Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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SF & F Translation Awards Discontinued

The SF & F Translation Awards, on whose parent board of directors I sit, announced today that they are closing down. The main cause is that after two successful years of presenting the Awards, we were unable to attract the "people points" — the people willing to do the not-inconsiderable amount of work necessary to administer and judge the Awards.

I'm Secretary-Treasurer of the Awards' parent non-profit corporation. I'm the person who wrote the organization's articles of incorporation and bylaws and prepared the applications for tax-exempt status from US federal and California state governments. I've been the person who files the periodic reports with the California Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Franchise Tax Board (the agency that deals with income tax) and with the US Internal Revenue Service. In short, my job has been to "keep us corporate" while others ran the awards. Personally, I haven't considered this particularly onerous; it's probably around twenty hours per year, spread very finely, but to most people it's the horrible icky part. Indeed, I've seen fan groups go to absurd contortions to try and avoid setting up such entities when I'm pretty sure it would be easier to just follow the rules. But in any event, while I'm a good fannish corporation manager for these official bits, I'm not the person to actually run translation awards, and I concurred in the Board's decision to shut things down.

We've returned all but a tiny amount of the money we've received as grants to the groups that granted the money to us. We've kept a small amount behind because even shutting down a non-profit corporation costs money (not a lot) in administrative filing fees. Once we've concluded the shut-down process, if there's money left, it also will go back to the original grantors. I'm fairly proud that the SF&FT Awards administrative overhead costs were quite small and nearly everything we took in went toward our actual exempt purpose in the form of Award grants and the prizes themselves (plaques, and certificates), rather than being eaten up in "administration" costs. Of course that's because everyone involved with the Awards volunteered their time, and when those volunteers no longer are available, the right thing to do is to say,"Okay, we're done," return what's left over to those who entrusted it to us, and tidy up.

From a corporate point of view, I was the first person in the door (when I filed the Articles of Incorporation), and I'll be the last one out. My job is to turn out the lights and lock the door as I leave.
Tags: translation awards

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