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More about the proposed empowerment fund

Intrigue
A post from the Engine

Me: "I just received an email from RG in reply to my inquiry about the Empowerment Fund.

She stated that the proposed criteria are currently being looked at for legal reasons."


The legal reasons may have to do with Friends of Lulu's nonprofit charter. As I recall from my years on the Lulu board, as a nonprofit educational corporation, FoL would not be able to engage in that sort of fundraising or activity. I know, for instance, that we could not do fundraasing for CBLDF, a bone of contention with Dave Sim.

Jackie Estrada



1) As the divine Ms Estrada points out, the FOL is charted as an educational non-profit. By going ahead and announcing the fund and starting to collect donations for it, this could cause some grave legal problems for the FOL.

At worst, its 503c status could be revoked, or the IRS could levy various penalties and fines.

Or its 503c papers may have to be amended. This will take time and money.

Donations will sit in limbo.

2) It may be that there is no quick and easy way for the FOL to start the empowerment fund as envisioned. A completely new 503c corporation would have to be formed.

This will take time and money. And until then, donations will sit in limbo.

3) Or, it's possible that, in the interim, the "empowerment fund" will have to morph into something that fits in with the FOL's charter. A fund to educate industry women about what to do if harrassed/assaulted, but not the sort of thing that could help a specific woman (eg. Taki Soma) defray legal costs.

Which means that all the donations that rolled in intially will not be used for what the donors were told they were going to be used for.

(Not that option #3 is NOT a good thing or a good idea, or that I wouldn't donate to help fund it. If, at conventions, the FOL were also handing out brochures about what to do, or organized some panels with women like Taki Soma, Colleen Doran, and a police officer speaking out, this would be a good way to help educate and spread the word about what assault/harrassment are and what to do.)


I'm not "nitpicking" because I'm a big ole meanie. I'm bringing all this up because. I. care. Because I don't want to see the Empowerment Fund die for all the wrong reasons. I don't want to see it die the death of a thousand and one technicalities; I don't want to see it strangled in the cradle by all the red tape.

Good intentions don't get anything done.

Professionalism and planning does.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
arcana_j
Apr. 14th, 2006 11:58 pm (UTC)
Damn, I was rather enjoying the title of meanie-pants.

But seriously, you are quite correct. Not that anybody seems to be listening.
annezo
Apr. 15th, 2006 01:47 am (UTC)
I don't think you're nitpicking. I think you're being very sensible.
divalea
Apr. 15th, 2006 03:18 am (UTC)
Maybe FoL could do an anonymous survey of women professionals and have them answer questions about whether they've been propositioned/verbally abused/physically abused in the context of work and/or conventions.
A survey could give a good and useful overview, and something for a professional to present.
This would get around the problem of relating incidents not taken to court and causing speculation to be aimed in wrong directions. It's damn easy, as we've seen, to speak generally enough to implicate innocent parties. It avoids another problem: conflated stories and outright lies about harassment, and those stories are out there, too.

Sure, it'd be easy to have a panel where people most identified with being mauled tell awful stories, but that's not really helpful. In fact, it could easily be a pity party and voyeur fest, which is not at all useful.
Better, have just the cop 'splain things. Even better than that, 'splain things and what a woman can legally do to physically protect herself.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 15th, 2006 01:13 pm (UTC)
If, at conventions, the FOL were also handing out brochures about what to do, or organized some panels with women like Taki Soma, Colleen Doran, and a police officer speaking out, this would be a good way to help educate and spread the word about what assault/harrassment are and what to do.

The brochures seem like they'd be particularly useful. I wonder if FoL could pull something like that together prior to San Diego.
loudpoet
Apr. 15th, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC)
Option 4
The Empowerment Fund is set up as a separate entity and FoL acts as its fiscal sponsor.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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