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December 18 2007

Cash for the Crew - a fandom campaign. A chance to help crew members affected by the production shutdown. If you make a donation to The Work Stoppage Fund and forward the acknowledgement onto Crew for the Crew, you get a change to win signed scripts donated by striking writers. This is a really worthwhile thing to do especially at this time of year.

Eagle eyed posters will recognise that Allyson and Kristen are running this campaign, so you know it's in good hands.

So, in order to type in "Cash for Crew", it looks as though it has to be a Tribute gift. Can anyone who has gone all the way through confirm this?
The One Time gift doesn't seem to have anywhere to type that in.
Hmmm. I'll look into it.

Thanks for the donations already rolling in!

Jane Espenson is the first writer stepping up to the plate with a signed copy of "A New Man" from BtVS.

I mean, of course she is!

Nobody doesn't love Jane.
This is awesome!
All of the donations have a "Comments" section at the last step. I used "One-Time Donation" and added "Cash for the Crew" in the comments.
Thanks. Once I get home to my Visa card, I'll be donating.
This is such a good idea!

Off to donate now.
Don't click "Continue" after entering your payment amount. Click "Checkout" instead. The form logic is a little odd there-- it forgets you entered anything. Continuing in fact starts you over. It's a philosophical form.

Also, if you want to review your donation status, clicking the number throws out a PHP error for me (using Firefox). But you can go through your profile and donation history to see it.

Web forms. ;)
What, no Firefly Christmas special script, Ms. Espenson?


"A New Man" was hilarious and poignant, but what else would we expect from you?
I get "Please enter a valid Visa card number". Aghhhh! The trouble I have with using my UK cards on US websites!
Oy! I don't think I typed in cash for crew. But it asked me what I wanted to donate to and I selected work stoppage relief so I imagine it will get to the right place somehow. I am the worst at following instructions!

Allyson - if you read this and if it is possible - can you please add the cash for crew into my order for me? I forwarded my confirmation to you.
I will give it a shot, ruthless!
Also - Allyson - thanks for fixing my mistake and DOUBLE thanks again for organizing this - I really worry about the crew folkes quite a bit. I hope our donations help.
Ummm....Allyson? I think I might have goofed a tad. I donated a fair bit of change to the MPTF for the Work Stoppage Fund and forwarded the non-financial part of the receipt to you. But then I realized I forgot to note the money should be for the Crew for the Crew fund. Could you possible assist in the correction of this error?

Thank your for all efforts undertaken if possible :D
I get "Please enter a valid Visa card number". Aghhhh! The trouble I have with using my UK cards on US websites!

Mastercard works (or it did on Sunday). I think your flexible needs to be more friendly zz9 ;).

Can't put "Cash for Crew" owing to the largely forwards flow of time but I did choose "Work Stoppage Fund" from the pull-down so it should get where it's needed (i'd feel bad about the international postage on a script anyway ;).
Could it be called ironic (at least in this context), that the MPTF Board of Trustees actually lists J. Nicholas Counter, III?
I am assuming of course, that this is the same Nick Counter, who just happens to be the AMPTP president.
Now thats a really good idea!
restless, yeah, it's the same guy. It shouldn't matter, though.
restless, that does appear to be him. Brother of Aaron Counter.
Longing to type "Cash for Crew Put Out of Work by AMPTP"
Jeez, how many times does the LA Times have to tell you Pointy ? It was all the WGA's fault, if only they'd taken Point 5, sub para 1 ("The AMPTP's current policy of taking our first born and gainfully 'employing' them in a coal mine seems a smidge unreasonable, just a bit. Maybe") off the table, we'd all be watching literally hundreds of hours of TV including a resurrected 'Firefly', 'MASH' and 'Cheers' (the Sam and Diane years, with Coach and everything). We'd probably have caught Osama too.

that the MPTF Board of Trustees actually lists J. Nicholas Counter, III?

I wonder if it's a political thing ? He's on all three boards (not just the trustees).

Or maybe he's like that woman from "Heroes" ;).
No, I don't think it matters either. It just struck me as funny, that as a trustee, he will now have to make sure that this money actually reaches the people it is intended for. Especially considering the second counter (no pun intended) the AMPTP added to their website.
Definitely, restless.
Mastercard works (or it did on Sunday). I think your flexible needs to be more friendly zz9 ;).

I tried again with a different card and it worked. I had enough trouble in America with your silly "Credit or Debit" questions at checkouts. Found out the only thing that would work was using my Debit card but pressing "Credit" on the machine. Still came straight out of my account. And buying gas? Where it asks for zip code? I don't have a zip code dammit!
A Security Question...
Did anyone else notice that there seemed to be no secure connection involved when transmitting credit card numbers on the site? I just happened to look up at the URL line in my browser and didn't see the "https" that indicates a secure HTTP connection. I didn't input my card number because of this...did anyone else have this happen? Or is it just that my firefox is secretly in league with the AMPTP?
Allyson, just an FYI: a similar fund started by a fan of "The Office" was shut down for legal reasons and all monies are having to be refunded or rerouted (and rerouting to other strike-related funds was not an option, which is why I even bring this up). Here's a link to their MySpace page (I'm pretty sure it's public) which contains the info on the fund itself and why it had to be shut down (written by the "Office" crew member who was the liason):

Just wanted to give you a heads up so you could avoid any potential issues before they arose! :-)
My understanding, tho, was that the Office one was money being funneled though THEM, not being given directly to an established entity and just marking/commenting it as part of a specific campaign. Am I wrong?
OzLady, that's why we requested that people donate directly to the MPTF. They already have the legal and administrative infrastructure in place with their Work Stoppage Relief Fund. We're not accepting the donations directly nor are we distributing the monies.

We're just rewarding all the amazing people who are willing and able to make contributions!

[ edited by Kristen R on 2007-12-19 01:05 ]
I don't understand what you're saying b!x... a fan started the fund for the cast and crew of "The Office." She had the approval and support of (at least) one of the producers, and the fund was legitimately set up with a specific dollar goal in mind, etc.
Ah, gotcha, Kristen... that makes sense. It's too bad the folks who were doing it for "The Office" didn't think to rechannel the funds to the Work Stoppage Relief Fund. And I already asked them to send my money elsewhere. :-(

Oh well- at least I bought an assload of pencils! *smiles sweetly*
I'm not sure what the issues were with The Office.

The MPTF has been around for longer than I've been alive, though. They set up a specific earmark for crew affected by work stoppage. It's a tax deductible donation. None of the money is coming to me, personally, individuals are donating directly to the charity, and just notifying me so that I can enter their names/emails into my raffle spreadsheet.

All we're doing is encouraging people to donate to a charity that already exists.

Is that clearer? I'm unsure if I'm explaining it well.
Thanks for making that clear, Allyson, because my amygdala's been stripped.
That is perfectly clear, Allyson; thanks for the clarification! :-) Just to be clear, also, the young lady doing the donations for "The Office" folks wasn't keeping any of it herself, either, of course. I believe she was just keeping track of what went into the fund and who the thank-yous should be sent to (which, apparently, the nice "Office" folks are still going to do). Obviously her efforts hadn't been around as long as the MPTF, but they were equally well-intentioned.
This is a great idea. Next paycheck (two days from now... and counting) I'm sending some cashy money. I actually can't recall how many pencils I bought. My goal is to *at least* send in two bucks for every one I spent on pencils.

I'm such a bad fan. I want to help. I really and truly do. But...I can't afford it. Not even five bucks. Sad, really.

Can I donate something to be auctioned/raffled off? Would that work? 'cause...I got a TON of Serenity merchandise a friend sent me back when I was trying to put together my own convention. Keychains, postcards, etc. (Some of which are being donated to an upcoming event, but I've got over 100 keychains.)
You sound like such a good fan, ShadowQuest. Also: Way good screen-name.
You are an awesome fan to make that generous offer, ShadowQuest. We'd love anything you're willing to donate. You should have email from me shortly.
Thanks, Pointy & Kristen.

Guess it's just the holiday blues setting in. That, and I watched "The Body" today. Sigh. That Joss is so evil.

Pointy - a friend of mine over at the Bronze suggested it, 'cause my actual first name is the same as a B:tVS writer, and...I was getting VIP color in folks' posts. It's a tribute to my love of LotR, and my interest in Native American mythology.
Shouldn't this be up at Surely not only whedonesquers want to participate.
Harridan, F4W are looking into it.
Help! I went through the entire process but when I clicked "Submit", I got an "Order Error". It said
"Click Here to go back and change values that may have caused error".
I did that and got the page with my name, address, etc.
At the top it said "Enter Address".

I'd already entered my address, it was right there on the page, as well as on the final page to review before clicking "Submit". I re-entered it three times but kept getting the same "Error".

One possibility .... my address is a Rural Route Box (NOT a P.O. Box). It's the only address I have. I've never had a problem with this before & can't imagine they wouldn't accept it. I finally gave up & exited the site.

Allyson? anyone?? thanks in advance.
Donation made. Will forward the confirmation email to Allyson later when I can access that email acount (stupid work filters).
It's all clear now, Marti Drew.
And yep the credit card page is not secured. I've used the comments page to ask why.
Yikes, I hadn't noticed that skreechowl & fmwt, started taking SSL for granted now so that's a handy lesson to begin with.

Not only is an unencrypted pipe a very bad idea in and of itself (because obviously the data can be intercepted), it also doesn't bode well for the security of the server (which has a stored copy of my personal info).
Okay, I think my donation has gone through, but I haven't recieved any email.
Many thanks to Allyson and Kristen for organizing all this!

I highly recommend marching with the strikers if you get the chance! It was actually a lot of fun joining in the Boston/Cambridge WGA strike as a fan, with all the chanting, singing, falling clumps of melting snow waking us up...:)

And Joss being such a patient sweetheart signing autos for hours! (Along with Jaime Paglia and Rob Kutner!)
Harridan: "Shouldn't this be up at Surely not only whedonesquers want to participate."

Just FYI - The MPTV fund link has been up on F4W for weeks - they are the org-of-choice of the WGA for BTL employees, and Allyson & Kristen's generous "Cash for Crew" promotion has been up since it was announced on whedonesque yesterday.

However, if folks are somehow missing it on our links, maybe we can find a way to make it more prominent...

I just want to remind whedonesquers and all if they can't afford to donate to any strike-related campaign, they are not, in any stretch of the imagination, "bad fans." Do what you can do - read up on the strike, spread the word on the web on about campaigns - but please never feel like you are "less than" or inadequate for not being able to give cash. There are so many other ways you can help or give, if the writers, the unions, or the BTL folks matter to you...
Donation made, e-mail forwarded. Thanks for setting this up, Allyson and Kristen!

And QuoterGal, I still can't locate a MPTV fund or "Cash for Crew" link on the F4W site. (The pencils and pizza are obvious, but not that.) The only place I see a link to the MPTV fund is in the forums, and it's not that easy to find. Could a link be put up at the top of the website with the Pencils, FAQs, News, etc.?
I'm not referring to the forum - I was talking about the fans4writers website here and here.

Though we do try to keep the top of the pages as clean as possible, and won't be adding anything to the nav bar anytime in the near future, I imagine we can soon add a page for "Cash for Crews" campaign and link to it off the home page.
Doh! I was missing both of them all this time. In hindsight, and thanks to the education I'm slowly gaining here, "Below The Line - the first line" is an obvious place to look, but I was looking for "Strike Fund," "Relief Fund," or something like that.

Jeez, I'm dense sometimes. Okay, maybe most times.
In the spirit of the season and in order to get more bang for my donating buck, I am offering to donate money to this on behalf of the first Whedonesquer who writes to me who can't afford to do it themselves.
Email me your name and when I send in the receipt to Allyson, I'll say who this is really from and your email address. I think this should work.
I've already donated in my own name - I'm not being that altruistic!
i forgot the list "cash for the crew" as well! *slapping forehead* if you figured out how to modify, allyson, i sent you my confirmation. thanks and sorry!
Great idea, Lioness, I'd like to ride in on your coattails, if that's the phrase I mean and if you have coattails.

I'll also donate thusly to "Cash for the Crew" for MPTV/The Work Stoppage Relief Fund and let the CFTC folks know who it's for - my email address is in my profile. (Hopefully, Allyson & Kristen won't mind us adding this extra wrinkle to their campaign arrangements...)

(And not dense, kvmc, it's getting to be a pretty complicated site... F Y'alls I, the various links sections are where we put links to most everything that's not a Fans4Writers-generated campaign or official alternate site, like Fans4Writers on MySpace, or stuff like that there...)
If you're not receiving an e-mail acknowledgement, check your spam. That's where mine went.

Thanks for setting this up, Allyson and Kristen!
If you've forwarded your acknowledgement to me, I am replying to let you know it was received and I've entered you into the raffle.

Please let me know if you've forwarded to me and haven't received a response (I keep checking my spam filter just in case).

Also, I've been getting notice of scripts and things being mailed to me, but until they're in hand, I'ma hold off on posting the list.
I couldn't get my donation to go all the way through the process (see post above, HELP) and now I have serious concerns about the lack of security on this site. I'm so used to "secure sites" for your personal information, I didn't notice that this one is lacking any security claims.

I probably should pursue this on fans4writers but just don't have the time to get comfortable with navigating there, not being the most computer savy. I would love to donate but the security issues have me spooked.
I've had someone write to me so I will be donating on their behalf but I too would like to see that page made secure. I'll write to MPTF about the problem, but it would be useful if others did as well.
I've used the "contact us" form at the site to express my concern and ask for an explanation of the security situation.
You can donate by phone: (818) 876-1900

And send me the confirmation number.

The web donation form is completely new to the charity. They assure me it's secure, but I'm concerned as well. So! I encourage you to continue making donations by phone until I can get to the bottom of it.

Thanks, guys!

If you've donated in the last 24 hours and haven't received an email confirming I put you in the raffle, it's because of weird intermittent outages at my broadband provider, and I will be sending out the confirmations when I get on my work computer later this morning.

Sorry for the delay in that! I've been anal about sending confirmations as soon as I get emails and it's making me crazy to have them sitting in my inbox!

Other news: I've read some concerns about whether people should be giving to The Writers Guild Foundation Industry Support Fund. That fund will be donating monies to both the Actors Fund AND the MPTF, according to a WGA member services rep.

I spoke with an IATSE rep yesterday, and the charities they send the BTL crew who are in need to are the MPTF, Actors Fund, and Will Rogers.

Other concerns I've read is that Nick Counter sits on the Board of MPTV Fund (as does IATSE's Tom Short).

He also sits on the board of the WGA's Health and Pension Fund, and by all accounts has does a great job, there.

I chose MPTV Fund because they get a stellar rating at Charity Navigator, and because it's the place IATSE recommends to its members. MPTV is the place to go to get a rent check cut, quickly, and so that's why I decided that this was the best place to go.

My goal is to raise 10K by January 31st to help the crew. We've already got somewhere in the neighborhood of 3K. Promises of scripts in the mail are hitting my inbox from both television and film writers. The whole thing just tickles me, with the generosity and such.

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