Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Looking Into the Gygax Memorial Fund

This morning I was contemplating donating to the Gygax Memorial Fund (GMF) when the whole damned thing just made me feel wonky. So I started looking into it to try and figure out if this thing is a scam or if it's legitimate.

Here's what I've found out over the course of the last few hours:
1.) The GMF is being run by Gary's wife, Gail Gygax.

2.) Once the memorial is erected it will be the first person to ever have a statue erected in their honor in Lake Geneva.

3.) Part of the reason for the long delay in getting the monument erected has been the permit/approval process as the city of Lake Geneva and Gail are each learning how to do this.

4.) As part of the requirements on the project the memorial will have to be maintained for 25 years after its installment by the GMF.

5.) According to Gail Gygax the city requirements for the memorial are financially steep.

6.) The Fund is officially a 501c organization (though I'm unsure which kind of 501c at this time) and will be making all their filings available to the public at the end of January beginning of February 2014.

7.) The bricks around the base of the monument will be sold by the GMF so that the funds raised will help with the maintenance of the monument. These will be similar to many such projects and will have the names of sponsors (Gail has stated that she intends for these sponsors to only be role-play gamers, corporations, and the associated groups) engraved on them. 

8.) Just to give you a comparison on the time scales that such projects take the Martin Luther King Memorial took 20 years to accomplish. Gail refuses to let this project drag on that long and after listening to a recent interview with her I have full faith that she will be able to do just that. 
After researching all of this most of my concerns have been lifted and I feel confident that this is a legitimate project run by people genuinely looking to do the right thing by Gary Gygax. But let me tell you that none of this was on the GMF website and I had to go through more than a dozen ancillary sites and several connected videos to find all of this information.

Hopefully this will help some of you interested in donating make up your minds. As for me, I'm really interested in seeing the public filings later this month and will make my decision after going over them. 

Edit

Thanks to +Chris Kutalik who got the 990s (501c3 tax filings) we now have the following information: 
"It looks like there are three filings on record from 2010-2012. Total assets in 2012 jumping from around $10k the year before up to $129K in that year! Guessing that's money from WOTC??

$3.8K listed as expenses mostly for office expenses and "meetings/conferences"." original comment here.

Less than $4,000 dollars for their expenses?

That moves me solidly into the donate column as it's clear that the funds are actually going to the memorial and not to anyone's pocket like, say, the Red Cross who pays their executives millions of dollars in salary.  

Some relevant websites
The Gary Gygax Memorial Fund Facebook Page You'll find a lot more up to date information on this site then most anywhere else on the web.

The Gary Gygax Memorial Fund Twitter Page A good place to find some quick tidbits of information on the status of the fund.

The Gary Gygax Memorial Fund The home website of the fund, rarely updated but the most direct place to donate to the cause.

2 comments:

  1. Jeez, you should check out the thread at the Acaeum for a different viewpoint. Can't find the link at the moment, but if you ask I'm sure someone can point it out to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found the thread you were talking about and it's pretty clear that there are some serious problems going on in the House of Gygax. But, from everything I've been able to gather together, it appears that the memorial is what it claims to be.

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