Last week, Carolyn wrote about how far we’ve come in 2016. (From non-existence to existence, which is by definition the longest possible distance!) This week I’ll say a little about where we’re going in 2017. Thus, there is balance.

I’m not going to lay down a timetable, because this project of ours is developing at its own pace. “Its own pace” can be frustrating. It’s terrific and energizing to sit down for a (videochat) meeting and talk about where we are, but the fact is that we all have jobs and/or other life commitments, so IFTF only gets so much time per week. That’s going to still be true in 2017, and in 2018 for that matter.

But we look back: we have gotten things done. Therefore, we apply inductive logic and convince ourselves that more things will get done. The Twine committee and the testathon committee are in flight. IFComp will return in the summer.

Beyond that… we intend to make 2017 our first year of full-scale fundraising. That begins with the individual donations that we already accept. It also includes the volunteer help that aided IFComp and the IF Archive in 2016. (Thank you!) Time is as valuable a resource as money, right?

We will continue to keep an eye out for IF projects that need volunteer work. We will expand our efforts to pass the word about such projects, and try to match up hands to oars, as it were.

And then there’s grants. I knew when I signed up for this gig that there would be grant proposals somewhere in it. Jason has been doing some research into the kinds of arts grants that might reasonably apply to us. There are seed grants. We will look at all of those things.

Obviously, IFTF’s financial needs are small right now. We run a couple of web servers and we rent a PO box. We had business cards printed. (We will publish a complete financial report soon.) We haven’t spent big money, and we’ve still gotten things done.

But this is an emu-and-egg situation; we chose to launch IFTF with projects that didn’t have large financial needs! There’s a huge range of things we could be doing at the next financial level. Helping host IF community servers, paying people to maintain IF tools, developing new IF services, promoting education about IF, promoting education with IF.

(Somewhere at the far end of the list: hosting a high-powered interactive fiction conference. IF has been a part of lots of conventions — you may remember the IF convocation at PAX East 2010, where Get Lamp premiered. But I’ve always wanted IF to be the focus of a convention…) (And there are festival grants, I hear.)

So the details are up in the air — but we’ll see how we can make it fall together.

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