Dear Friends of Lulu,
I envisioned The Lulu Fund nine-months ago as a project to promote inclusion in the literary community. I’m proud of the work The Lulu Fund has done in that short time and grateful for the support that has enabled it. We’ve conducted a count and published about it in Salon, called on AWP to collect and disseminate demographic info, called on AWP to provide childcare, honored seven award winners for their dedication to justice at an event in LA that included moving calls to action by several of them. We are happy to have contributed to continuing the conversation on these critical topics.
Unexpected familial and personal demands — and the deep desire to attend to my own writing despite those demands — have left me in a position where I, sadly, no longer have the time to devote to The Lulu Fund that would be necessary to grow it. On April 5, I informed my co-founder that I needed to take a step back from The Lulu Fund. I hope that my contributions in other ways — including my own writing — will continue to serve the mission.
An organization was not my vision when I first imagined Lulu. I imagined that we’d all get together once a year at AWP at a nice party and give some awards to writers and organizations that are in the fight. I’d donate a handful of things and ask a few of my close friends to donate some things and we’d have a little auction and raise the money and give the awards. Maybe later a couple of friends and I would develop some resources for writers on a simple website. Someday maybe we’d mobilize writers to write around topics issues and maybe down the line we’d be a hub for a handful of mentorships. Maybe years from now, we’d work to establish a residency.
Really — it was going to be a simple thing.Simple. Slow. Small. A few friends doing little bits. And then….
Other folks had ideas — GREAT ideas — about where we should go with Lulu. Exciting ideas. We expanded our vision and our reach. Decided that to do more things we really would have to become a real organization so we could raise real money to fund the real work. A board. Bylaws. Meetings. Calls. All important, all necessary, all things we started to move toward during the winter…with the intention of turning our attention to them fully after we finished up our launch, and the count which we had added, and writing the article which we added, and our event at AWP with the initial vision of the tiny auction and the awards. Instead, though, after we wrapped up those things, I decided to call it a day. Rather than The Lulu Fund continuing — I don’t want its name, so closely tethered to mine, to unduly freight any future good works and vice versa — we are going to cease operations. That will happen after all wrap-up work is concluded. (That includes the final service of the dozen or so outstanding items – auction items, awards, rewards – all already in progress and scheduled to be done by mid-May. Rest assured — we will be right here until the last i is dotted and t is crossed. And we will continue to provide support on auction items until they are all redeemed and completed.)
I believe that rather than take the step of moving forward into launching a full-fledged non-profit organization, the interests of our mission are best served if the many individuals involved with and slated to be involved with The Lulu Fund each decide to carry on the work in their own ways and put their own action plans into practice. I hope that happens and look forward to seeing what projects emerge.
We hope to have concluded all other business by May 31 and hope to have our audit done by our accountant, whom we have already paid to retain, by June 30. (And no later than July 31, if wrapping up slips a little, as work sometimes does!) We will publish the audit letter here. We want you to know that your donations went to fund direct expenses of The Lulu Fund (and they did!) and that everyone who was supposed to get paid did, and that everyone who was to get an auction item did. Please note that the donations/income from all sources as well as all costs/expenditures will be audited by our accountant (Marisa Thomas has been retained by The Lulu Fund to conduct this audit ) to make sure all income is accounted for and that all was spent on behalf of The Lulu Fund. We will make the audit findings (audit letter from Ms. Thomas on her letterhead) available here on this website. Because they are difficult to audit and we want to have transparency, we have not accepted cash or checks. (Ms. Thomas has no conflict of interest or affiliation with me or anyone associated with Lulu — she was referred to us by an outside source.)
There are no extra funds — a great deal of the first year expenses have been donated by me. However, if there are somehow a small amount of extra funds, we will donate those to Cave Canem, and it will be reflected in the audit.
If you have ANY questions, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please give us a few days to respond. We are behind—but we will get to it as soon as we can. If you have made a donation and want it refunded, we’d be happy to do so.
I am so grateful for your support of The Lulu Fund. I know you will continue to support and work toward inclusion and justice in the literary community. I look forward to our next interaction.