Why are people still up in arms about AO3 needing donations to run? Their budget is publicly available. You can go onto the website, right now, and read it. If you donate more than a certain amount (pretty sure it’s more than $10), you can vote in their elections, because you’re considered a member, and that’s how memberships work.
It’s a free site to use, but not to run or to maintain, especially not with all these net neutrality battles.
Here’s a list of the OTW’s projects.
Here’s its Terms of Service.
Y’all gotta understand that it’s not just fanworks, there’s a lot more that goes into archiving.
Signal boosting this because it’s important af. OTW is a nonprofit organization, specifically a public charity as classified by the US tax code. That means they file a 990 tax report each year that lets you see all of their finances – what they’re spending money on, where their money comes from, etc. You can see their 2016 990 here if you’re so inclined.
And if you’re not sure about how OTW is using their donations? Ask questions. Get involved. Even if you’re not comfortable with or not in a position to donate, there are lots of opportunities to give your time; it’s an all-volunteer organization that recruits regularly. I know for a fact that I get more value out of what OTW provides than most, if not all, my other paid services combined, so $10 to be a member is more than worth it.
ao3 is routinely used as an example of an excellent digital archive in library and information schools – they’re not just a fansite; they’re held in high regard by people across the industry. they run initiatives to preserve old fansites and groups, in addition to the day to day work of hosting all of our work ad-free to ensure maximum creative freedom. ao3 is not just a place to post your fic; it catalogues and preserves our history and culture.