Opening the Dialogue on Fundraising Models

If there is one thing that I have observed over and over again – also in the context of an internet-based fandom, no matter what platform – it is that success seems to breed contempt. When a personality or project gains traction, it inevitably seems to attract criticism, too. And possibly also some other reactions, not necessarily motivated by rational and valid criticism but other, more unsavoury feelings. It really has taken a long time for me to finally become a target. But OTOH it was not unexpected what I read today in my tumblr “asks”. However, it actually prompted me to consider our fundraiser models.

(For those who are not on tumblr – the “asks” are basically a mailbox for questions to a tumblr blogger. Anybody can send a question/request/comment, which is initially delivered privately. You don’t have to even disclose your name/handle but you can send an ask anonymously. The receiver can then respond – which will take the shape of a public post on tumblr that includes both the “ask” by the original commenter, and underneath that the receiver’s reply. This is what it looks like:)

And there we are straight into it. I thought long and hard whether I should reply to it, and whether I should also discuss it on my WP blog. In my mind, replying to aggressive accusations and insults, not only puts you on the defensive by default, but also makes it look as if the insults and criticisms are valid (because otherwise you would just dismiss them out of hand). Defending oneself in such matters often merely gives more space to a discussion that should actually not be validated at all. In the fandom context an anonymous comment is basically an attempt by a troll to stir the shit. And to that the only reply is:

Are our Birthday Auctions “exclusive”?

However, the main criticism voiced by Troll Anonymous above is something that I am prepared to open a dialogue on because it is an issue that has been raised before (albeit in a less rude manner). It is a valid criticism of the Birthday Auctions that the individual proceeds of the items exclude such fans from participation, whose budgets do not extend to two or even three figure prices. That is, of course, incidental to the concept of an auction. If an item is sought after, then its price will increase with each bid. I am the first to admit that I am astonished about the stunning results we have generated with the items we have auctioned off in the past. As the organiser, I am excluded from bidding as a matter of course, but I concede that I often consider myself priced out of some auctions, too. But here comes the big BUT: The objective of the Birthday Auctions is to raise as much money for charity as possible. So putting up sought after items for auctions and attracting high bids, is the point of it all. The auctions are not designed to be deliberately exclusive to my “friends w/ money” aka a pool of participants with a large disposable income. That is merely incidental to the concept of an auction.

But I take the criticism on board. It would be preferable if the Birthday Fundraiser was accessible to all, no matter what individual budget. My idea for the fundraiser has always been to create an inclusive event that can be participated in by anyone, independent of money. (Hence my appeal to fellow fans to get involved in non-monetary activity such as spreading the word, tweeting along, commenting etc. which I consider a valuable contribution to the success of the fundraiser.) The next fundraiser is months away, so no decisions will be taken right now, but with a view of generating money for charity I do not think that it makes sense to drop the auction model completely. Not least because the system of auctioning off items via an established platform such as eBay not only makes it easier for me as an organiser, but also offers maximum reliability and safety for the participants in the sense that once listed, auctions can not be manipulated by anyone. That is an important consideration for me because as the organiser I end up entrusted with a large sum of money – and could potentially be vulnerable to malicious attacks of people saying I am manipulating things.

What about an “inclusive” raffle?

However, I actually like the idea suggested by the anonymous poster – a raffle with ticket prices that are affordable for all. Such a concept would guarantee inclusivity and fun, too. This is a fundraising model that has been suggested to me before. The reason I hadn’t taken it on board yet, is the work and risk involved in it – from selling tickets and receiving money in my account, to picking the winners out of the hat without being accused of rigging the draw. It seemed risky to me. But it appears that there are web services available that create and conduct raffles, so wouldn’t involve me dealing with money sent in return for raffle tickets, and even offer the option of letting the computer draw the winners. (Rallyup is one such service.) So I think it’s actually a good idea to give this model a try at some point. Not as a replacement for the auctions but complementing them – for the sake of inclusivity, allowing everyone a shot at some nice fan items while collecting a donation for charity.

But I do want to hear your opinions, too. The Birthday Fundraiser is yours as much as mine, and for it to be an inclusive event, your POV is needed, too. If you have any opinion on it, please leave a comment below.

So, in conclusion I have to say that I am grateful for the anonymous ask that prompted this post. I could’ve done without the personal attacks, but I think throwing the idea for a raffle with set ticket prices at me, was useful. Not least because it made me look into online raffle providers – something I didn’t know existed. So genuine thanks for that! As for all those lovely accusations thrown at me – shameless pouting, blatant tagging, embarrassing and desperate behaviour on Twitter, thirst – I am not going to dignify these personal insults with a reply or a defence. The anonymous poster can rest assured though, that such words hurt. However, I *am* available for a dialogue on the fundraiser anytime, given that it is conducted without personal insults!

104 thoughts on “Opening the Dialogue on Fundraising Models

  1. Dear Guylty, bless you! People criticize everything…I do think it’s good to offer “affordable” auction items in the mix as a means for more to enjoy the fun while also supporting a good cause and honoring RA…but if people don’t understand the nature of an auction and its intent to raise money, well…you do an excellent job with this and you’re always so cheerful, when I know the auction takes a huge amount of time and effort. You also frequently raffle away little freebie trinkets to folks who comment on your posts: I’ve been the recipient of your creativity and generosity, and it has meant a lot to me. Please don’t take someone’s grousing to heart: you brighten the world with your blog, the auction and the crafting. Life’s too short to engage with perpetual complainers and whiners!

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    • Thank you for the reassurance, Monica. Yep, I have to admit it grates when something that is done in good faith, is misinterpreted. But well, I have no intention of defending my *personal* way of fangirling to an anonymous complainer. The fundraiser OTOH is a different kettle of fish, and it is useful to hear when people have suggestions for improvement. It probably would increase the chances of being heard, if the person suggesting did so in a less insulting manner, but well, I picked out the useful bits 😉
      I doubt the person will get back to me, whoever it may be. They probably have been quite frustrated already because this ask must have languished in my tumblr inbox for several weeks. I simply had not noticed it was there 😂

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  2. I don’t have any problems with your BD action as it is. I couldn’t afford buying what I desired last time so I just donated a sum I could afford.
    People (especially anonymous people) can organise themselves whatever they want, instead of criticising others. It’s not like you have the exclusive rights to do the BD auction. You do it on your own will, you spend your time and you make it fun to the fans like me, who are not very creative but ready to participate and support. And appreciate what you do❤️

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    • Thank you Olga, that is a good point. I have been well aware that there is always some frustration connected to the auctions, and I completely understand that. And even though I don’t bid (and thus don’t suffer frustration from being out-bid), I’ve always felt that the frustration is balanced out by knowing that a generous final amount is being generated.
      Ah well, we can’t please everyone. 🤷🏼‍♀️ And I am not going to let *one* voice taint the enjoyment of the fundraiser.

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  3. Okay, first of all—and it may not be charitable of me to start with this, but I have to get it out of my system regardless—that anonymous troll can fuck off into the sun with their ad hominem bullshit. Forgive me.

    Ad rem: I agree with what you wrote. The point is to make money. A lot of money. An auction with its competitive element is the best way to achieve that goal. It’s for charity. eBay is international and well known, so it’s the obvious choice. To claim that you do it for attention (after not getting ANY for years and years) is ludicrous and warrants no further discussion.
    I was gonna suggest a raffle element when I started reading before I got to that part of your post (great minds) and it’s cool that there are providers that facilitate this.
    I don’t think it’s a requirement, but it could be interesting. Certainly worth looking into and seeing if it’s worth it (monetarily). Because again, this is a huge organizational effort for you, a monetary effort for the people donating things (the items themselves as well as postage) and we can’t just give shit away for 5 bucks a pop. It would defeat the purpose and not justify the admin and cost associated with getting this thing off the ground in the first place.
    As for everyone having a chance: Like Monica has pointed out, you give sooo much to the fandom for free. You have free raffles all the time. You give your time and effort on this blog, you saved RAnet, you give the fandom free and full use of your photography, etc. etc. You don’t owe anyone anything else. If someone is truly committed to a positive fandom experience, it’s there for the taking. But you cannot DEMAND to get something for nothing. And that’s why the anonymity grates especially. Has that person ever done anything for the fandom without expecting something in return?

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    • Under normal circumstances, I find that someone who throws personal insults at others under the blanket of anonymity, disqualifies themselves from rational debate. I mean, in this context, I would theoretically be willing to listen to criticism of my reactions to not receiving signed photos from RA, too, or whether I have badgered RA with too many tags on fundraiser tweets – but not if it is thrown at me in that way: “shamelessly pouting” (why am I thinking of a fish right now? Ah, might be just the after-effects of the monster fish feast this weekend 😂), “thirsty for attention”.
      You are right – “competitive element” hits it. And whether it’s eBay or not, but it’s a fundraising model used by charities for decades. It simply works when it comes to generating funds, and I don’t think that there can be any argument against that. But the raffle would surely soften the frustration a little bit, and so I am definitely interested in trying it out. Rallyup provides a free model (although the actual sale of tickets will then incur a fee per sale), so it’s easy to try it out. The question is of course whether there are enough sales to generate funds that way, i.e. enough participants in a raffle. But well, at least it’s now on our radar and we can try it out next time.
      As for having a chance – well, I think Anonymous was probably not referring to my silly little shrines or other things that I occasionally throw into the fandom but to having a realistic shot at winning the other fan items that we usually offer in the auctions. I’d usually agree about the unfairness of auctions – but NOT in this case where the auctions are intrinsic to a successful money-raising project for CHARITY. They simply make sense. But yep, it won’t hurt to try out a raffle in order to make the event more inclusive.

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      • If they aren’t referring to handmade (never silly!!) items like RAPSs etc., then the complaints are even less valid. A collector‘s item like a rare magazine or hard to find CD or DVD have an actual, real market value outside of the auction. If that’s what you’re after, you have to pay the price—be it in the BD auction or elsewhere on the net. That’s just free market forces at work. The auction is for charity, but not charity towards fans who think they should get a rare item for little money.

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      • P.S. And even got handmade items, they’re not free. Not counting the time, the materials cost money. The postage costs money. Nothing in the auction costs only £5 to begin with. Nothing. It’s a completely unrealistic expectation. The frame on my Thornton silhouette cost more than that.

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        • Those unique items – whether coveted fan items such as old DVDs/mags/autographs or one-of-a-kind handmade things – can never go into a raffle. That would irresponsible. They were donated with the intention of raising loads of money, and that needs to be honoured. Since you wrote your comment, we have already moved on from the raffle ideas, but just to say that even a fixed-price sale would not contain these super rare items, as they are the cash cow of the fundraiser. The new idea of a fixed-price sale will essentially function as a nod to inclusivity. That is definitely valid, but it also means that the items for the fixed-price sale will have to be chosen carefully and with balanced cost/profit in mind. At the end of the day, the super coveted items are too important for the fundraiser and can’t be “given away” at too low a price. Sad, but true.

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  4. Dear Sonja, sorry to hear that some people (but why anonymous?) attacked you for your annual RA BIRTHDAY auction. Some people see always bad things, even in something so noble and lovely, but really I don’t have to complain anything about your fundraising model. I was lucky in enough to bid for some auction and win. I am not a rich person I am a banal person with a normal job and I am simply decided to give some money for a noble project. I understand what that’s mean to you, so don’t think too much at such kind of people.

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    • First of all a big apology for taking a long time to reply to your comment. I needed the whole thing to settle a bit before I wanted to continue reacting. So, just to say that I appreciate your comment, Angel! I consider myself a person of average means, too. However, like you, I allow myself to splash out occasionally. It’s a personal decision – as in, the purchase price is worth it to *me*. I suspect, the anon just wanted to make me (and us all) feel bad. Ah well, we can’t please everyone…

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  5. I’m sorry that such words were aimed at you , they were uncalled for and hurtful. I have no issue with the auctions, people know and understand what bidding involves . It can be exciting watching the bids on items, but it’s luck at the end of the day. We know the auctions are to mark Richard’s birthday but it’s main aim is to support a charity and Loros were v grateful for the donation in these challenging times. You do this in your free time, people go to alot of effort to create items for the auction and those of us ( incl me) who aren’t creative it’s an opportunity to support others and if lucky we have some unique RA related items. ❤❤

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    • I think you are hitting the nail on the head there, Deirdre – the auctions have a clear purpose: generating as much money as possible for a good cause. An auction is the easiest way of collecting a nice big sum, and it’s a model everyone understands. To assume that it is done in order to create a ‘rich people’s club’, is beside the point. And as you said, even without a bid in the auction, it is actually exciting to watch the whole procedure. In the end, I have always seen and presented it as a collective event in which each and every contribution counts, whether monetary or not. The anon apparently doesn’t want to acknowledge that.

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  6. Full disclosure: both my parents worked for the same fraternal organization; before my mother worked outside the home, she ran every town non-profit she participated in serially out of our kitchen; and I worked in my last year of grad school as a phone fundraiser for the charity that funded my graduate education. So discussions about philanthropy have been part of my life since I was tiny. I’ll leave two comments — this one is about charity and fandom generally.

    Fwiw:

    * once you assume a role as a “face” of the fandom (for whatever reason), anyone who has any issue to work out is going to use you as a target (in this case, I’m guessing from the content of the comment that unresolved “thirst” is the issue)

    * this phenomenon of BNF as target seems multiplied when the bone of contention is a charitable activity, because there’s an ethical issue involved and it means people who are hesitant to give in to their impulses about something trivial (who got a selfie?) feel the subject alone justifies their wrath (i.e., they can’t be accused of ad hominem because they’re putatively talking about something else)

    *charity is also a focus of ire because it makes an honoree who doesn’t respond look like an *ss, i.e., it is a good way to put pressure on a honoree *if* that is your goal, and some people will never believe that is not your goal

    * there is a long, ongoing debate in philanthropy generally about approaches; one of the questions is — is it better to seek the most donations by participant, or the greatest amount of donations? Most actual philanthropies seek both. I won’t get into a lot of detail about that but one reason is that they are seen as related. If a lot of small donors participate that not only indicates excitement for something, it also may be a sign to bigger donors that this is a bandwagon to get on. (Educational charities actively cite how many small donors they have to big donors they approach as evidence of their attractiveness even to people who can’t afford big donations; number of small donors was one of the bars for a presidential candidate getting an invite to the political debates before the US primaries)

    *for many people in Christian and post-Christian West, the heritage of what Jesus is supposed to have said about this question in Matthew 6 (do not let your left hand know what your right is doing) simmers in the background (whether they are totally aware of it or not). That what he said was itself polemical at the time, as opposed to a neutral statement of right, is usually forgotten.

    *philanthropic research shows that the most common reason anyone gives to any charitable cause is that they are asked (this is more or less the entire engine behind platforms like gofundme), and asked repeatedly

    *all of this together means that anyone who organizes a fundraiser is subject to a confluence of forces and problems, strands of which can be motivated by anyone who wishes to attack, and the shield of “philanthropy” is then seen as justified.

    So when you say “that’s a valid criticism,” yeah, okay, but at the same time these are choices that would-be philanthropists have to make. On that level it’s not really fair.

    All of which is to say: it doesn’t feel great to be the target but you’re essentially in a very normal position given the general factors that influence modes of giving in our society.

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    • (Dang, just lost the long reply I had written here, starting off with an apology for taking so long to reply. I needed to let this sit for a day and cool down.) Your insights are really valuable in the discussion, I’d like to get to your general comments on fundraiser models first. (Will reply to fandom and charity under your other comment.)
      The discussion about different fundraiser approaches really sounds familiar. (I have been engaged in discussions like that, albeit not in context with a fundraiser but business. I.e. is it better to charge little for a product and subsequently have a large number of sales; or charge lots but sell fewer numbers.) I did not know it but it makes sense that charities combine both approaches – for the sake of collecting the maximum amount of donations while making every donor feel included, no matter the size of the donation. It totally makes sense that a large number of donors is actually something like a bandwagon that will attract more people. You doubtlessly know the German phrase “Kleinvieh macht auch Mist”. (For non-German speakers: Many pennies make a pound.) I totally believe that, too – it’s something to bear in mind, and in that sense the anon’s accusation has hit my nerve. Interesting re. fundraisers being most successful if (potential) donors are (repeatedly) asked for donations. In RL I often find that rather tiresome – probably because I jump to my own conclusion and feel guilty for not having donated more (and more often).
      I hadn’t even copped on to it myself, but now that I have read your comment I also see that the criticism of the fundraiser, i.e. the accusation of exclusivity, is merely a cloak thrown over much baser motives. “Shield of philantrophy” indeed. A clever trap, which I have squarely stepped into by engaging in dialogue even though the personal attacks contained in the message should’ve warned me.
      Mind you, those attacks are of course the expression of other issues typically found in fandoms, namely BNFs as easy targets for some sort of vague jealousy. Just from observation I have noticed that exposure creates discontent. It’s clear to me that the anon is projecting something on me that is probably their own problem. (Jeepers, if I was thirsty for RA’s attention, I’d rather choose a less work-intense ruse than organising these auctions. Especially with a history of four years during which there was no acknowledgment from the almighty star *at all*. And it’s not as if I have pinned his “acknowledgment” to my Twitter bio for eternity in order to self-congratulate myself 😂)

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      • Yeah, it’s not illegitimate to point out that an auction isn’t the most inclusive approach ever. However, the more inclusive you try to be, the more potential objections you expose yourself to. Something that I didn’t explicitly say in my initial comment: you’re not actually a large philanthropy trying to maximize both donations and participation year over year. And we could add that any group is going to become more cliquey over time as it develops a history and a shared memory. I started off wanting my blog to be an alternative to the fan forums, which I perceived as very cliquey. By 2012 (as I acknowledged at the time) it was clear that that wasn’t really happening — it was just a different group of people who became regulars; the phenomenon of Gruppendynamik itself wasn’t ultimately challenged.

        This whole question of acknowledgement has been a bugbear for this fandom as long as I have observed it (and based on his messages to fans, from before I was a fan, as well). The topic sentence of this paragraph should be: Armitage participates in creating this problem for fans. Part of the problem is fandom care is always an afterthought for him, and he’s usually inept when he even takes the time. But a bigger part of the problem is that Armitage himself is not interested enough in being the locus of charity efforts to provide the consistency that would eliminate these jealousy issues for his fans. He has participated in charitable efforts himself as a volunteer; he clearly cares about charitable causes on a purely emotional basis, and donates himself in a way that appears from my perspective to be reactive, but I think the JustGiving pages were an attempt to try to redirect fan energy that he was bothered by on some level and didn’t have time to deal with. Positive effect: fan donations to charities (over sending him gifts); negative externality: a group of fans decided — and this impression has stuck — that he is somehow really interested in philanthropy. Even looking at something that clearly has a big meaning to him (LOROS), he had the impulse to create the initial spark but not really the discipline to make it into a recurring thing (something you have potentially done for him). I think I saw a tweet from LOROS that said, please get in touch with us about making this a more regular thing, but he was apparently blindsided by the big donations this year. All in all, his response to support is almost always reactive — if someone pokes him really hard or in a way he notices, he’ll respond — and rarely proactive. In that sense we could say that the tweet this year before your donation was at least an attempt at a more organized approach (he knew he’d get donations, he knew he should respond).

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      • oh, re: intrusive fundraising. Yes. It’s annoying. But they do it because it’s effective. I know myself i usually need 2-3 reminders on some stuff, particular if it’s stuff I don’t donate to super regularly.

        I used to really like the fundraising approach of the public radio station in Austin — they’d say “this is what we have to raise to make our budget, our scheduled fundraising period goes on for two weeks, but the second we get to our goal, we turn off the fundraising appeals and return to regularly scheduled programming.” That encouraged people not to wait, I thought. It also created the impression that they weren’t just fishing for money in general, but trying to meet a specific need (that is something that speaks to me in fundraising).

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        • It makes sense, the way you explain it. I need reminders, too. Apart from the practicality, Tthe Austin radio station’s approach is actually quite funny – almost like: “if you want us to stop hassling you, donate the dosh” 😂

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  7. ‘Anonymous”s remarks are astonishing and unfair and I agree with all the comments above. I am not well-off and dislike exclusivity for the wealthy but the whole point of the auction is to make as much money for charity as possible. It is something that is hard work for you to organise in your spare time – as well as kindly raffling shrines etc, at other times, for free. I think the person hiding behind the Anonymous tag is experiencing sour grapes- particularly with the emphasis of your ‘friends’ . Also, this may be nit-picking but, ‘working people’ really rankles with me (as it does when politicians stress ‘hardworking British people’). Impoverished unemployed, sick or retired etc fans don’t matter then?

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    • A very important point is “in your free time” because the amount of UNPAID labor that goes into this whole endeavor is staggering. The unpaid labor over years and years. Because this isn’t possible unless you have built a platform over a long time by being a positive force in the fandom. People donate items to be auctioned off because they know and trust Guylty.
      Anonymous can go and do it differently and see where that gets them. I’d be very interested to see the results. Most people would throw in the towel after getting halfway through the preparations.

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      • As I replied to Armidreamer – I’m perfectly fine with dedicating the time and effort to the annual fundraisers. (And even though I don’t expect recognition for it, I have received so much back for the work put in, both in terms of kind gifts, as well as wonderful comments and messages from people. The biggest reward has always been transferring the hefty donations to the intended beneficiary.) However, you are making a good point. Even if I may say so myself, there is something to the point that it takes someone (or a group of people) who have built a platform that has wide reach and established reliability and trust. Maybe the anon feels excluded from that, hence has decided to attack. That is unfortunate. I do not require new fans to send me their bank statements so I can pick people for my “rich people club”.

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        • Your threshold for “rich” must be very low if I’m in the club. Working people indeed. Does anon think our money comes from the money fairy? 💶🧚‍♀️
          I know you don’t mind the time, but there is so much given “for free” by many people to make this thing happen, it’s frankly insulting to pretend any of the participants just lounge around, eating caviar and oysters, while some unseen/unknown entity makes it all happen and then “the rich people” reap the glory. ✨
          The point (as you’ve so rightly pointed out) is that this corner of the fandom is incredibly giving. If you want to be part of a fun time for free, all you have to do is not be a complete arsehole. I just today received a Happy Mail. We are the crafty ones. We’re practically begging people for a mailing address to send stuff round the world all the time. It’s self defense, otherwise we’d all drown in stuff. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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          • Good point. The insult really hurts because it creates this overexaggerated distinction between rich and poor people. Or divas dwelling in luxury, throwing money at fundraisers, and “working people” who are being discriminated against. We all know that that is not the case here at all. in fact, there are plenty of people who have bid most generously despite average incomes – because they have a designated donation budget that they have saved over several months for the event. I really can’t see why anyone should hold that against them.
            You have said it – the fandom is not only giving, but it is also open for newcomers. If people are interested in sharing the fun, they are welcome.
            LOL – oh yes, typical crafter’s dilemma. I made all this stuff. I don’t need it myself. Please, can I send it to someone? 😂

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            • It *is* open for newcomers. Hell, I haven’t been around all that long and people were really nice and welcoming. I remember being nervous at the beginning—was I commenting too much or too long, did I have the *right* to voice my opinion when something was discussed, would my tweets be acceptable—and found out that was totally unnecessary. It was a problem I had made up in my mind. If you want to participate, you absolutely can.

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              • It only takes a little warming up from both sides, but generally we all agree that the more, the merrier. There’s always fluctuation. Some people go, so there is always space for newcomers. Besides, we have *all* been newcomers at *some* point, so it it’s an unwritten rule to welcome others the same way we were welcomed…

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    • Yep, when unpicking that anon comment, it is pretty clear that the supposed exclusivity of the fundraiser is only the smallest part of the anon’s grievances. The comment starts with an insult to me, briefly goes into the exclusivity issue, and then spends most time on listing all the other insults they find me guilty of.
      You know, I really prefer to leave the amount of work I am putting into the fundraiser, out of the equation. Just because it involves a lot of time and effort, as well as trust and risk, doesn’t mean that I am untouchable or a saint. I do it voluntarily, without any expectation of and certainly not any demand for recognition from anybody, least of all RA. What riles me is that someone is deliberately looking for a reason to bad-mouth a project that is done with the best of intentions. I just don’t get how raising funds for charity could be seen in such a negative way, implying the worst of motivations, i.e. exclusivity and thirst. It’s not *my* way of thinking – and I think it says more about the accuser than the accused.
      The term “working people” is definitely also used as a weapon here. Class war in fundraising?

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  8. Second comment is about charity in this fandom.

    There are always angry people and there is always going to be a cudgel for them to use (e.g., the week of the second Fanstravaganza coincided with the Tohoku earthquake / tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear accident, and those of us participating were attacked frontally for not canceling the event. That wasn’t about Fukushima. It was about the fact that the people who organized the attack did not have their own platforms, hadn’t been asked to participate, and felt that the bloggers involved were unfairly pushing ourselves forward. At the same time, when some of those people were offered the opportunity to do guest posts on a blog, they declined. It led to changes in the Fanstravaganza format in the subsequent year, which in turn led to further tension and to some extent anger. Lines were crossed (and everyone’s got a different one). People who had the energy to organize got tired of the attacks and the event died. Apart from recounting the whole story, I will just say: if you’re organizing something, you have to make choices. Some of the choices will strike some people negatively. It’s not possible either to avoid making choices, or to control people’s responses).

    In the field of charity, I stumbled onto this problem inadvertently when the Christchurch earthquake of 2011 occurred a year after I started blogging, and the Hobbit had been filming for a few months. I’ve been doing fundraising of various kinds my whole life (I also sold Girl Scout cookies for something like nine years) and I had the idea of a fundraiser, but at that time transferring money internationally was a pain and it wasn’t worth it for small amounts. I had the idea of a “matching” blog post, i.e., I’d transfer a certain amount of money (it might have been NZD $1) for every comment I received on my blog. This made the bar to participation really low (i.e., you could participate even if you didn’t have any money to give). A few other bloggers joined me. One blogger who hadn’t been invited (because no one was invited) expressed that her feelings were hurt, and did her own stunt thing to try to raise money. I don’t know if it raised any money but it definitely got her the attention she wanted. I was accused of trying to get attention for myself. (This is a repeated charge against me in the fandom, and a big explainer for why I do things the way I do now, but at the time it was new.)

    Then about a year later, a small group of fans tried to organize donations to Armitage in honor of the AUJ premiere. We didn’t want to deal with the bookkeeping, but we created a graphic and did our best to publicize it. It turned out that was hard. Certain platforms would not publicize at all (because they perceived that doing so was taking some kind of side — I never figured out what side that was); others would not publicize because they said “I” was too controversial — there were fans who didn’t like the name of the campaign (which I understood) — it seemed liked everyone had some kind of objection. So the subsequent year iirc several of us made demonstrative donations and encouraged others to give. That attracted neither numbers nor huge amounts. I think most people spent their contributions to fandom those years on the very attractive bling that was coming out by the day, something I can’t criticize them for.

    Another incident I remember vividly was the tussle over the NF doodle after the Hannibal filming — it went for an astounding amount of money (over $4k US iirc). But after he acknowledged the donation, the person who bought it did see it as a purchase of access to him, and it became the stepping off point for a barrage of tweets from her to Armitage that didn’t generate a response from him but propagated a huge cloud of APM and lots of negative sentiment on Twitter. In that line, I also recall the squabble over the quilt of Armitage’s career that someone donated and he let be auctioned off, also for a lot of money. There was only one of those, but some people felt strongly that the winner (whose identity was not known) should give it to Mrs. Armitage, And then there was the fan group that carried out a pressure campaign on Twitter in 2015 for birthday donations, generating an acknowledgement from Armitage but / and leading some fans to admit that they had been pressured into donating money they could not afford.

    I’ve been a part of this argument periodically, in expressing and justifying my strong opposition to making any donations either to CyberSmile or the Salvation Army.

    To the tumblr person, I’d say, “this is a charity auction, we made these choices for these reasons, and the goal is to raise as much money as possible. It’s not a bake sale, the principle of which is that everyone can make a donation of an item, and everyone afford to buy something for a fixed price. If you would like organize a bake sale, go for it. I will absolutely purchase an item.”

    All of this is to say — this is really a recurring debate, and someone (sometimes me!) is always frustrated / angry. For myself, the list of conditions that people had for participating in or publicizing a fundraiser started to tire me out and I became very uninterested in big volume fan charity events. If I want something that’s available in an auction, I participate, and if not, I don’t, and my (fan) charity money goes where I am going to send it regardless of the mechanism for donation. (Growing up in a philanthropic and hyperreligious family, I do have a fixed charity budget.) I eventually chose the format for my birthday fundraiser in response to watching this over the years, which made / makes the following choices: (a) the goal is number of participants, not amount of money raised — bar to participation is extremely low, and for that reason, no one has to feel pressured; (b) the point is benefiting the charity as a gift to Richard Armitage, not drawing Armitage’s attention, so he is not notified separately. It has the following consequences: (a) it never generates much attention and (b) it never generates all that much money for the charity and (c) it never attracts Richard Armitage’s attention. Those are my preferences — I donate bigger amounts myself to deserving targets (fandom giving is not a huge proportion of my donations), I have never wanted a Tweet from Armitage, and I enjoy the camaraderie of seeing the comments.

    But they are choices, and there will always be choices.

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    • 1 – Désolée pour ce qui vous arrive Guylty!
      Il faut croire que le stress et les tensions paroxystiques, qui sévissent actuellement à cause du Covid, ont réussi à atteindre le fandom.
      2 – Servetus, je suis toujours intéressée à lire vos commentaires. Actuellement, vous êtes le professeur qui me garde en haleine et dont j’essaie de lire chaque remarque ou analyse. Le temps libre qui m’est imparti, se réduit de plus en plus.
      I am so sorry, Servetus because I am using plagiarism. My English language knowledges are what they are, not good enough to directly build worthy sentences.
      — “If I want something that’s available in an auction, I NEVER participate, and if not, I LOOK AT YOUR AUCTIONS GUYLTY FROM OUTSIDE and so my (fan) charity money goes where I am going to send it regardless of the mechanism for donation”. —
      3 – Guytty, je vous dis merci pour tous les cadeaux que j’ai pu acquérir gratuitement de votre part. Excusez-moi, si lorsque je les reçois, je n’en parle pas systématiquement sur votre blog.
      4 – Je suis ravie des sommes d’argent que vous avez pu recueillir en août dernier et à d’autres occasions. Elles sont parties à une bonne cause.
      5 – Tant que je garderai un certain intérêt sur la carrière de Richard Armitage, la peur qui est la mienne d’envoyer de l’argent par internet, me cantonnera à offrir un chèque à une association française locale d’aide sociale.

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      • You may have a point, Radagast, that the current abnormal state the world is in, is responsible for emotions running higher than usual.
        As for bidding in the auctions or only watching them – there is no obligation to participate in them. That kind of activity is not for all. Some people enjoy pooling money together for a collective donations, others prefer to do their own thing. I appreciate both, and some years I have actually done both myself – organised the auction but also donated a small sum in my own name. What counts is the donation – not HOW the donation was made. And that also extends to the choice of charity. I think it makes total sense to support a local charity that you have an interest in, rather than an overseas charity. Both approaches are good because they still result in a donation.

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        • About “the current abnormal state the world is in, is responsible for emotions running higher than usual.” every day I am confronted with this state of affairs, whether it could be my own reactions or those of others. Anyway, I have to deal with.

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          • You’re right about that! Right now, I have no patience with anyone for pretty much anything. I feel my patience will be tested when I (hopefully) return to work on Monday.

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            • Healthy or seek persons need to cope with their new environments, their general health status, their working or unemployment state, their knowledge, awareness ( concerning the recognition and acceptance) of Covid health risks and their new personal brain strengths.
              Unprecedented time: the fear of the flu leads to reservations of vaccines. Both figuratively and literally: this year, “Winter will be long” in northern hemisphere.
              Take care, all of you!

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      • I’m flattered!

        There’s an English saying, “charity begins at home.” I absolutely support this, but in terms of most usual (as opposed to extraordinary, crisis) giving, in my opinion, the ethical point is at least as much the act of giving as the gift itself. This gets to motivation and if the point of charity is to act ethically and to help in an area of need, then the goal is accomplished no matter the target (I mean, unless you’re donating to something that is itself unethical).

        For a long time there was a clamor among Armitage fans for him to embrace some charities outside the UK, as people wanted to donate in his honor but in their own countries (and international money transfers were harder ten years ago than they are now). The clamor grew after he moved to the US himself. Well, then his suggestion was the Salvation Army. [*exasperation*]. In the end, I can donate to anyone in honor of Richard Armitage. The question is only how important to me it is that he know about it.

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        • About : “The question is only how important to me it is that he know about it.”
          I trully don’t mind. It’s just that I am happy to do that in honor of Richard Armitage. As if my “fangirling” is used for a good cause, not only for self satisfactions. Surely, I shall never receive any feedback criticism, no negative comments. It’s obvious that indirectly my motives seams utterly selfish, at the end it could appear as an egotistical behavior.
          The aid is directed merely at without income or work people, tramps, single women with or without children, young people excluded from their families, former prisoners, illegal immigrants…This local association do a lot in the way of education and training work too. They will always receive far too little gouvernment money supports.
          My first choice was an amount consisted of an accumulation of figures 44 then 45, 46, 47, 48, this year 49. So, I am condemned to give an increasing amount. Funny or not isn’t it?

          Liked by 2 people

    • With this comment I think we are getting to the real heart of the matter, the underlying motivations and emotions why the anon feels the need to rain on our parade. As most of the incidents from the fandom you describe happened before I joined, I found your comment both useful as well as reassuring. As in: It has happened before. It happens. It will happen again. You are absolutely right – there is no way one can please everybody, even if the accused are trying to make things right (as in the Fanstravaganza example). I understand that, and it’s a risk I am willing to take. (Maybe with this experience now settling thanks to the help of all the commenters, it will be easier to navigate future negativity when it comes.) It’s not for the faint-hearted to take on a project, to make decisions – and to stand by them, even if attacked from the outside. It comes with the territory, I guess.
      After reading your examples I am thinking that there is a lot of emotion involved. Much of it seems completely irrational to me. Expectations of being personally invited to something; perceived exclusivity; suspicions of someone trying to get attention or of dominating the fandom. Well, where humans gather, there are emotions. Where do these expectations and suspicions come from, though? Why are people feeling this way? Is it all because there is a perceived competition for the celeb at the centre of the fandom? It’s an unsavoury thought. Especially as the celeb in question has taken great pains over the years to be as stand-offish as possible, so I have never really felt particularly encouraged by Armitage to do something that might have the minuscule chance of being seen by him and even have the infinitesimally small chance of being acknowledged by him. My expectations in that regard have always been low. That doesn’t mean that I had no hopes for a word of thanks or so – but I certainly never believed that our activities mean all that much to him, despite his assurances that they do. He’s an unwilling celeb – which is totally his prerogative to be – and I have received the message. (In terms of the birthday fundraiser I can possibly take one lesson from the anon controversy – maybe I need to spell it out in future announcements that the point of the fundraiser is to collect money for charity and NOT receiving acknowledgment from RA. There, that’s one bandwagon sent to the scrap yard.)
      What is disappointing, is that in all these examples (as well as in my experience with the anon), good intentions are being reframed as base motives for gaining access to the celeb in question. I mean, what part of “this is a charity fundraiser – the objective is to raise money for a good cause” do people not get? I repeat – there’d be easier ways of worming one’s way closer to RA than organising fundraisers…
      It all boils down to allowing people to “do it the way *they* want to do it”. Whether it is your choice to design your annual birthday fundraiser to suit your preferences, or whether it is allowing others to tweet at and vie for RA’s attention as much as they can. Choices, as you said. Only that it appears to be a fantasy to believe that everyone can live their choice without being attacked by others.

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      • I do think there is a competition for attention (at least among some), but I think it’s much more complex than people who are pointing their fingers at others over this issue would acknowledge. (I say this also because I’ve read so many fingers pointed at me over the years who had no idea what was going on in my mind when I wrote the thing they objected to).

        I also know that in years when my own fundraising was more visible, I would be asked repeatedly by people who were thinking about participating whether Richard Armitage would be notified of the result. (And this was over tiny amounts of money! Like $25! I mean, it’s not like they were donating to have their name on a university building or something.) So that is a huge issue for some people. I think part of the problem, too, is the question of being perceived as just one more face in the crowd vs. being perceived as someone who stands out from that. (We’ve seen so many examples of this question in stories of successes and disappointments at the stage door, for example.) Many people want to be special, even if just for one second. They want to be seen. Twitter makes this so much worse, because it creates the illusion that the object can easily perceive you as an individual rather than simply as one of a huge crowd of people who mention you every day.

        And then there’s the whole question of people who admire *you* as the fundraiser and want to boost *your* visibility, whether or not that is part of your goal. You will never be able to separate perceptions of you from that effect, either. (I’ve been stung on that issue numerous times from both well-meaning and ill-meaning fans.) In other words, other people’s motives will also be assigned to you. If a third party appreciates you and speaks positively of you, that actually makes it worse for the aggrieved party (in this case, the anon).

        re: what don’t people get about “this is a charity fundraiser — the point is to raise money”: I think what people don’t get (and maybe this has to do with most fans having a shorter history / memory than we do) is that there really isn’t any way for a fan to worm his or her way closer to Armitage than a tweet or a brief recognition, short of actually working with him or having a *real life* reason. If you look at the case of the fans who “got closest,” they were either early fans in the days before he really grasped what was happening (e.g., people who ran the earliest fan sites, and themselves drew pretty strict boundaries), or someone like Marlise Boland, and that didn’t last very long (we don’t have to get into it). I think this is why there’s almost always some kerfuffle around the paid selfie experience at conventions, incidentally. Anyone who has a certain amount of money can get the access. It’s not about merit as a fan. In turn the value of access itself gets degraded on some level. (Wow, I would have a lot more to say about this, but this is turning into another monster comment).

        re: making your own choices — I think this is the hardest piece of this whole discussion (much harder than the question of being noticed). When something strikes them ill, people don’t think about whether that’s legitimate or not. They just sound off on what’s bugging them, but they can’t just say “I don’t like it when …” they somehow have to make it wrong, in order to justify that they are speaking at all. And often they don’t bother to think about what’s really bugging them. The question I always ask myself when something bugs me is “does this meet the bar set in Matthew 18:15,” i.e., am I willing to approach the person privately to discuss what I see as so problematic? If I’m not, then calling them out publicly, or vagueblogging about it isn’t going to be a solution to the problem, either — it will just make things worse. But the problem at the base of it is something about identity. If other fans do [something i don’t like or wouldn’t do or find offensive], what does that say about me? It can be SO hard to answer that question with “nothing.”

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        • [Apologies for taking so much time to get to this comment.] This is definitely a point that also goes beyond the actual fundraiser issue that sparked it. Personally, I think the question of attention and access is what is at the bottom of the anon comment. You have already summarised the gist of this particular issue and how it impacts fan reactions to fundraisers with greater visibility, so I won’t add to that other than to say that – fair enough, if people want to be “seen” by RA, then that is their approach and good luck with that. It hasn’t been mine, and that is fine, too.
          But I take from it all that maybe I need to spell all these things out in future posts. It’s definitely one of my weaknesses that I tend to assume that my approach has been understood. I am not a fan of the “small print”, but in the end it works as a disclaimer. At least people then know what is happening – we’re raising funds for charity in lieu of a birthday present for RA, we’re donating it to X charity, the results will be posted on blog and tweeted at RA, we cannot guarantee whether RA will see and react to them.
          On the access question – would love to hear more of that, as hinted by you in the comment. It is, as you say, another bone of contention. Not least because we as fans have made attention/recognition a currency ourselves, at least to some degree. Mostly it is done in a fun way, when fans who have personally stood near RA at the SD or a convention, or received some kind of response from him in the shape of tweets or mail replies, have been congratulated by others. That’s not a bad thing; it’s basically sharing the joy of somebody who has been able to “meet” our favourite actor. It’s rare and therefore coveted, however much or little real interaction there is. Regrettably, it’s nevertheless used as currency by some who then assume a non-existent mantle of “spokesperson” or authority, which ruffles feathers. I don’t see a way out of that – there’s no handbook on fan behaviour. We can only hope for reasonable behaviour.
          Re. your last paragraph – and yes, social media has made it very easy to voice disagreement, without explaining why or without disclosing one’s own identity. If you want to criticise without taking responsibility for your opinion, you can insult people anonymously. That probably fulfils the need to criticise. Maximum satisfaction because you don’t have to openly deal with a constructive discourse or even retaliation. The Matthew quote is a good benchmark.

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          • anonymity: my advice years and years ago during the Richlee wars was that people who were getting unpleasant messages should just turn off anon asks on tumblr. It seems like an invitation for people to insult you. I am not constitutionally a huge fan of confrontation and for that reason I am maybe not so good at it, but I try to tell people straight when what they do is bugging me. I know that’s not the normal way. I had an exchange with a colleague maybe ten years ago where she asked me, “are you angry at me?” and I said, “Is there a reason I should be angry at you? if I were angry at you, I would tell you,” and she said, “right, you’re strange that way.”

            I’m not a fan studies expert, but people who are would say that the internal politics of fandoms were significantly altered because of social media. Pre-Internet 2.0, the main currency of fandom was knowledge of the topic. Afterwards, it became access. Knowledge must be acquired; this focus privileges a certain kind of personality. Access, however, can be obtained in many ways and of course, nowadays, it is sold as much as anything else. I would probably add that whereas fandom was an extremely niche experience even as little as thirty years ago, it is now much more mainstream and diffuse. Fandom media and products are pushed at us much more aggressively, and as more and more people buy and buy into the experience, the stigma associated with fandom is largely gone. Large groups of people who never would have been fans not that long ago now participate (even if not quite so intensively) in fandom culture occasionally or regularly. But there’s still this idea that persists from the previous frame, that if you’re an especially “good” fan (intense, knowledgeable, etc.) that you deserve something. I think this creates a lot of tension over any activity that involves money (whether you’re buying access, or just a ticket to something) because money is the great equalizer — you don’t have to be a good fan, or a faithful fan, or an intense fan. You just have to pay. On some level I think that makes the internal politics of fandom more difficult. It’s a lot easier to sympathize with the faithful fan of a decade who finally meets her crush than it is with the recent fan who just buys what she wants. In turn it may also make the faithful fan ask herself if the object is really worth it, if it can be obtained so easily for something that has nothing to do with the fandom experience itself.

            I don’t know if you remember this:

            https://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/someone-who-always-rejoiced-with-those-who-were-rejoicing/

            but I feel like that attitude is increasingly impossible within fandom. We’re maybe happy to rejoice with total strangers when they get access because they have cancer (although that is increasingly difficult, as the case of the young lady with the flute piece demonstrated) — maybe because they are seen to have merit. But otherwise the first question seems to be “why not me”? Capitalism trains us to embrace that question as legitimate. People who end up (for whatever reason) in the role of spokesperson and criticized for it are sort of collateral damage.

            I definitely think it’s a good idea to state expectations in advance. Never hurts.

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      • Que ce soit dans le fandom, dans le “binge watching” ou dans les médias sociaux en général, les émotions y gouvernent. Il sera toujours difficile de garder la tête froide quand les émotions SONT MISES à CONTRIBUTION. C’est d’ailleurs ce qui fait que nous en devenons dépendants, à notre corps défendant. C’est ce que recherche les personnes qui créent des algorythmes pour profiter de notre vulnérabilité émotionnelle, à leur bénéfice.

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  9. Dear Sonja,

    first, I think it’s very honorable of you that you read, thought about and answered that anonymous comment at all. Personally, I (and many others, I guess) would simply ignore and delete such comments, so, well done girl! This alone already shows what a positive character/person you are, even more compared to the person who made the original ask, and that ALL the personal accusations and insults are completely unfounded. So, don’t worry, you’re fine!

    Second, people who post such insults often enough accuse others of shortcomings they themselves suffer from, imho, so I assume this person would like to have attention from RA or in general stand in the spotlight. And they are jealous and envious that you managed it to some extent. By bashing others they try to make themselves “feel better” by pretending they are not the only ones with such unreasonable wishes, or maybe try to make everything else feel as bad as they themselves feel (“why should I be the only one feeling bad?”). Might be they tried to set up something similar once, but failed for some reason. Usually, if it’s the latter, they fail because they are too lazy to put in the necessary effort and time (and money), and then accuse all the world around them instead of admitting the fault lays within themselves.
    It is utterly impossible to try and reason with them, there will be no discussion, you will probably be right in that there will never be any kind of answer. Some more insults, at the most, maybe an accusation of “stealing” their idea with the raffle. So please don’t be disappointed when no meaningful answer of the anonymous person is coming forth.

    Third, rergarding the concept of using auctions for charity, I FULLY agree with what you already said, and what the people who commented before me added. So, no need to repeat all this 🙂 I hope you’ll go on doing these auctions. Although the prices were too high for me to enter the bidding, I enjoyed watching.
    I also like the idea of trying out a raffle next year. Those people who “simply” donated a bit of money could then buy tickets instead or in addition. It’s worth a shot to see how it works out, and in case it didn’t you could at least say you tried. I am looking forward to next year already to see with what you manage to come up! And I can already promise I’ll buy a ticket 🙂

    So, please don’t let comments and persons like these deter you and go on doing what you have done until now, it would be a big loss to the RA community and to charity, too!!! ❤

    Love, Jali

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    • Thanks for the kind, reassuring reply, Jali. Ha, I am not a saint. And what I actually didn’t write in the post, is that the message may actually already have been a month old. (There’s no time stamp on it.) It most likely was sent in the immediate aftermath of the fundraiser, last month. It’s just that I hadn’t checked my tumblr messages until Sunday – and suddenly realised there were several messages in there. (But only one hate message *phew*.) That worked out well for me in the sense that I probably would’ve been much more hurt if I had seen it at that time when still on a high from the fundraiser. My unsaintliness can probably also be gauged from the fact that I *did* reply to such an old message – and then even made it a topic on another platform (i.e. this blog), knowing/hoping that I would receive reassurance.
      I think you are probably right with your second point. Personally, I think a mean, insulting and accusatory message like that one has only one purpose – to be destructive. I chose to focus on the one insult that could possibly be seen as a prompt for constructive dialogue, but it was clear to me that the purpose of it was to make me feel bad, not to actually improve the fundraiser. I could counter the underlying accusations and defend myself but I don’t think there is much point. The anon has projected their own grievances on me; there’s nothing I can say that would convince them otherwise.
      Despite the criticism (intended to stop me from organising the fundraiser?), I don’t feel discouraged from putting on the fundraiser again next year. The discussion has been useful to me, in that it is worth-while considering other fundraising options. The raffle idea initially looked good to me, but thanks to Sahra’s comments (see below), I had a look at the legal framework for raffles in Ireland. As my place of residence, that is probably the jurisdiction that is relevant in this case. Unfortunately raffles (as a type of lottery) are considered gambling and require a licence when connected to selling tickets in return for money. So that option is off the table. However, there may be other opportunities to open participation independent of large budgets. Offering items for sale is an option that I already experimented with last year for RAnet and this year for the postage fund. It would allow people to contribute to the fundraiser even if they do not want to or cannot afford to donate more than 5 Euro or so. I look forward to exploring that.

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  10. It’s interesting that anonymous couldn’t just make their comment but had to make a nasty remark alongside their ‘issue ‘of perceived unfairness. Reminds me of the person on titter who was incredibly nasty to RA on twitter for not making people wear masks.
    Re the auctions-charity auctions always end up with items selling for more than what they would be conventially worth. That is the nature of the beast. Anyone remember the episode of Friends when Joey wins a boat not realising the sums of money were real?
    Anyway, a possible option for future alongside the normal auctions could be something along the line of selling a small amount of specially designed badges or keyrings at fixed price? This would allow those on limited budgets to participate and get something tangible in return.

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    • GRAH. I don’t believe it. I just wrote a long answer, and WP then tells me my comment could not be posted. Arrrrrrrgh. Anyway, just to say that the anon disqualified themselves – and their valid criticism – when they started attacking me personally. That made it clear that they really just wanted to be nasty, not constructive. In any case – it’s now water under the bridge – we’ll move on.
      I like your idea of a fixed price sale. That is definitely something I will add to next year’s fundraiser, especially as it has already proved successful this year when I did a fixed price sale to benefit the postage fund. That would certainly widen the participation!

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      • If you do enlarge on the fixed price aspect and go the crafting route, I volunteer to contribute some items if you‘d like. Just say the word.

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        • Fabulous!! Noted! When we do it, it’ll have to be small items that can be made easily and at low cost, so that might actually be a bit of additional fun for the crafters among us. We’ll talk about it when we get to it 🙂

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      • oh absolutely-the attack was completely unnecessary and just plain nasty. It’s a shame the raffle idea is not possible, but not suprising considering all the different country laws. If there’s anything that could be laser cut/engraved in bulk for the auction -then please let us know

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  11. Ah sweetie. Of all the people in the world, in the fandom, you deserved this the least. Many people have said many things here and I won’t repeat them – well, I might… lol! To post anon is basically a way to show one’s true asshole-ness while hiding behind a mask. I’m an asshole, I proclaim it so it pissed me off royally when someone hides behind that mask and attacks people who don’t deserve it. You, my friend, did not deserve this!

    One of the things that jumped out at me was the suggestion of raffles. This is a great SUGGESTION, why on earth didn’t she mention it earlier instead of jumping you because you didn’t think of it? Yeah, it would be nice. I’m one of those people who can never afford it as something always happens to me during July and August: car issues, moving, changing jobs, first month of school, outfitting my room, Covid… I’ve never been jealous of winners or not being able to participate. Perhaps, that’s Anon’s problem. Jealousy. And as I suspect that is the case, that’s not your problem. Repeat after me, It’s not my circus, it’s not my monkeys. You put a lot of work into the auctions. Anon is just a pisser. Hugs you.

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    • Returning to the replies – sorry for being so late in answering! Yep, as you said, anons basically discredit their messages by not putting a name to them. I happily engage in discussion – but not with anonymous hate mongers.
      As for the raffle – I totally loved the idea, alas it won’t happen due to legal restrictions. But I am definitely going to widen the participation next year by offering something else that will also appeal to smaller budgets.
      LOL, I like that: “Not my circus, not my monkeys” 😂. Indeed, with a few days already behind me, the whole thing has already vanished in the rear-view mirror. No point in dwelling on it.
      But thank you for the reassurance and kind words. They *did* make me feel better.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Don’t let comments like the one from Anonymous get you down! All of us have had a chance to participate in the auction every year, and you do make sure that there are lower priced items listed as well. My personally comfortable limit for spending is quite low compared to some, but the fun is in the bidding! I always bid on several items and, not only is it exciting to think I might get something and to compete, but I know that I am doing my part by helping to increase the bids. Because that is the point. To raise as much money as possible. This year, I think for the first time, I actually was the highest bidder on an item, which was quite exciting. But in prior years, after not winning my bids, I have generally donated through your donations option, because again, that is the point… to raise as much money as possible. While having fun, of course. The point is not to receive an item (even though that would be fun).

    Do I sometimes wish that other people didn’t outbid me? Well, of course. But I know that you are not the one controlling their bids. It is not your “friends w/ money” that are making the highest bids. It is the people that, for whatever reason, are comfortable spending that much money on an item.

    I did not hear you complaining last year when the significant sum raised was not acknowledged by RA. I, however, was put out, on your/our behalf. I felt that the significant effort you and others had put in should have been acknowledged by him. But frankly, he probably didn’t know. This year, he knew (as far as I recall) because LOROS tweeted the news out. But, in any case, if your friends tag him and let him know, because they genuinely appreciate you and the efforts you put in and are thrilled with the fandom coming together to do this in his honour, then why shouldn’t they? I am very glad that he did acknowledge the donation this year.

    All in all, the auction is fun and a great event and definitely not something you should feel badly about. You could try adding a raffle, but I guarantee that some people are still going to be annoyed that they didn’t win.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I very much agree with you with your first point, Sue: The fun is in the bidding. While I don’t take part in our fundraiser auctions, I often bid in antiques auctions online. Only small stuff that is not going to cost a lot. And yet, I often get outbid – and I step back and let the other person have it. I still had the fun of imagining that I *might* get that item. I don’t feel mad at them for being able to throw more money at the item in question. And in the context of our fundraiser, I would hope that people realise that each and every bid, whether winning or not, has contributed to the final price, which is a good thing…
      As for RA acknowledging the fundraiser – I have never really expected it from him, and since I prefer to fly under his radar, I had never tweeted the results at him. Last year he actually did react to a tweet (not by me but Kate iirc) that announced the results. I could imagine that he always shied away from any reaction to the fundraiser because he did not want to give the impression that he *expects* high-profile/large-scale fan-organised activities, especially those that require fans to give money (even if for a good cause). I changed my approach this year and directed two or three tweets at him – mainly because he seems to have changed his own Twitter behaviour. (When I saw him reacting to a hand-ful of fun tweets earlier this year that cheekily said something like “I have donated to the cause, now can I get @RA to notice me”, I felt that I might as well address him directly, too.) But I think it was the LOROS tweets that alerted him. Frankly, if he hadn’t reacted to that, I think a lot of people would have felt snubbed and ignored, and he would’ve looked like an arrogant arsehole. The fact that the anon criticises other people for tagging and tweeting him – what a ridiculous charge, not least because all those people had an interest because they had supported the fundraiser in some shape or form. When it comes to shameless and embarrassing Twitter behaviour, I have seen stuff that is definitely questionable. Informing a celeb of the proceeds of a charity auction done in their name – I can’t see anything wrong with that. The anon just wanted to put the knife in and hurt us. Unfortunately for them, I have survived… not least because of the kind reassurance given here. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Sorry about the unpleasant PM by Anonymous! The personal attacks are unnecessary, but a discussion isn´t. Of course you/we want to raise as much money as possible, but it seemed to me that only a few persons could afford most of the items – sometimes buying several of them. I was frustatred too sometimes, though this year I could (thanks Covid for cancelling my London trip!) purchase something I had already had an eye on when it was much more expensive. So a raffle and/or some smaller items are a good idea imo.
    Re the tagging of you and RA in tweets: I´m not a fan of tagging RA, but I already thought in earlier years that you deserved a mention of your auction, and so I posted this year, as did others. Besides that, Richard would perhaps send something for your auction (I never knew that he did it before).
    Thanks and keep the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is so regrettable that fandom apparently always leads to personal attacks. I have no idea why people find it necessary to criticise others for their behaviour. Fangirl and let fangirl – it could be so easy.
      Having said that, I have no problem whatsoever with discussing improvements, and the issue with affordability is definitely one that is worth having. I think we all agree that the auctions will continue to be the essential part of the fundraiser. They are the “cash cow” – the project that generates most cash for donations. But in order to lessen frustration, it is a good idea to offer other ways of contributing, too, so a fixed price sale is now definitely on my list.
      As for tagging RA – I can live without RA personally acknowledging *my* contribution to the fundraiser. But I did and would appreciate it, that/if he indicated that he has noticed the present his fans have generated for him. I don’t need a thanks for my own sake, but I think it is a matter of politeness to acknowledge gifts. He did this year, so I have absolutely no criticism of him. Re. sending something for the auction – just to clarify: He has never specifically donated anything to the auctions. For the 2015 – 2017 auctions I sent him some of my own photographs of him, requesting his signature on them. I explained in the accompanying letters that they would be used as items in a charity auction. When the signatures came back, I never took that as an endorsement of our auctions (and specifically stated it in my auction posts). Basically they were items that I had asked for to be signed, and they were more or less my donation to the auctionable items. The last time I sent photos with a request for signatures was in December 2017, and I never heard back. It is quite possible that they fell by the wayside because Mrs Armitage’s health was already suffering. So either she had been responsible for getting the previous images signed and now wasn’t able to look after his fan mail anymore, or he *understandably* had other concerns at the time than processing signature requests. (I felt a bit discouraged when I didn’t receive the pictures back, so I refrained from trying again. Maybe I should do so this year again.)

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  14. Another thing I’d like to add… it’s not like you are a paid employee of the Richard C Armitage Charitable Trust! You are not accountable to the direction of the board of directors or the membership. You are only accountable to follow through on the rules you yourself set out and to send the money raised as promised — both of which you do. And I’m sure that those donating the items are happy with how their items are handled.

    You and others put in lots of time and also money into the crafting and organizing. You always ask for input before the auction in one form or another from your readers. You are not an official distributor of fandom items. Just a blogger trying to generate a bit of fun while doing a good thing. Keep on keeping on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true. In a fandom that by definition is an undefined group of people, there is no framework that sets any rules for the fundraisers. I am *always* open for suggestions and input because the aim of the fundraiser has always been to generate funds – and to provide an opportunity for fans to do good *together*. It’s not really my style to be an autocratic overlord over any project, but as the driving force of this thing, I simply do as I see fit. I am reassured in this whole debate that my modus operandi has largely been given a blessing by the majority. Will definitely keep going with it!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I´m so sorry to hear this, I can´t believe it tbh… Although coming from a valid basis the accusations are insulting given the effort you always put into organising the auctions and making them all work every year. I always enjoy them and am happy we all have a share in raising money for a good cause. As we´ve seen we did especially this year. I admit I sometimes swallow hard when I see the current amount that people bid but as some already said that´s what auctions are about! They are no “gift giving events”!!
    I agree that the idea of a raffle is a good one, I just doubt it´s possible for 5 Pounds, ok, maybe that amount was chosen arbitrarily. I´m sure there´s a figure that would work and I´d like us to try. Take care 💗.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Having let the whole thing settle – and having been reassured by so many kind comments – I am feeling ok about it all. We have had a constructive discussion about it, and that is welcome and useful. It really is important feedback to know that quite a lot of people – even those who have had luck in previous auctions and won an item – would also appreciate an option that provides wider participation. I think we may have found a way to facilitate that. A fixed price sale may be the way forward (although the issue with that will be the postage costs that will always detract from the proceeds). But we will get to that when it happens. Meanwhile, thank you for your reassurance and steadfast support of the auctions over the years, Andrea! It is much appreciated!

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  16. Considering what Sahra said on Twitter, it seems like a raffle for money is out.

    The truth is, it will be impossible to please that person. They’d complain about which items are in the auction and which in the raffle, claiming that the “good stuff” is auctioned off and it’s still unfair.
    At the end of the day, this person expects you to fix the ills of capitalism. If £5 is your limit, you cannot go see RA’s movies at the movie theater, you cannot afford an audiobook, you cannot afford a DVD when it’s a new release and you certainly cannot afford a theater ticket. That sucks, but it’s reality. To expect a private fundraising initiative to fix these societal problems is frankly a bit much.

    We could consider some fixed-price items, but that still leaves the problem of what goes where. If what someone wants is something that’ll be popular, it will be in auction. It just makes sense. And what’s to stop one of “your rich friends” (🤬🙄🤐) from buying the cheap items out from under the financially strapped? Are we gonna ask for tax returns of the last five years?

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh Sahra has a point! Didn’t think of that. You will have to check very thoroughly if such a raffle would be considered “gambling”, including to check the laws in different countries, it might make a difference not only in which country to set it up, but also from which country you participate, not sure which law would apply then.
      And Kate, you’ve got a point, too, the original Anonymous (or someone similar) would complain in any case, because that’s what such characters always do. Complain, insult, whine, but never engage in an honest and open debate. Sonja, my recommendation would be, you do whatever you want to do and feel comfortable with, and not pay attention to some singular idiots. You simply can’t cater to everybody’s whims.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, but I do think the discussion was useful. Even if that wasn’t what the anon wanted 😂. They probably just wanted to stick the knife in. Well, bad news. I think we are coming out of this better than we went in.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never been sure that this auction meets the requirements for charity auctions on eBay, either, though. Does it? I know that one group I cooperated with a time for in the RA fandom wanted to have an eBay auction of donated items for charity and did not do so because it was not possible for us to meet the platform requirements. I think the issue is less one of compliance and more one of jurisdiction, i.e., who would be likely to either notice and prosecute an endeavor involving a raffle.

      I don’t read the author of this post as fixed on 5 GBP. It was given as an example of something that might be potentially affordable for everyone. Asking for a more affordable or inclusive charity option is not really the same as a request to fix the ills of capitalism. Plenty of people over the years have looked at these auctions (and others in the fandom) and shrugged because they can’t afford to participate. Guylty herself did that whole “masks for donations” project that was very affordable. It would seem like it would not be impossible for someone to organize someone like that. I am not saying that Guylty should, just that asking for that kind of option (apart from the attacks on Guytly) is not an unreasonable request. Perhaps it’s something that the OP could consider doing — perhaps in cooperation with Guylty.

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      • No, from what I can make out, our fundraiser can’t really fit into the eBay charity framework. I have looked at that because it would mean that we could avoid the hefty eBay fees (more than 300 Euro this year, for instance, as it is calculated as a percentage of the final individual item prices as well as a listing fee per item). However, the problem (iirc) is that in order to be eligible for the charity discount, the fundraiser has to be endorsed by the charity it benefits. In our case that is difficult because we make “spontaneous” decisions on who to benefit with our annual donation. The other reason I haven’t pursued it further, is that I always thought it was a good idea to transact the final donation either through Richard’s JustGiving pages or his memorial page for his mother. Reasons being that a) that way the donation site functions as a central platform where the contributors can see and confirm that the donation has been made because there is a public message; and b) in the context of “in lieu of a birthday gift”, Richard (potentially) receives a notification on those pages that a donation has been made in his honour. (The latter reason was particularly important as long as we had no indication otherwise that Richard actually noticed the gift in his name. With his acknowledgment this year, maybe that reason is not so valid anymore.) It also seemed to make sense to benefit the charity pages he had set up just to bolster his charity efforts. (Not that he seems to be majorly involved in any charity/fundraising, but anyhow…)
        I agree that the number given by the anon was just an example. (I am jumping ahead here, but doing a fixed-price sale with a 5 Pound price tag would probably not work, anyway, because there will not be much of a profit once the packaging and postage has been deducted, too. Although that depends on the kind of items we’d be selling.) As you said, the fixed-price sale of the masks this year (and the minibook brooches for RAnet last year) proved that it complements the fundraiser nicely. However, I believe that that is what it will be – a complement, not a replacement for the auctions. Those fixed-price sales only generated a nice sum because the items on offer did not cost me anything to make, i.e. I (happily, voluntarily and without any grudge!) donated materials and effort, and were small enough to be sent by letter (= low postage costs).
        At the end of the day I am also thinking to myself – if the anon is so outraged about the way I have conducted the fundraiser, what is stopping them from creating one of their own that fulfils their criteria? It’s not as if I (or anyone) have a monopoly on “fundraising in the Richard Armitage fandom”…

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        • It doesn’t matter to me either way as regards your auctions, because the charitable contribution is a secondary issue for me when I am participating. I’m only aware of it because there have been a few notorious cases in the US of people who stated they were donating to charity without meeting the bar, and then ebay removed their auctions. Not to create problems upon problems, but in the US anything you sold would generate both sales and income tax liabilities.

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    • Sahra’s comments were most useful. Initially I thought the raffle option was the ideal solution. I hadn’t thought about the issue with “gambling” (haha, which is funny, because I used to be the “gambling expert” in my former life as a search marketing editor for a multinational internet company. I should’ve known that raffles have legal implications…). Thanks to Sahra’s comments, I checked the laws in my jurisdiction (which would be the laws applicable to a raffle since this is my place of residence), and it turns out a raffle that involves taking money in return for a ticket and selling the tickets internationally, requires a special licence. So a raffle is off the table. (But luckily we may have already found an alternative to a raffle anyway.)
      As you said, a raffle could’ve given rise to further accusations for the reasons given by you. Essentially, the idea of generating as much cash as possible, is diametrically opposed to being (monetarily) inclusive. There is no way we can provide an even chance at getting the most coveted of items at a modest price – and frankly, it wouldn’t make sense if we wanted to collect lots of dosh. Whatever way we decide to be more inclusive, it will only ever be a “consolation prize”.
      The anon’s accusation of me organising a gift-giving club for me and my rich cronies – oh, how I had to laugh at that. Mind you, it also really put the knife in. To a card-carrying leftie like myself, that is probably the worst kind of insult you could throw at me 😂. I hate capitalism, and I am not interested in money and riches at all. I don’t choose my friends on the basis of their income, and I’d be much happier in a world that actually didn’t need any fundraising for good causes at all. Having said that – the 5£ number may have just been an arbitrarily chosen number.

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  17. What a nasty piece of anonymous carping. Everyone else has pretty much covered the bases (disappointing that a raffle may be problematic, that did sound good.) Well done on your response. I don’t think I would have been as diplomatic 😉

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    • Well, I guess I could have been even more diplomatic by ignoring the whole thing altogether 😉. Insults aside, the comment made me think, and I wanted to open the dialogue. Unsurprisingly, the anon has not reacted on tumblr… That tells me a lot 😁.

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  18. So The Finger was of some use, at last.
    Tonight go home to your anons, give them the finger and say: ride this, Anonimous, this is RA’s finger for you. (For catholic anons only, I fear)
    Anonymous’ idea is interesting, but it’s affordable? Probably it was only a vehicle for insults- they where throw with much gusto than accuracy, but these attacks are still annoying. The nerve.

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    • 😂😂😂 Oh, the finger is going to come handy again, I am sure. LOL, the way you are saying it, the anons might even enjoy it *ooops*
      I think you are right – the comment’s primary aim was to insult, not to offer constructive criticism. Ha, but I think we have completely abused the anon’s original concept and turned it into a constructive discussion. Best possible outcome if you ask me.

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  19. I saw this anon message on my Tumblr late last night and couldn’t believe that you of all people would be on the receiving end of an anon like that! What fabulous comments! I hope that you feel reassured by them.
    I have nothing to add to the discussion – I agree with what everyone has said – except to say that you do have raffles – for free! One doesn’t have to have a WP account to make a comment, and you always link your raffle posts on Tumblr. No, the reach isn’t as wide as eBay, and they don’t raise funds, but if it’s about acquiring a little RA something for little cost, then you are already providing that service, with a good chance of winning and a dash of fun and fangirling thrown in. 😉

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    • Ha, Mezz, I am far from being a saint, so I am open to criticism, fair enough. Except it would be nice if people could refrain from ad hominem attacks… There has been no reply on tumblr, so I take it the whole thing was really just meant to be mean – and not constructive, anyway. Well, we have made the most of it by discussing the issue. I actually found it useful to hear some more voices on the matter. All good. (But yes, it has been extremely reassuring to read all the kind comments.)

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  20. As usual I’m late to the party and others have spoken far more eloquently on the issue than I could myself. All I can say is I was open-mouthed at such meanness of spirit, and I heartily endorse all the support you have had here, Guylty. Sadly, the way things are in the world today makes me acutely aware of projection and it was screaming itself out loud in that ‘ask’

    With thanks as always for all you do for us, in thoughtfulness, time and personal expense as well. ⭐️ 🎖 🥇

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    • You know, I think it’s fair and square to point out things that could be improved, even when we are talking about a well-intentioned charity project. It’s not sacrosanct, so I do welcome thoughts on the fundraiser. I just felt it was a weird and nonsensical misrepresentation to characterise the fundraiser as a gift-giving event for an exclusive rich people’s club. Projection came to my mind, too.
      It’s all good here, not least because the feedback has been very reassuring and kind, and I am grateful for that.

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  21. So sorry that you were the recipient of such a mean comment 😦
    Like Mezz I have nothing new to add to the discussion and can only agree that you should do the auction like you see fit!

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    • I told my daughter that I had received a hate comment, and she said “well, if you receive hate mail, that means you must be famous” 😂. Well, I’d call it “exposed” rather than famous.
      The fundraiser will continue. We have discussed some improvements – so we’ve actually had a constructive outcome.

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  22. Wow that was a rude comment by Anonymous. The fact that this is her take on your motivation behind the RA birthday auction boggles the mind. That she would personally attack YOU -One of the kindest, most generous, and humblest persons in this corner of the fandom. So unfair and truly undeserved. I’m sure you are open to any sincerely offered suggestions, but THIS- this is just snarky trolling- totally without merit. I’d like to join with the other comments of support and tell you what you do for the fandom is fantastic and very much appreciated. ❤️

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    • The reassurance is much appreciated. When I read the hate comment, I realised immediately that the motivation was to hurt rather than to discuss, but I felt that opening the discussion at least shows that I do not believe I am beyond criticism. There has definitely been merit in discussing the fundraiser, so in that sense the comment, although motivated by hate, was useful. Probably not what the troll intended – so there *haha*

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  23. I’m so sorry you received such an unsavory comment about the fundraiser. And I hope you’re able to settle down a bit now. On another note, I’m happy you opened up this topic for other suggestions. Perhaps there’ll be an activity next year that can be more inclusive along with the bidding.

    I was thinking a pool of artists or anyone who wants to volunteer can sell their wares with a percentage of it (or all, depends on the maker) goes to the chosen charity for a limited time. I also thought raffling some of these items can also work, but if there are laws that might make it complicated then perhaps it might be the best way to do it.

    Hmm, it would also probably need more people to organize it, but making a RCA-centered zine would also be interesting? Artists, writers can join in and send in their work, and people can buy it with proceeds going to the charity. This will most likely also gain ire of some bc the entries might need to be curated (esp if there are too many participants), but just a suggestion. Im thinking this kind of project goes well to more bigger fandoms tho haha. Since you work mostly by yourself, anything you can do within your capacity will do!

    Anyway i hope you feel a bit better now. I know it can take so much just from taking in a very personal and unnecessary attack when you were trying to do good. Everybody here is supporting you and grateful you were able to pull of this year’s fundraiser! So I thank you for that again 🙂

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    • Thank you for your suggestions – and your reassurance – Nix, both much appreciated. The idea of a fixed-price sale with crafted/artist-made items is definitely on the cards now. I like that idea, as it not only may provide items in a lower price segment, but it may also open up the pool of crafting and fan art-producing contributors. That would definitely be a boost in terms of inclusivity on both counts.
      A fan zine is definitely something that fandoms always had, so it is an interesting suggestion. My personal opinion on it, however, is a little bit skeptical. Just because it a) requires regular input, and b) editing/curation work. Then there is also the small problem with fan art traditionally being shared for free via the web, so the question is whether people would be willing to pay (even if it was only a small amount). Nevertheless, any idea is worth discussing, so thank you for this suggestion!

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      • I definitely understand your concern regarding the fanzine. I think that needs a team just to go through the submissions and editing/layout, and it’s certainly overwhelming work for one person to do. Also it has a big potential to make fans feel excluded as obviously zines can only take so much pages (be it physically or virtually). I’ve seen friends who get a little sad when there’s an open call for submissions in a zine, but it gets filled up so quickly that they aren’t able to get in.

        In whatever type of fundraising you choose, I hope you get to pick the best way that works for you! I think in the end these activities help raise awareness to the chosen charity and help should be directed to them- and not simply for the attention of our beloved actor haha.

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  24. Well, i sat on it for a while as it’s difficult to have a reasonable conversation with anyone who makes such statements. But we’re not actually having a conversation ;with them’, unfortunately in a way. Most of all i am very sorry for the hurt this has caused you. However much we say ‘this comes with the territory and all fandoms are plagued by these kind of statements’ and so on, it still hurts to read stuff like that. Maybe it is part of the intention of the statement, whether they realise it or not?
    I am not sure giving it any attention helps actually and if dwelling on it doesn’t actually make it hurt more 😦 I really hope it is not the case and i really wish and hope you don’t pay any attention to the personal attack whatsoever, it just doesn’t deserve it.
    People have their own problems and who knows what makes them be nasty to others 😦
    I guess it doesn’t much have to do with the auctions themselves. I never felt the stopped anyone participating, being part of the donation effort or even doing their own thing separately and donating to any of the causes RA support or indeed none of them. Especially as there is always a debate before each auction if to do them and how to do them.

    People like me willingly participate, even if we don’t actually intend to buy items given financial values of auctions and so on, but i know i am essentially lazy and just happy to donate or tag along, but let you do the organising as i know it’s a lot of work! Which people often forget 😦
    Also ultimately the goal of this activity is to give money to charity while having a bit of fun doing it (not what the writer suspects, but that can’t be helped). I also think there has always been a raffle element in that people who just donated but didn’t win in auction always got lovely thank you presents.
    And you’ve done numerous raffles on the blog from commentators 🙂 Yes, i guess there is always an option to add something like these to the auction events. BUT it is a lot more work, so i think if people advocate for this option on top of all the organisation that already has to happen to make things work, there is need for people to also put themselves forward to help with the work. Just my two cents. I can see how this would engage a lot more people. but it definitely means a lot of additional work, which needs to be put in and i would find it very unfair to laden that burden on you as well in addition to everything else.
    And i think us all having fun with it on this side need to recognise that if we vote for adding in any additional activities 🙂

    Otherwise you know, don’t feed the trolls and all that and hope you can at least tweak some setting to prevent anonymous replies as i don’t think that’s the right way to interact anyway. If you want an opinion, you need to stand by it, so no more anonymous nasties. I think social media, if these kind of options are not available yet, really needs to move with the times and protect it’s users.
    Thanks for all the work with the auctions by the way. While the subject of the objects is RA i never see it as actually having anything to do with him, other than picking a cause of the ones he’s mentioned he supports if we connect with it too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally agree with you – hate comments come with the territory. If you stick your head over the parapet, you can get shot at. I accept that. And frankly, I have been fairly lucky so far, and mostly escaped nasty sniping. I assume I attracted this criticism now because RA chose to acknowledge the fundraiser with two very obvious tweets this year. (The high bids have always been characteristic for the auctions – and have been mentioned to me by disappointed bidders who lost out on items. Mind you, such criticism was always voiced in the politest of terms, so I have never felt personally attacked by those who mentioned it. But anyway, the fact that the mean tweet came this year, can probably be ascribed to RA’s reaction to it. So – jealousy rather than an honest desire to change the fundraiser for the better.)
      “Don’t feed the troll” is my usual MO. But well, the comment mentioned something that I was already aware of. They kind of put salt in an already existing wound. I don’t regret bringing the comment into the open. It has resulted in a useful discussion that will take us forward with new ideas. Probably not what the anon wanted, so I actually am even more pleased with the outcome.
      Thank you for your concern re. additional workload for me when complementing the auctions with another fundraiser part. It’s no problem, though, I am happy to facilitate that, as my previous experience with it has been good. The face mask sale and the mini book sale last year were easily facilitated – at least when transacting them via an existing platform such as Etsy. Etsy incurs costs, of course, but I was going to research other sales platforms (i.e. a Shopify store) for my own Scissors & Smiles store, anyway, so if anything comes off that, it could easily benefit future fundraisers.

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  25. I’m late to the comment party but had to add my two cents. I suppose anon doesn’t know she may enter a raffle for the price of a comment which isn’t required to be witty or pithy. Or perhaps she thinks you rig outcomes in favor of your friends. I know that doesn’t happen, it’s the luck of the compute draw. Besides, You can give shrines or RA Stuff to your friends directly, without the hassle of a raffle. Ode lurking in there. Anyway just received my mini shrine and it’s wonderful, like you.

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    • Well, since the anon doesn’t seem to like me much, she probably didn’t care for any of my free RAPS raffles anyway *hehe*. I suspect the comment was more directed at the many other fan items that are auctioned in the fundraiser. Absolutely fair enough. I think we have received her message, and we’ll change something next year.
      That ode, I must hear that ode 😉

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  26. Pingback: Llamas, and unicorns, and sea horses, oh my! – My dearest Louise…

  27. Too many comments here to read them all but I agree with the sentiment that a.) that person was unwarrantedly vicious and I’m so sorry you had to deal with that, b.) a fundraiser is there to generate as high an amount as possible, so, duh, of course the highest bid wins, c.) the idea of a raffle is a good one but I wonder if it would generate the same amount as an auction. A combo could be a good idea, though.
    Not much to add to everything else that has been said but don’t let this get you down, you rock!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Esther!
      I agree – I don’t think a raffle would generate as much cash as the auctions. Hence it will only be an additional part of the fundraiser to allow for participation with smaller budgets, too. I think an additional bit of fun can only be a win, so in that sense I am grateful the hate has turned into something constructive going forward 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Pingback: 2020 Armitage Weekly Round-up #39 | Guylty Pleasure

  29. WOW! What a lot of discussion. I agree with the sentiments mentioned above and also think that you do a wonderful ‘job’ with the Raps raffles and Birthday Auction. Apart from Anon’s desire to be nasty, they need to grow up. It is just a fact of life that you cannot always have / purchase what you want. Items you desire are often: too expensive for your budget; don’t come in the colour you want or it is sold out; don’t come in your size or it is sold out; aren’t available or don’t ship to your area; etc. If as the organiser, contributing your own time and resources, an auction is the best from an administrative and fundraising viewpoint – then an auction it should be! If Anon wants something different, then they can devote their time and resources to organising it. If nothing else it would give them less time to write nasty comments.

    Like

    • LOL – I like your last sentence there, Rafaella. Spot on! That’s the point with anon hate, anyway – rather than be nasty and destructive, why not be constructive while voicing an opinion. Mean insults definitely belie the poster’s intention – to hurt rather than improve something.
      As you said yourself, the world is unfair and we can’t always get what we want. I guess some people feel entitled. Having said that, I think we have come to a compromise that will provide more inclusion. I think that is a good conclusion.

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  30. Ode to a Raffle

    Who would have the temerity,
    To knock raising money for charity.
    Even a raffle,
    Can be quite a hassle.
    But no good deed goes unpunished,
    They say.
    Especially when trolls,
    Come out to play.

    Kathy Jones

    Liked by 2 people

  31. I’m even later to the party than usual and can’t think of anything to say that others haven’t already said, so I will just add another voice of support for you, dear one. You do so much work for free to support charitable causes; I just can’t fathom how anyone would criticize your efforts unless they have an ulterior motive. (And about that, I’ve written in my current letter to you.) All I know for sure is that you are a glowing star. I’m not crafty myself but this member of the Armitage Army, U.S. West Coast Division, is standing by to lend support through procuring crafting supplies or any other way as needed. xx

    Like

  32. Pingback: Catching up with our Recent Discussion | Guylty Pleasure

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