I placed the orders for…

I placed the orders for postcards, for both my book and for SH, so with any luck, we should have those delivered to the hotel by Thursday of WorldCon. Yay! Thanks again, everyone who helped with the text -- if you'd like a postcard, let me know. :-)

Also went ahead and created the mailing list for the board of DesiLit (if you're interested in serving on the board, let me know). I'm trying to go slow on this organization -- don't want to be too crazy with projects. Ideally, I'd like to not actually run this one; just serve on the board, along with other energetic and interested folks. Probably I'll need to do a bunch of organizational stuff up front, but I'm hopeful that before long, I can fade back and just be one of many. I know this isn't my normal approach, but there are only so many mad megalomaniacal projects one girl can take on, y'know? :-)

Yesteday's meeting with Becca et. al. really was very interesting; we're having preliminary discussions about whether SH should attempt to put together an endowment, and what that would entail. I feel like I'm learning a lot, especially about the time scale of such things, and the value of taking it slow and thinking it through before making any moves on that front, if we choose to go that route at all. My inclination has generally been to just rush through and do stuff, and while that's useful in some regards, there are areas where it clearly just isn't the best approach. Slow and steady, that's my new motto. :-)

One thing that has become clear is that SH should be applying for (and getting) a lot more grants than it currently does. Which means that we need more people putting more time into grantwriting. I suspect people don't volunteer for this because it sounds like a specialized skill -- and it is, but it's one that we (and by we, I mean John Garrison, who has been writing terrific grants for us) can teach. So I'd ideally like to see SH get 2-3 more people working just on grant-writing.

Not just asking for money, either -- things we could use would be free or discounted copies of programs like eBase or Excel or Quicken, and that's the kind of thing we could apparently easily get by submitting applications to the appropriate companies. Similarly, SH (and the SLF too, for much of this) could use accounting services to get some of the burden off poor Susan, who is doing four jobs at once right now (editor-in-chief, development director, bookkeeper, and oh, fiction editor). Becca tells us that accounting firms do a lot of pro bono work for non-profits just like us. Who knew?

I feel like there's a whole world of non-profit resources out there that SH hasn't even known about, and certainly hasn't taken advantage of, that would make our lives a whole lot easier. We learn, slowly.

7 thoughts on “I placed the orders for…”

  1. I should plug my old workplace since you mentioned getting software grants from big tech companies: if you’re a 501(c)3 nonprofit, you can get obscenely cheap software from Microsoft, Macromedia, and Intuit and some other smaller software companies.

    If you want to check the program, the site is http://www.techsoup.org/stock

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    ‘Unusual’ is putting it mildly, I’m afraid. You wouldn’t believe how much explaining we’ve had to do over the years — yes, a non-profit can still pay authors professional rates. Yes, a non-profit can be a serious publication. Yes, yes, yes. I know at least a few other magazines have considered going the non-profit route since us, but I’m not sure how many have actually made the jump. If there were any in the genre before us, I haven’t heard about them.

    Stacy, thanks for the info. So going through them would I assume not necessarily be as cheap as writing direct grant applications to the companies, but would be a lot easier for us, yes? I’m understanding this correctly?

  3. I’ve been wanting to get into grant writing. So the idea of doing it for SH and getting trained is something I’m in favor of.

    Unless it means I can’t submit. In which case, I’ll do it for SLF only.

    That whole wanting to make a living from one’s writing. Grant writing can be in the portfolio AND it is a paid gig (for some places).

    Let me know.


  4. Yes, it would be a lot easier and faster to get software through TechSoup. In fact, with some companies (like Microsoft), it’s the only channel they provide software donations.

    Some of the big tech companies have chosen to partner with a big, well-known NPO and have them deal with the day-to-day management of distribution and follow up with clients.

    Big Tech Co. fulfills their philanthropy mission. NPO Partner has a source of revenue. NPOs get cheap software from a fellow NPO rather than a small, under-funded division of Big Tech Co. It’s a win-win-win.

  5. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Dawn, I’m afraid that grantwriting for SH would count as being part of the staff, and thus unable to submit — at least I think so, though you could check with Susan to be sure (editor@strangehorizons.com). We’d be delighted to have you join us at the SLF, in any case — if you’re still interested, send me an e-mail and I’ll get you added to the staff…

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