Sunday, February 18, 2018

As per the Gygax Memorial Fund 2016 Federal Tax Return - Memorial to be Completed by May 25, 2018

Thanks to a Tavern Reader, I was pointed to the Gygax Memorial Fund's 2016 Federal Return, which was filed on May 25th, 2017.

The first thing that stood out to me is that the Fund raised a whole 10 bucks in 2016. That takes some special effort to have that little a return. The Fund spent over $3,300 over the same period.

But what really stood out was the Schedule O page.

Isn't that exciting? The Memorial will be completed by May 25th of this year! Just over 3 months away. I need to get my plane tickets and a hotel.

BTW, the 2015 return promised the memorial in 2 years and the 2014 promised it in 5 years. They should have stuck to the initial time frame.

Oh, notice objective "E" above? The Fund was founded in 2010. They STILL haven't started a scholarship?

Like previous years, the Fund has accomplished nothing and keeps losing money.

Another year without even minimal interest being earned. 1% interest would have covered half the expenses - and would have returned over 200 times what their fundraising did. I can see why they haven't uploaded this return to the GMF website - its embarrassing.

For those playing along at home, the year end balance of the GMF since its inception. (note - most recent tax return back to the Fund's first tax return)

2016    $213, 713

2015    $217, 042

2014    $220, 449

2013    $222,165

2012    $129,162

2011        $9,774

2010       $7,232


  1. I only have minimal experience with this from running my own business. I believe that If you don't turn a profit an average of 3 out of 5 years, you lose the ability to claim losses as a business expense. I'm not sure how this applies for tax exempt entities?

  2. The lack of investment income is really weird. Even a CD at a local bank should have gotten 1/4% or 1/3%. That would have been $500-$600.

  3. If I was to guess the fees goes to the accountant to prepare the 990. Honestly they could of used a 990 postcard and filled it out themselves. For that matter the 990 ez is pretty simple and could be done without an accountant doing it. I sit on non-profit boards and in a lot of cases we have the treasurer fill it out as in most cases they are accountants anyway and they will in turn get a tax deduction for in kind services. Ends up saving us a couple of grand. Of course you can't do that with an audited financial.

    I would have to agree the lack of investments is a bit odd. I would of at least put it into a savings account if they didn't want to put it into a CD for long term. If they would of invested it in the stock market they would of been up quite a bit but not everyone has the fortitude for the market.

    My guess is none of them have much business experience nor any experience running a non-profit. If someone is legitimately worried about any misappropriation of funds or wrong doing you can go to their office and request their board meeting minutes and books. Legally they have to present them to you so you can review them. Also depending on how their board meetings are set up you can ask to present at the next meeting to present your concerns.

  4. Money market funds did pretty well last year too, from what i've heard. I don't believe that's too risky. And if they wanted an ongoing scholarship, wouldn't that have to be composed of investment returns, to keep the principal?

    It has always seemed a shame to me that Lake Geneva doesn't (and at this rate won't) have a tourist destination based on their place in RPG history. Not sure a memorial was the best option, but it was something.

    1. A museum about the development of D&D would be a pretty huge draw, imo. But that is/should be a large scope project with well, a REAL board & stakeholders drawn from the gaming industry.


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