Now that people have pledged a whole stack of money to the “Counteract a Bigot” fund drive — we’re up above $60,000 in pledges at this point and I have to actually count out how much before I can say for sure what the precise amount is — there are some questions about how things will proceed from here. So: A quick rundown.
1. First: Look at that adorable Gamma Rabbit, drawn up by Greg Pak, who is awesome. Click on the picture to go to his site.
2. Right now, here’s what everyone who has pledged has to do: Nothing. Don’t send me money, don’t worry about anything, just go on about your lives. Dedicated volunteers will keep track of the number of times I am invoked over the year. In late December I will release a tally and tell you how much I am donating, based on that. I’ll post it here and I will probably send out a one-time e-mail. Those of you who are donating per invocation, as I am, will likewise add up your donation sums at that time. Then you will donate it to the organizations/charities I’ve listed, or the similar organizations/charities you’ve chosen. That way, you will get the benefit of any tax deduction (if applicable). And I don’t have to handle any money aside from my own. Everybody wins!
3. Speaking of the “team of dedicated volunteers,” I have yet to make a selection for that because this week got crazy hectic between work and the media interest in the fund drive. If you volunteered, trust me, I have your name and I will let you know. Probably not next week but definitely the week after. Don’t worry. The reason volunteers are needed will still be there, I assure you.
4. Remember that no matter what, you’ve promised to donate 5% of your maximum donation. So tuck that away now. Put it in the bank and earn interest.
5. However, if you don’t want to wait because waiting is boring, go ahead and donate as much of your pledge now as you would like, or donate it at any time during the year. The organizations/charities you’ve selected won’t mind if you jump the gun.
6. Some people have asked me: Okay, you have all this money pledged, but how can you be sure that people will follow through on their pledges at the end of the year? The short answer is: I can’t be sure, but I believe they will. The slightly longer answer is: well, look, it’s easier to lurk and watch on something like this than to put yourself (and your money) out there and say, yes, this is something I believe in. I think people who did say that will be good for it. Maybe some of them will have a rough year and can’t donate all they promised, and that’ll be fine if it happens. On the other hand, there are some people who said, hey, if things go well, I’ll donate more. That will be fine, too. In the end it’ll all even out and these organizations/charities will see the benefit.
7. On a personal note, wow, this little thing went off in directions I genuinely did not expect last Saturday, when I decided to use my money to bring some good out of someone else defaming my name on a regular basis. I was surprised when people asked to join in and genuinely amazed both at how many people came along and how much money has been pledged. At this point, I’m pretty sure it’s not about me and my name anymore. It’s about people in the science fiction and fantasy community, and in the online community, saying where their values stand — and what bigotries they as people stand against. And to that, all I can say is, genuinely and humbly, thanks, folks.