Annual Report 2018

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LETTER FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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 2018

FINANCES

  • Statement of Financial Position
  • Statement of Activities
  • Statement of Functional Expenses
  • Statement of Cash Flows
  • Program Expenses
  • Notes to the Financial Statements

THE OTW / MISSION, VISION, VALUES

  • Our Mission
  • Our Vision
  • Our Values

ABOUT THE OTW / WHO WE ARE

  • Board of Directors
  • Emerita Board Members
  • Committees

LETTER FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dear OTW donors, supporters, and volunteers,

2018 has been a year of major milestones and achievements across the OTW and its community:

  • The Archive of Our Own hit three major milestones in 2018: 1.5 million registered users in May, 4 million fanworks in July, and 30,000 fandoms in October. 2018 also saw a major update of AO3’s search functionality, and the introduction of the UTF8MB4 character set, allowing for a larger number of characters, including emoji, to be used on the Archive.
  • Open Doors completed eleven archive imports in 2018, containing over 11,000 works in total. Since the project’s creation, they have preserved nearly 100,000 works.
  • Fanlore currently contains over 46,500 articles, and we look forward to the creation of the 50,000th soon at the hands of our wonderful community of dedicated editors.
  • Transformative Works and Cultures published three new issues in 2018: on Social TV Fandom and Media Industries, on Tumblr Fandom, and a special tenth anniversary issue on the Future of Fandom.
  • Our Legal team continues to defend copyright fair use, workable internet policies, and freedom of expression around the world and help fans to better understand their rights regarding fanworks. Moreover, in 2018 our Legal team helped make all OTW websites become compliant with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.
  • OTW co-founder Francesca Coppa won the 2018 PROSE Award for Media and Cultural Studies for her book, The Fanfiction Reader: Folk Tales for the Digital Age. All royalties from The Fanfiction Reader are donated to the OTW as are the royalties from Karen Hellekson and Kristina Busse’s The Fan Fiction Studies Reader.

In 2018, the Board of Directors continued to work with all committees to strengthen and improve the OTW as a whole. As our projects expand, we continue to increase our volunteer pool and successful fundraisers. Your donations and our dedicated volunteers help maintain all parts of the OTW, and we hope to continue serving fans and fandom in the years to come.

We are planning for the future so that we can maintain a strong and united organization that continues our mission to protect the interests of fans by preserving and defending fanworks and by documenting, studying, and safeguarding fanworks and cultures. The OTW Board of Directors is looking forward to the challenges ahead and is confident and hopeful for this upcoming year and all the milestones yet to come.

With sincere thanks and best wishes,

The Board of Directors
Claire P. Baker
Kristina Busse
Jessie Casiulis
Priscilla Del Cima
Natalia Gruber
Lex de Leon
Danielle Strong


PROJECTS

Archive of Our Own

Newly Added Kudos on AO3 by year, from 2010 to 2018 (140 million)

The Archive of Our Own (AO3) kept on growing and thriving in 2018. Major milestones include AO3 reaching 1.5 million registered users on May 25th, and 4 million fanworks on July 20th.

In all, there were approximately 9.6 billion page-views in 2018 (compared with 8.3 billion in 2017), including 857 million page-views in December (compared to 731 million in 2017).

The European Union’s new regulation on data protection, also known as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), went into effect in May. As a direct consequence, members from various AO3 committees, along with Legal and the Board of Directors, worked together to update AO3’s Terms of Service (TOS) and prepare measures to meet GDPR’s standards.

Graph running from 2008 to 2018, with the caption 'In 2019, 106,000 bookmarks are added to AO3 per day'

During the first half of 2018, Accessibility, Design & Technology (AD&T) was kept extremely busy preparing for a massive update to AO3’s search functions, including upgrading Elasticsearch from version 0.90 to version 6.2. During this time, they also implemented some general improvements and GDPR-related changes, and dealt with some server issues. July saw the official release of the search engine upgrade, complete with new user features like exclusion filters and the ability to search for crossovers, as well as improved ability to search by date and word count. AD&T also released an updated hidden search operators cheatsheet.

AD&T spent the rest of the year implementing a variety of fixes and enhancements to AO3, with two to four releases per month between August and December, including the removal of the old Elasticsearch code and an update to the Archive’s login system. AD&T also upgraded AO3’s database and search fields to support the UTF8MB4 character set, allowing for an increased number of non-Roman characters and emoji to be used across the Archive.

In January, AO3 Documentation updated the “Your Account” and “Series” FAQs, and uploaded a brand-new “Creating a Work Skin” tutorial for users who want to customise how their works display on AO3. In May, they added a new tutorial on importing text-based works, and updated several FAQs including Comments & Kudos, Your Account, Invitations, and Posting & Editing, covering information on gift works, AO3’s spam filters, what happens when an account is deleted, and more. AO3 Documentation also added a new FAQ about Tag Sets in September.

Newly added works and comments on AO3 per year, from 2008 to 2018. As of 2019, the AO3 is adding around 3,500 works and 62,610 comments per day.

In February, AO3’s Abuse Committee was renamed Policy & Abuse (PAC) to better align with the various types of work within its purview. Both PAC and Support Committees added new recruits to assist with ticket volume: PAC handled approximately 10,400 tickets over the course of 2018, and Support handled approximately 18,900 tickets, 1,500 of which were in languages other than English.

Tag Wrangling celebrated a major milestone in September with the canonization of the 30,000th fandom on AO3! In total, approximately 2.4 million tags were wrangled in 2018.

Fanlore

In January, Fanlore began two regular features on its social media channels: Ship Sunday, spotlighting ship pages, and Trope Tuesday, spotlighting trope and genre pages. These were brought to life by dedicated graphics from its brand-new graphics team, and helped to draw more interest from users on social media. In August, a third feature, Fannish History Friday, was added to spotlight fandom history pages. Another initiative aimed at encouraging editors to contribute to specific areas of the wiki, FanloreProjects, went live in late January and early February. The inaugural three FanloreProjects were themed around X-Files fandom, Sci-Fi fandom and fannish meta.

To celebrate the 2018 International Fanworks Day (February 15th), Fanlore held a new event titled the IFD Fanlore Challenge, which was Fanlore’s first event to incorporate daily editing tasks and award badges. It received a great response, with new editors creating Fanlore accounts and making a number of edits to articles.

Fanlore also hosted its regular month-long challenge, April Showers, spotlighting pages from smaller fandoms and encouraging people to add to them. The committee recruited new staffers in March and October to oversee Fanlore’s policy, improve its Help pages, and write posts for its social media channels. In May and June new volunteers also joined the Fanlore graphics team.

Legal Advocacy

In January, Legal staffer Stacey Lantagne represented the OTW at Illogicon VII, where she spoke about law and fanworks. In February, Legal joined allies to file an amicus brief in the case of De Havilland v. FX. Closer to home, Legal also addressed the existence of a phishing site that month, which imitated Archive of Our Own in an attempt to get users to enter their passwords.

Legal also joined allies in March to file reply comments as part of the petition for two new fair use exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and filed an amicus brief seeking a rehearing of the case of TVEyes v. Fox.

In April, Legal chair Betsy Rosenblatt and staffer Heidi Tandy joined allies to testify to the US Copyright Office in support of petitions to streamline and expand exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention rules. Legal also made a public call for Canadian stories about how fans have benefited from fanworks, fan communities, and fair dealing laws. They used the responses in a submission with the Canadian Parliament as part of Canada’s regular review of its Copyright Act in June.

June was a busy month overall, as Legal sought clarified and expanded exemptions to the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions and filed letters in response to U.S. Copyright Office requests for follow-up information. Legal also joined a number of allies to oppose a New York State legislative proposal that would expand right-of-publicity laws.

In July, Legal submitted comments to the Australian Government in response to its call for stakeholder input into its copyright modernization process. They also joined with allies at the Suffolk Law Clinic to oppose registration of the term “Rapunzel” as a U.S. trademark for dolls and toys. Legal also did some user education with a post regarding fan-unfriendly proposals in European Union copyright law. They did another in September about the European Union Article 13 legislation.

October brought the good news that Legal and their allies were successful in their efforts to win expanded exemptions to the DMCA in the area of decryption.

To wrap up a busy year, in December, Legal helped provide information to fans during a time of great confusion regarding Tumblr. Legal posted about changes to Tumblr’s Terms of Service, which helped fans make decisions about their content and continued use of the site.

Open Doors

Open Doors announced the import of eleven fanworks archives in 2018, and completed importing another eleven, most of which had been previously announced in 2017. Their work throughout the year meant that over 11,000 additional works were preserved and made accessible on the Archive of Our Own, bringing the total number of works preserved by Open Doors to nearly 100,000.

Chart showing the number of rescued works added to AO3 from 2012 to 2018, a total of 99,175 works from 53 archives

Transformative Works and Cultures

TWC continued to prove the reliability and timeliness of their project throughout 2018, even as the site underwent various changes.

In March, they released issue No. 26, “Social TV Fandom and Media Industries”, guest edited by Myles McNutt. June saw the release of issue No. 27, “Tumblr and Fandom” which proved a popular themed issue for fans. In September, TWC published their tenth anniversary issue, No. 28, “The Future of Fandom.”

We congratulate the editors and staff of TWC on a decade of making fan studies more accessible to fans, academics, and the public at large!

Fundraising and Finance

In March, the Finance committee completed an audit of its 2015 and 2016 financial statements, with independent third-party auditors issuing the opinion that the OTW’s financial statements are accurate, reliable, and adhere to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Following this, Finance released the OTW’s 2018 Budget in early April. That same month, Development & Membership raised US$130,084.00 from 4,799 donors in 80 countries in the April membership drive.

In May, Finance completed the 2017 unaudited financial statements for inclusion in the 2017 Annual Report. Finance then released the audited 2017 financial statements, published an updated version of the 2018 budget, and held a public Q&A chat in October.

Development & Membership raised US$203,557.29 from 8,203 donors in 93 countries in the October membership drive, capping another year of successful drives and widespread support from around the world.

Communications and Public Relations

Translation continued growing, adding a new team for the language Slovak and restarting another for Slovenian in July. Their work helped expand access to numerous news items including Elections bios, platforms, and news posts, which were translated into 18 languages, and the April and October budget and membership drive posts, which were translated into 25 and 24 languages respectively.

Communications held celebrations for the fourth annual International Fanworks Day in February, which resulted in hundreds of new fanworks being added to AO3 and many more recommended as part of Feedback Fest. In September, they celebrated the OTW’s eleventh birthday with a trivia contest, some shareable anniversary icons, and a guest post by Ngozi Ukazu, creator of the Check, Please! web comic. A copy of her new book Check Please! Year 2, was offered as a prize for the trivia winner.

People and Planning

The Volunteers & Recruiting Committee recruited for 34 roles from 14 different committees throughout the year. In total, VolCom processed 875 applications and completed 284 inductions. As of December 31, 2018, the OTW had 681 volunteers serving in the organization.

The 2018 Election for the OTW Board of Directors took place August 10-13. Four candidates, C. Ryan Smith, Lex de Leon, Michelle Schroeder and Natalia Gruber stood for two open seats. Elections published candidate biographies, manifestos, and Q&A responses, and held public chats with candidates to help voters get to know the candidates over June and July. With 827 votes cast—representing a 2% increase in overall voter turnout compared to 2017—Lex de Leon and Natalia Gruber were elected, replacing outgoing Board members Matty Bowers and Atiya Hakeem.


TIMELINE 2018

January

  • Abuse received approximately 900 tickets.
  • AO3 Documentation added a new tutorial on creating a work skin, and added new questions to the Series and Your Account FAQs.
  • Fanlore began the weekly features “Trope Tuesday” and “Ship Sunday” on its social media accounts.
  • Legal staffer Stacey Lantagne represented the OTW at Illogicon VII, speaking about law and fanworks.
  • Legal joined allies to file an amicus brief in the case of De Havilland v. FX.
  • Legal addressed the existence of a phishing site that imitated Archive of Our Own in an attempt to get users to enter their passwords.
  • Open Doors announced the import of fanworks archives TER/MA, The New Adventures of Sinbad Fan Fiction Season 2, and Artifact Storage Room 3 to the Archive of Our Own.
  • Open Doors completed the import of MTAC: an NCIS fanfiction archive.
  • Support received over 1,450 tickets.
  • Tag Wrangling wrangled approximately 202,000 tags.
  • TWC upgraded the OJS software used for the Transformative Works and Cultures website.

February

  • The Abuse Committee was renamed as Policy & Abuse.
  • Communications held celebrations for the fourth annual International Fanworks Day.
  • Fanlore held the first annual IFD Fanlore Challenge in honour of International Fanworks Day.
  • Open Doors announced the import of fanworks archive Obidala Network to the Archive of Our Own.
  • Open Doors completed the import of The New Adventures of Sinbad: Fan Fiction Season 2, and The Boy / Michael Shanks, an archive for fanfiction about any character portrayed by Michael Shanks.
  • Policy & Abuse received approximately 800 tickets.
  • Support received over 1,750 tickets.
  • Tag Wrangling wrangled approximately 172,000 tags.

March

  • Finance completed audits for the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years.
  • Legal joined allies to file reply comments as part of the petition for two new fair use exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
  • Legal joined allies to file an amicus brief seeking a rehearing of the case of TVEyes v. Fox.
  • Open Doors announced the import of fanworks archive VinXperience to the Archive of Our Own.
  • Policy & Abuse received approximately 900 tickets.
  • Support received over 1,700 tickets.
  • Tag Wrangling wrangled approximately 180,000 tags.
  • TWC released issue No. 26 of Transformative Works and Cultures, “Social TV Fandom and Media Industries”, guest edited by Myles McNutt.

April

  • Development & Membership raised US$130,084.00 from 4,799 donors in 80 countries in the April membership drive.
  • Fanlore hosted the month-long April Showers event, encouraging people to contribute their own stories and experiences to Fanlore, especially those from smaller fandoms.
  • Legal chair Betsy Rosenblatt and staffer Heidi Tandy joined allies to testify to the US Copyright Office in support of petitions to streamline and expand exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention rules.
  • Open Doors completed the import of The Spooky Awards 2003-2005, containing the award winners from an annual fan-run event to recognize excellence in X-Files fan fiction, and The Unknowable Room a Harry Potter archive for fanfiction and fanart, focused primarily on Lily/James and Marauder-era works.
  • Policy & Abuse received approximately 700 tickets.
  • Support received over 1,600 tickets.
  • Tag Wrangling wrangled approximately 185,000 tags.
  • Translation translated and uploaded the OTW budget and the Drive posts in 25 languages.

May

  • Accessibility, Design & Technology had 3 releases in 3 deploys (0.9.211-0.9.213).
  • Accessibility, Design & Technology implemented changes to Archive of Our Own’s Terms of Service, and implemented site changes in compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation legislation.
  • AO3 Documentation added a new tutorial on importing text-based works and updated the Comments & Kudos, Your Account, Invitations, and Posting & Editing FAQs.
  • The Archive of Our Own reached 1.5 million registered users.
  • Finance completed the 2017 unaudited financial statements for inclusion in the 2017 Annual Report.
  • Legal called for Canadian stories about how fans have benefited from fanworks, fan communities, and fair dealing laws.
  • Open Doors completed the import of Death-Marked Love, a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfiction archive focused on Spike/Buffy, and Firefly’s Glow, a Firefly fanfiction archive.
  • Policy & Abuse received approximately 800 tickets.
  • Support received over 1,500 tickets.
  • Systems repaired a number of hardware failures.
  • Tag Wrangling wrangled approximately 205,000 tags.

June

  • Accessibility, Design & Technology had 2 releases in 2 deploys (0.9.214-0.9.215).
  • Finance entered the last stages of the 2017 audit of financial statements.
  • Legal filed a submission with the Canadian Parliament as part of Canada’s regular review of its Copyright Act.
  • Legal sought clarified and expanded exemptions to the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions and filed letters in response to Copyright Office requests for follow-up information.
  • Legal joined a number of allies to oppose a New York State legislative proposal that would expand right-of-publicity laws.
  • Policy & Abuse received approximately 700 tickets.
  • Support received over 1,300 tickets.
  • Tag Wrangling wrangled approximately 171,000 tags.
  • TWC Released Transformative Works and Cultures No. 27, “Tumblr and Fandom.”

July

  • Accessibility, Design & Technology had 2 releases in 3 deploys (0.9.216-0.9.218, 0.9.216 was the deploy that had no code changes).
  • Accessibility, Design & Technology introduced enhanced work search and filtering features as part of a major Elasticsearch update from version 0.90 to 6.2.
  • Archive of Our Own reached four million fanworks.
  • AO3 Documentation made amendments to some of the help text pop-ups.
  • Finance finished the 2017 Audit of Financial Statements.
  • Legal submitted comments to the Australian Government in response to its call for stakeholder input into its copyright modernization process.
  • Legal joined with allies at the Suffolk Law Clinic to oppose registration of the term “Rapunzel” as a trademark for dolls and toys.
  • Legal posted regarding fan-unfriendly proposals in European Union copyright law.
  • Open Doors announced the import of FictionAlley, a Harry Potter fanfiction, fanart and essay archive.
  • Policy & Abuse received approximately 1,000 tickets.
  • Support received over 1,600 tickets.
  • Tag Wrangling wrangled approximately 233,000 tags.
  • Translation added a new team for the language Slovak, and restarted another for Slovenian.

August

  • Accessibility, Design & Technology had 2 releases in 2 deploys (0.9.219 and 0.9.220).
  • Elections held the annual OTW Board of Directors election. Lex de Leon and Natalia Gruber were elected.
  • Open Doors completed the import of The Artifact Storage Room 3, a The Sentinel fanfiction archive.
  • Policy & Abuse received 1,000 tickets.
  • Support received over 1,200 tickets.
  • Systems moved Transformative Works and Cultures to a new server.
  • Tag Wrangling wrangled approximately 218,000 tags.

September

  • Accessibility, Design & Technology had 2 releases in 2 deploys (0.9.221-0.9.222), including the removal of the old Elasticsearch code.
  • AO3 Documentation added a new FAQ about tag sets.
  • Communications celebrated the OTW’s eleventh birthday.
  • Legal published posts about the European Union Article 13 legislation.
  • Open Doors completed the import of The Glass Onion, a multifandom fanfiction archive, and Pretty Lights, a multifandom actor RPF Secret Santa challenge which ran from 2005 to 2010.
  • Policy & Abuse received around 5,700 tickets, approximately 4,900 of which were spam.
  • Support received over 1,000 tickets.
  • Systems added new servers for Archive of Our Own.
  • Tag Wrangling wrangled approximately 209,000 tags.
  • TWC published the tenth anniversary issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, No. 28, “The Future of Fandom.”

October

  • Accessibility, Design & Technology had 2 releases in 2 deploys (0.9.223-0.9.224).
  • Board’s newly elected Directors Lex de Leon and Natalia Gruber began their terms. Directors Matty Bowers and Atiya Hakeem finished their terms.
  • Development & Membership raised US$203,557.29 from 8,203 donors in 93 countries in the October membership drive.
  • Finance published an updated version of the 2018 budget and held a public Q&A chat.
  • Finance released the audited 2017 financial statements.
  • Legal submitted an amicus brief in the case of TVEyes v. Fox.
  • Legal and allies were successful in their efforts to win expanded exemptions to the DMCA in the area of decryption.
  • Open Doors announced the import of P/K All the Way, a Star Trek: Voyager fanworks archive, and Elusive Lover, a Star Wars fanworks archive.
  • Policy & Abuse received approximately 700 tickets and a large amount of spam tickets.
  • Support received over 1,300 tickets.
  • Tag Wrangling canonized the 30,000th fandom on AO3.
  • Tag Wrangling wrangled approximately 189,000 tags.
  • Translation translated and uploaded the updated OTW budget and the Drive posts in 24 languages.

November

  • Accessibility, Design & Technology had 4 releases in 4 deploys (0.9.225-0.9.228).
  • Open Doors announced the import of Twice Bitten, a Blood Ties fanfiction archive.
  • Policy & Abuse received approximately 1,000 tickets.
  • Systems spent many hours working to resolve server issues.
  • Support received approximately 1,300 regular tickets, plus 1,200 tickets in a single day due to the server issues.
  • Tag Wrangling wrangled approximately 194,000 tags.

December

  • Accessibility, Design & Technology had 3 releases in 4 deploys (0.9.229-0.9.232, 0.9.230 was the deploy that had no code changes).
  • Accessibility, Design & Technology carried out a major update to AO3’s login code, which involved every user being logged out of their account.
  • Legal posted about changes to Tumblr’s Terms of Service.
  • Open Doors announced the import of The Tom Paris Dorm, a Star Trek: Voyager fanworks archive.
  • Open Doors completed the import of P/K All the Way, a Star Trek: Voyager fansite founded in 2000 that included a small fanfiction archive for stories dedicated to Tom Paris/Harry Kim.
  • Policy & Abuse received approximately 1,100 tickets.
  • Support received over 1,500 tickets.
  • Tag Wrangling wrangled approximately 238,000 tags.

FINANCES

Statement of Financial Position

As of December 31, 2018

2018 2017
ASSETS
Current Assets
Cash & Cash Equivalents
Operating Cash 176,217.01 96,530.77
Operating Reserves 703,855.33 600,389.23
Certificate of Deposit 10,159.99 10,159.99
Donations Receivable 6,682.12 11,282.97
Prepaid Expenses 10,634.00 11,032.67
Total 907,548.45 729,395.63
Property, Plant, & Equipment
Servers & Equipment 405,435.39 268,370.39
Less: Accumulated Depreciation (253,141.00) (191,859.19)
Total 152,294.39 76,511.20
Other Assets
Deferred Expenses 13,967.33 23,333.33
Total 13,967.33 23,333.33
TOTAL ASSETS 1,073,810.17 829,240.16
LIABILITIES
Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable 826.76
Total 826.76
TOTAL LIABILITIES 826.76
NET ASSETS
Without Donor Restriction 1,073,810.18 828,414.41
With Donor Restriction
Total Net Assets 1,073,810.18 828,414.41
TOTAL LIABILITIES & NET ASSETS 1,073,810.18 829,241.17

All currency amounts are presented in USD.

Statement of Activities

As of December 31, 2018

2018 2017
REVENUE
Direct Contributions 457,790.59 364,576.10
Donations from Matching Programs 19,112.76 7,532.21
In-kind Revenue 476,867.50 302,593.00
Total 953,770.85 674,701.31
OTHER INCOME
Interest Income 375.10 294.59
Miscellaneous Income 467.95 1,712.14
Total 843.05 2,006.73
TOTAL REVENUES 954,613.90 676,708.04
EXPENSES
Program
Archive of Our Own 162,834.48 195,274.99
Open Doors 3,008.35 727.58
Transformative Works & Cultures (TWC) 2,676.50 2,718.06
Fanlore 4,563.39 5,057.64
Legal Advocacy 121,850.02 133,115.50
Con Outreach 3,027.27 700.00
Fundraising 28,533.86 23,386.79
Management & General 382,724.26 196,369.07
Total 709,218.13 557,349.63
Change in Net Assets 245,395.77 119,358.41
Unrestricted net assets, beginning of year 828,414.41 709,056.00
Unrestricted net assets, end of year 1,073,810.18 828,414.41

All currency amounts are presented in USD.

Statement of Functional Expenses

As of December 31, 2018

Archive of Our Own Open Doors Transformative Works & Cultures (TWC) Fanlore Legal Advocacy Con Outreach Program Total Fundraising & Membership Development Management & General TOTAL
In-kind Expense 18,290.00 1,622.50 737.50 590.00 119,180.00 2,950.00 143,370.00 333,497.50 476,867.50
Server Hardware 2,414.79 77.07 2,491.86 77.07 2,568.93
Server Hosting 51,969.81 1,625.19 53,595.00 2,323.30 55,918.30
Hosted Provider 120.00 120.00 480.00 600.00
Licenses & Support 11,771.22 375.68 12,146.89 375.68 12,522.57
Website Domains 76.00 222.14 57.00 355.14 76.00 431.14
Website Monitoring 8,439.00 8,439.00 8,439.00
Website Hosting 928.54 928.54 4,169.22 5,097.76
Firewall
Contractor Services 3,860.00 3,860.00 3,860.00
Professional Services 1,939.00 1,939.00 12,795.40 14,734.40
Training 23.98 23.98 23.98
Travel 1,170.02 1,170.02 1,170.02
Plug-ins 16.17 77.27 93.44 32.83 126.27
Admin & Management 8,384.78 99.00 8,483.78 3,345.90 11,829.68
Filing Fees 1,500.00 1,500.00 1,500.00
Transaction Fees 17,483.80 17,483.80
Banking Fees 27.23 292.89 320.12
Premium Merchandise 3,685.15 3,685.15
Postage & Shipping 2,589.93 1,881.40 4,471.33
Membership Tracking Software 3,840.00 3,840.00
Ticketing Software 907.75 907.75
Auditing 18,000.00 18,000.00
Tax Filing 121.32 121.32
Insurance 3,417.30 3,417.30
Total Expenses Before Depreciation 105,229.58 3,008.35 2,676.50 2,724.94 121,850.02 3,027.27 238,516.65 28,533.86 380,885.81 647,936.32
Depreciation 57,604.90 1,838.45 59,443.36 1,838.45 61,281.81
Total 162,834.48 3,008.35 2,676.50 4,563.39 121,850.02 3,027.27 297,960.01 28,533.86 382,724.26 709,218.13

All currency amounts are presented in USD.

Statement of Cash Flows

As of December 31, 2018

2018 2017
Cash flows from operating activities
Increase in Net Assets 245,395.77 119,358.41
Adjustments to reconcile change in net assets to net cash flows provided by operating activities
Depreciation 61,281.81 38,219.11
306,677.58 157,577.52
Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents due to changes in operating assets and liabilities
Donations Receivable 4,600.85 (11,282.97)
Prepaid Expenses 398.67 7,619.00
Deferred Expenses 9,366.00 (18,967.00)
Accounts Payable (826.76) 826.76
320,216.34 135,773.31
Cash flows for investing activities
Cash paid for purchase of property and equipment (137,065.00) (28,224.00)
Net increase in cash 183,151.34 107,549.31
Cash, beginning of year 707,081.31 599,532.00
Cash, end of year 890,232.65 707,081.31

All currency amounts are presented in USD.

Figure 1: Program Expenses

2018 2017
Program Services
Archive of Our Own
Server Hardware 2,414.79 2,530.14
Server Hosting 51,969.81 36,535.09
Licenses & Support 11,771.22 16,786.35
Website Domains 76.00 95.00
Website Monitoring 8,439.00 7,726.00
Firewall 1,530.00
Contractor Services 3,860.00 93,958.75
Professional Services
Training 23.98 418.16
Travel
Admin & Management 8,384.78 1,298.30
In-Kind Expenses 18,290.00
Depreciation 57,604.90 34,397.20
Total 162,834.48 195,274.99
Open Doors
Website Domains 222.14 230.90
Website Hosting 928.54 335.47
Hosted Provider 120.00 45.87
Plug-ins 16.17 16.34
Admin & Management 99.00 99.00
In-Kind Expenses 1,622.50
Depreciation
Total 3,008.35 727.58
Transformative Works & Cultures
Server Hardware 56.23
Server Hosting 791.44
Licenses & Support 373.03
Firewall 34.00
Website Hosting 420.00
Contractor Services
Professional Services 1,939.00 275.00
Training 3.98
Travel
In-Kind Expenses 737.50
Depreciation 764.38
Total 2,676.50 2,718.06
Fanlore
Server Hardware 77.07 140.56
Server Hosting 1,625.19 1,978.60
Licenses & Support 375.68 932.58
Website Domains 57.00
Firewall 85.00
Contractor Services
Professional Services
Training 9.95
In-Kind Expenses 590.00
Depreciation 1,838.45 1,910.96
Total 4,563.39 5,057.64
Legal Advocacy
In-Kind Expenses 119,180.00 133,115.50
Filing Fees 1,500.00
Training
Travel 1,170.02
Total 121,850.02 133,115.50
Con Outreach
Postage & Shipping
Admin & Management 77.27 700.00
In-Kind Expenses 2,950.00
Total 3,027.27 700.00
Program Services Total 297,960.01 337,593.77
Fundraising
Fundraising Related Expenses
Transaction Fees 17,483.80 13,725.21
Banking Fees 27.23 20.98
Total 17,511.03 13,746.19
Premiums
Premium Merchandise 3,685.15 2,082.01
Postage & Shipping 2,589.93 3,059.40
Total 6,275.08 5,141.41
Membership
Membership Tracking Software 3,840.00 3,800.00
Ticketing Software 907.75 699.19
Total 4,747.75 4,499.19
Fundraising Total 28,533.86 23,386.79
Management & General
OTW Website
Server Hardware 77.07 84.34
Server Hosting 2,323.30 1,800.73
Hosted Provider 480.00 546.35
Website Domains 76.00 38.00
Website Hosting 4,169.22 1,646.27
Contractor Services
Professional Services
Firewall 51.00
Licenses & Support 375.68 559.55
Plug-ins 32.83 33.17
Training 5.97
Depreciation 1,838.45 1,146.57
Total 9,372.55 5,911.94
General Administration
In-kind Expenses 333,497.50 169,477.50
Professional Services 12,795.40 3,069.35
Auditing 18,000.00 7,500.00
Insurance 3,417.30 3,172.26
Banking Fees 292.89 249.07
Postage & Shipping 1,881.40 2,756.25
Travel
Tax Filing 121.32 213.82
Admin & Management 3,345.90 4,018.88
Total 373,351.71 190,457.13
Management & General Total 382,724.26 196,369.07
Total Expenses 709,218.13 557,349.63

All currency amounts are presented in USD.

Notes to the Financial Statements

December 31, 2018

Note 1 – Description of Organization

Organization for Transformative Works, Inc. (“the Organization”) was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Delaware on September 5, 2007, and has 501(c)(3) nonprofit status under the Internal Revenue Code. 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. Over 600 volunteers contribute to the OTW’s five major projects (Archive of our Own; Open Doors; Fanlore; Legal Advocacy; Transformative Works & Cultures) as well as fundraising, membership development, and internal management and administration.

Note 2 – Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Basis of Accounting

The financial statements of the Organization are prepared on the accrual basis of accounting in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”).

New Accounting Pronouncement

On August 18, 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-14, Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958): Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-For-Profit Entities. The new guidance simplifies and improves the classification of net assets for not-for-profit entities as well as the information presented in the financial statements on liquidity, financial performance, and cash flows. ASU 2016-14 is effective for annual financial statements issued for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017. The Organization has adopted ASU 2016-14 for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2018.

Financial Statement Presentation

The Organization utilizes Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 958, Not-for-Profit Entities. Under FASB ASU 2016-14, the Organization is required to report information regarding its financial position and activities according to two classes of net assets: net assets without donor restrictions and net assets with donor restrictions.

Net assets and changes therein are classified and reported as follows:

  • Without donor restrictions – Net assets that are not subject to donor-imposed stipulations
  • With donor restrictions – Net assets subject to donor-imposed stipulations that will be met either by actions and/or the passage of time or net assets subject to donor-imposed stipulations that will be maintained permanently.

The Organization has no net assets with donor restrictions, as of December 31, 2018.

Donations Receivable

The Organization considers receivables from donors to be fully collectible; accordingly, no allowance for doubtful donations is currently required. If donations receivable amounts should become uncollectible, they will be charged to operations when that determination is made.

Contributed Materials and Services

Contributed materials and services are reflected in the financial statements at the estimated fair value of the materials and services received. The contributions of services are recognized if the services received either: (a) create or enhance non-financial assets or (b) require specialized skills that are provided by individuals possessing those skills and would typically need to be purchased if not provided by donation. This is in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 958.

Contributed services of $476,868.00 and $302,593.00 were recorded as operating contributions during the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively. The contributed services consist of legal services donated to the Organization by the volunteers of the Legal Committee.

Use of Estimates

The preparation of financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of 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.

Cash

The Organization maintains cash at one financial institution which may exceed federally insured amounts at times.

Investments

Investments in marketable securities with readily determinable fair values and all investments in debt securities are reported at their fair values in the statement of financial position. Unrealized gains and losses are included in the change in net assets. Investment income and gains restricted by donors are reported as increases to unrestricted net assets if restrictions are met, either by passage of time or by use, in the period of reporting in which the income and gains are recognized.

The Organization accounts for investments in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 820, Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures. FASB ASC Topic 820 includes a fair value hierarchy that is intended to increase consistency and comparability in fair value measurements and related disclosures. The fair value hierarchy is based on inputs to valuation techniques that are used to measure fair value that are either observable or unobservable. Observable inputs reflect assumptions that market participants would use in pricing an asset or liability based on market data obtained from independent sources, while unobservable inputs reflect a reporting entity’s pricing based on their own market assumptions.

The fair value hierarchy consists of the following three levels:

  • Level 1: Inputs are quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.
  • Level 2: Inputs are quoted prices for similar assets in markets that are not active, inputs other than quoted prices that are observable, and market corroborated inputs which are derived principally from or corroborated by observable market data.
  • Level 3: Inputs are derived from valuation techniques in which one or more significant inputs or value drivers are unobservable and require the entity to make its own assumptions.

Property and Equipment

Donations of property and equipment are recorded as in-kind contributions at their estimated fair value at the time of donation. Such donations are reported as unrestricted support unless the donor has restricted the use of the donated asset to a specific purpose. Assets donated with explicit restrictions regarding their use are reported as restricted support. Absent donor stipulations regarding how long those donated assets must be maintained, the Organization reports expirations of donor restrictions when the donated or acquired assets are placed in service as instructed by the donor. The Organization reclassifies temporarily restricted net assets to unrestricted net assets at that time.

Property and equipment are depreciated using the double declining balance methods over the estimated useful lives of the assets, which are 5 years. Maintenance and repairs of the assets are charged to operations as incurred. Significant improvements or renewals of assets are capitalized.

Contributions

Contributions received are recorded as contributions with donor restrictions or contributions without donor restrictions depending on the existence and/or nature of any donor restrictions. Contributions which have any restrictions satisfied in the same period they are received are recorded as increases in net assets and are reflected as without donor restrictions.

The Organization did not receive any contributions with donor restrictions during the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017.

Functional Allocation of Expenses

The costs of providing program services, fundraising, and administrative functions are summarized on a functional basis in the statement of activities.

See Figure 1 for a summary of Program Expenses.

Income Taxes

The OTW is a 501c3 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.

Note 3 – Investment Assets

The Organization’s investments are valued as follows:

Level 1 Investments
Asset 2018 2017
Certificates of Deposit $10,159.99 $10,159.99
Total $10,159.99 $10,159.99

Note 4 – Fixed Assets

2018 2017
Servers $371,107.33 $253,087.31
Server Hardware & Upgrades $30,922.71 $11,877.73
Firewall $3,405.35 $3,405.35
Total Assets $405,435.39 $268,370.39
Accumulated Depreciation $(253,141.33) $(191,859.19)
Fixed Assets, Net of Accumulated Depreciation $152,294.39 $76,511.20

ABOUT THE OTW / MISSION, VISION, VALUES

Our Mission

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.

Our Vision

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.

Our Values

  • We value transformative fanworks and the innovative communities from which they have arisen, including media, real person fiction, anime, comics, music, and vidding.
  • We value our identity as a predominantly female community with a rich history of creativity and commentary.
  • We value our volunteer-based infrastructure and the fannish gift economy that recognizes and celebrates worth in myriad and diverse activities.
  • We value making fannish activities as accessible as possible to all those who wish to participate.
  • 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.

ABOUT THE OTW / WHO WE ARE

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 staffers serving on our committees, and our many volunteers.

Board of Directors

Claire P. Baker (President)‘s first fannish obsession was with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, which she had nearly memorized at age four. However, Digimon was her gateway into the wider world of fandom. Through it she discovered fansites, fanfiction, and cosplay; and the rest, as they say, is history. Fandom became a strong part of Claire’s academic career, reflected in papers she wrote while obtaining her three degrees (B.A., B.Ed., M.I.), and remains a primary research interest to this day. Claire started volunteering with the OTW in 2014, and became co-chair of the AO3 Documentation Committee a year later. Since then, she has also joined TWC and Tag Wrangling. In her free time, Claire can often be found betaing fanfiction, running various gift exchanges on AO3, and preparing an army of cosplays and panels for her next convention.

Kristina Busse is founding co-editor of OTW’s academic journal Transformative Works and Cultures and has been working for the OTW for 8 years. She has co-edited several academic books on fan fiction and fan cultures, and continues to publish in the field. Her books include Framing Fan Fiction (2017) as well as the co-edited essay collections Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet, Sherlock and Transmedia Fandom, and The Fan Fiction Studies Reader. All proceeds of the reader go, in fact, to the OTW. Kristina joined organized fandom as a Buffy/Angel shipper in the late 90s and has been in more fandoms since than she dares admit, with a Dragon Age, MCU, and Vorkosigan obsession at the moment. She has a PhD in English from Tulane University and teaches in the Department of Philosophy and in the Gender Studies Department at the University of South Alabama. She teaches everything from logic and mythology to fan studies and LGBT history. Kristina is a transplanted German, living in the Southern United States with her family of tabletop role-playing gamers.

Jessie Camboulives (Secretary) graduated from the Sorbonne Law School, and is currently working towards an LL.M. in Digital Law. She discovered fandom in 2007 with Harry Potter fanfiction, but since then she has become a fandom hoarder, with a current passion for Overwatch and Yuri!!! On Ice. Jessie joined the OTW as a French translation volunteer in 2015, after stumbling on one of Legal’s news posts. She is now serving as a tag wrangler and Support staff, where she works to ensure that AO3 users have the best possible experience on the site.

Priscilla Del Cima has a Law degree and an MBA in Project Management. She first joined the OTW in 2009 and has worked on various committees since then, including Development & Membership and AO3 Documentation. She has been serving as chair of the Translation committee since working to restructure the team in late 2013, and is also working to rebuild the Finance and Fanlore teams.

Natalia Gruber discovered her first fanfiction by accident while waiting for the last Harry Potter book to come out, and thought for the longest time that it was a wonderful, but isolated idea. Thankfully, she eventually found out that not only was this story not the only one, but that fandom was a lively, rich community full of amazing people and more fic than she could ever read. She lurked for several years reading mostly Harry Potter, until she joined the Tolkien fandom. There she finally started publishing her own works and making friends with other fans, and it’s where she still feels the most at home. An English teacher during the day, Nat joined the OTW in 2016 as a Brazilian Portuguese translator. A few months later she became part of the Policy & Abuse and Tag Wrangling committees, where she has had a wonderful experience and learned a lot more about the OTW and its work. At the end of 2017, she decided to join Translation staff, working to support and assist translators in their work, and engaging in a lot more inter-committee and managerial tasks.

Lex de Leon currently works for the United States Government as a document and content management information technology specialist, with a specific focus on records import, migration and long term retention. He began by writing fanfiction for the Valdemar series and has since accumulated multiple fandoms which he is always willing to discuss. An unapologetically passionate femslash shipper, he enjoys writing fic that draws upon his life experiences and imagination, and reading any fic that catches his eye or features a pairing he enjoys. A fortuitous visit to the Archive just after recruitment for Support was announced led to him applying, with the belief that his decade of experience in technical support would be helpful within the OTW. He firmly believes in the mission of the OTW and wishes to continue its work into the future. Somehow, a lovely woman agreed to marry him and always be willing to listen to his fanwork ideas. Together they are raising two cats, a dog and one ornery, flightless bird.

Danielle Strong began their foray into the world of fandom in the 90s with Gundam Wing slash fiction and fanart. Nearly two decades and a plethora of fandoms later, they’ve made their home on the Archive in the Supernatural and Marvel Cinematic Universe fandoms, amongst others. When recruitment was opened for the Abuse team in early 2014 they knew their skills in hospital patient liaison services, handling complaints and service-user queries would be a good fit for the team, and after joining they never looked back. As an Abuse staffer, Danielle has handled cases from accidental mis-tagging of works to plagiarism and harassment, and can probably quote most of the AO3 Terms of Service by memory by now! They bring a wealth of knowledge in mediation and problem-solving to the team, and is completely dedicated to the OTW and the work it does.

Non-director Officers

Yuechiang Luo (Treasurer)

Emerita Directors

2018

  • Matty Bowers
  • Atiya Hakeem

2017

  • Aline Carrão
  • Katarina Harju
  • Alex Tischer

2015

  • Eylul Dogruel
  • Soledad Griffin
  • Andrea Horbinski
  • M.J. MacRae
  • Cat Meier
  • Jessica Steiner

2014

  • Franzeska Dickson
  • Anna Genoese
  • Nikisha Sanders

2013

  • Julia Beck
  • Maia Bobrowicz
  • Ira Gladkova
  • Kristen Murphy

2012

  • Francesca Coppa
  • Naomi Novik
  • Jenny Scott-Thompson

2011

  • Rachel Barenblat
  • Hele Braunstein
  • Sheila Lane
  • Allison Morris

2010

  • Naomi Novik
  • Rebecca Tushnet
  • Elizabeth Yalkut

2009

  • KellyAnn Bessa
  • Susan Gibel

2008

  • Cathy Cupitt
  • Michele Tepper

Committees

Accessibility, Design, & Technology
AO3 Documentation
Communications
Development & Membership
Elections
Fanlore
Finance
TWC
Legal
Open Doors
Policy & Abuse
Strategic Planning
Support
Systems
Tag Wrangling
Translation
Volunteers & Recruiting
Webs

Read more about our current committees.