca Coppa, PhD (2007-2012)
Cathy Cupitt, DCA (2007-2008)
Susan Gibel, JD (2007-2009)
Sheila Lane (2009-2011)
Allison Morris (2010-2011)
Naomi Novik (2007-2010, 2012)
Jenny Scott-Thompson, MA (Cantab) (2012)
Michele Tepper, PhD (2007-2008)
Rebecca Tushnet, JD (2007-2010)
Elizabeth Yalkut (2010)

Accessibility, Design, & Technology
Development & Membership
Fan Video & Multimedia
Internationalization & Outreach
Open Doors
Strategic Planning
Tag Wrangling
Volunteers & Recruiting
AO3 Documentation
Category Change
Content Policy

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