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Charity Refuses Donation Because of D&D Connection 216

Posted by samzenpus
from the tainted-money dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This year's GenCon Charity Auction raised over $17,000 which they intended to donate to Gary Gygax's favorite charity, Christian Children's Fund. However, the charity refused the donation when they learned of its connection to Dungeons & Dragons." It seems to me all they would need to do is cast remove curse or dispel evil and the money would be fine to use.

*

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Charity Refuses Donation Because of D&D Connection

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  • by RobertB-DC (622190) * on Monday November 03, 2008 @05:59PM (#25618577) Homepage Journal

    In their rush to paint Christians as idiots, the editors failed to notice this addendum to TFA:

    Christian Children's Fund made the decision to decline the gift from Gen Con, LLC as the request presented to us gave the appearance that CCF (the organization) was an endorser or supporter of a gaming convention, which CCF was not. As many non-profit organizations, CCF is selective in its endorsements or support in order to maintain the integrity of its name and logo. We cannot lend our name to an event for which we have no involvement. This decision should in no way be interpreted as CCF holding an opinion on Mr. Gygax, gaming enthusiasts or the game Dungeons and Dragons.

    Some of my fellow faith-mates do make the rest of us look pretty silly. But the non-religious folks apparently have a knee-jerk reaction that would make Dr. Dobson proud.

    • by Jonah Hex (651948) <hexdotms.gmail@com> on Monday November 03, 2008 @06:09PM (#25618703) Homepage Journal

      I am so glad that they have a reasonable reason for doing this. I was a victim of my grandmother taking away my AD&D books back in the 90's due to the 700 Club helpfully telling her they would allow me to summon a demon from hell or force me to kill myself when my alternate persona died.
       
      Jonah HEX

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 03, 2008 @06:19PM (#25618839)

        Do you now have a set of dice lovingly carved from her bones?

      • by Inner_Child (946194) on Monday November 03, 2008 @06:30PM (#25618975)
        You should really check out some of the Chick religious tracts surrounding gaming and witchcraft. I really don't think I've ever laughed that hard before in my life.
      • by Spacejock (727523) on Monday November 03, 2008 @07:22PM (#25619587) Homepage
        I used to run D&D sessions in lunchtimes at school, back in the 80s. They got more and more popular until a dozen or so of my fellow students would gather in the classroom to get involved in my latest effort. Then the PTA got wind of it, the school banned it, and the kids went back to doing nothing much at all. (To add insult to injury, we were only playing Basic & Expert D&D. I tried to explain it wasn't 'The devil worshipping one' but they weren't buying it.)
      • by JosKarith (757063)
        It's not funny. One of my friends in high school had a complete collection of the Star Trek RPG books - he'd had to give up AD&D cos' of the whole religionutter thing from his parents the year before. Someone told his parents - I sh1t you not - that the telepathy that some races have in ST "May as well be magic". So they decided that the only way to save his soul was to put all his ST stuff in a metal dustbin, pour on petrol and burn it all...
        Oh, and of course to ban him fron associating with the evil
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Jonah Hex (651948)

          I was rather disappointed that I was modded funny, as I was dead serious. (the bone dice reply was FUNNY) We got in a huge argument about it, and since the religious right had told her that I would say it was just a game while it was really a tool of Satan I didn't make much progress. I had to search around myself to find my AD&D books from where she had hidden them. I'm just glad I got back my tactical rules 3rd edition and the rest!
           
          Jonah HEX

      • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Tuesday November 04, 2008 @09:53AM (#25625013)
        My mother sat me down one day when I was very young and spent along time telling me about the movie she saw the night before of kids playing this 'evil game' that leads some of them to kill themselves, and that I must never, EVER play that game. Naturally, I simply HAD to find out what this incredible "Dungeons and Dragons" she warned was all about.

        So in short, if my mom hadn't forbidden me to play it, it would have taken me at least another 10-15 years to find out about it. I credit my mother for giving me such an early head start in my roleplaying career!

    • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Monday November 03, 2008 @06:12PM (#25618743) Homepage
      It might at first glance seem like a reasonable explanation but it doesn't hold water. They have had no problem in the past accepting money from businesses or events.
      • by Rycross (836649) on Monday November 03, 2008 @06:20PM (#25618843)

        Well, the difference here is that they feel that the donation implies their endorsement, while other donations might carry no such implication. Its perfectly valid for a charity to be careful about what they appear to endorse. They've explicitly stated that it has nothing to do with D&D, so why not take their words at face value? Whats the harm? That we can't get worked up into an "OMG Christians!" fervor?

        • by hahiss (696716) on Monday November 03, 2008 @06:38PM (#25619059) Homepage

          Hmm. What harm? Well, I dunno--wouldn't $17,000 have helped a bunch of starving children? Then the harm is exactly that much.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Rycross (836649)

            The money doesn't just *poof* disappear because one charity said "No thanks." Last time I checked there is a huge variety of charities that they can donate that money to.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by tlhIngan (30335)

              The money doesn't just *poof* disappear because one charity said "No thanks." Last time I checked there is a huge variety of charities that they can donate that money to.

              Ah, but the problem is, the people may have donated because they're donating to Gygax's favorite charity. Just because it refused to accept the money doesn't mean that the money can go to another charity.

              Even if the CCF name wasn't used, and something like "This donation will go to Gygax's favorite charity", people may be donating under the

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            And the question wasn't "What's the harm in CCF not taking the money", it was "What's the harm in taking their explanation at face value". Why take their explanation as cover up something more idiotic if their reasons seem to be adequate?
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by JoshuaZ (1134087)
          Well, ask yourself why would they be afraid of this particularly appearance of endorsement and not others (especially when they haven't made this claim about other donations). Are they afraid that there would be backlash in the Christian community if they accepted it? If so, we should ask ourselves if that's much better a situation.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Rycross (836649)

            The way I read it is that they don't accept donations at all if:

            1) it appears to be an endorsement of the organization giving

            and

            2) if they had no original involvement with the organization or event from which the funds are raised

            The issue is that this money was raised at a fundraiser at a certain event which the charity was not involved in. Other donations wouldn't have the same baggage, and thus they'd have no reason to deny them. Unfortunately, charities have to protect their image in order to keep dona

            • by Artifakt (700173) on Monday November 03, 2008 @10:54PM (#25621525)

              For any non-profit that wishes to preserve 501 status and such under the U S legal code, there are big differences in how to handle money that comes from a private person, another non-profit or a for profit entity. There are also some differences in what has to be done if money was raised by a non-profit organization with an advance agreement, or if it wasn't. This sounds like the convention either advertised that membership would help some money go to the CCF without having an advance agreement, or that there's an issue with whether the convention itself is a non-profit entity, in the full, liscensed, legal sense.
                        If the CCF doesn't act this way, they can do more than risk tarnishing their image. They can even lose their legal status as a non-profit. One result of this would be that any retirement funds their employees have set up (403-B's), even if funded all with the employee's own money, aren't legitimate, and all those employees would owe back taxes and penalties and interest on those taxes, for at least the last year, maybe longer. Another result is that the CCF could be sued for back wages 'owed' people who were unpaid volunteers. A third is that they would have to meet equal opportunity hiring guidelines for all those 'employees', and since they probably have no records of having ever given their management staff the necessary guidance as to conducting mandatory nondiscriminatory employee evaluations for those volunteers, they would automatically be guilty under law of discrimination should even a single person bring suit.
                    Since it was set up as a non-profit, the CCF has probably not incorporated under the rules of a corp friendly state such as Delaware. They might even face such lawsuits in a state such as New York or California.
                    But go ahead, people, make this all about nasty Christians who hate your hobby.
               

              • by IP_Troll (1097511)
                You start out with a legitimate argument and then just dive into the absurd.

                YES, CCF has legitimate concerns with who raised money for them. They can be peanalized if they do not follow the rules that allow them to be a 501 exempt charity.

                NO, state of incorporation does not affect how CFF is treated under US federal tax code. For them to be a charity in the first place they must be incorporated under some state's laws, but that does not affect federal tax treatment and it does not affect the forum in w
        • by residieu (577863)
          If the money has already been raised, then any implied endorsement has already happened, refusing to take the money isn't going to change that. They should take the money, but ask in the future GENCON avoids using their name when collecting the donations.
        • by sumdumass (711423)

          hmmm... That reminds me of a racist joke. I'll trim it up into a political joke but the concept is the same and the punch line seems to apply to those refusing to take the CDF at their word.

          It goes something like this, A farmer was plowing a field when he saw a bus crash at the edge of it while comming around the corner. Pretty soon, he saw a cop car running up and down the road. He walked over and flagged him down, the cop asked, I have a report of a bus wreck around here somewhere, have you seen it. The f

    • by ratboy666 (104074) <fred_weigel AT hotmail DOT com> on Monday November 03, 2008 @06:16PM (#25618813) Homepage Journal

      CCF is not a sponsor. They are the sponsored charity. No endorsement from CCF was needed. Well... a simple "thank you" would have sufficed.

      *They* decided to turn down the gift, which CAN be interpreted as having such an opinion.

      So CCF had to back-pedal, and release an announcement about how to interpret the decision. Meh. Too late, the dunderheads have spoken very loudly with their actions.

      • by krgallagher (743575) on Monday November 03, 2008 @06:45PM (#25619153) Homepage
        "*They* decided to turn down the gift, which CAN be interpreted as having such an opinion."

        You know, they are a private charity and are free to any opinion and action they wish as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others. People have a bad case of "I want to do what I want and I want you to do what I want" these days. Gen Con, LLC should donate the money to some other worthwhile charity and "Get Over Themselves!"

        • by Rakishi (759894) on Monday November 03, 2008 @07:14PM (#25619473)

          Gen Con, LLC should donate the money to some other worthwhile charity and "Get Over Themselves!"

          They did, your point was what again?

          You know, they are a private charity and are free to any opinion and action they wish as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others.

          And others are perfectly free to call them idiots for it. Or does freedom of opinion only go one way?

        • by ratboy666 (104074)

          Sure. They can turn down anything. Personally, I don't care. In my opinion, this particular action makes them dunderheads.

          Oh, the money DID go to another charity.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Artifakt (700173)

            I've already explained in this thread, the consequences the CCF may have been risking if they took this money. All that depends, of course, on the details of how the convention management organized and publicized the event, which we don't know from the article. There are plenty of cases where a charity has sued over misuse of its name in connection with an unsanctioned event, both to protect its trademarked identity and to distance themselves from any charges that they are party to jointly violating the law

            • by ratboy666 (104074)

              So you think the convention broke the law? Why? Well... they collected money....

              I see. Vendor permit notwithstanding, I imagine it would come down to tax receipts, right? Spin, spin, spin.

              Because that isn't the point. The point is that the CCF should have provided an understandable and reasonable explanation. The consequence to the CCF for NOT doing that? I call them dunderheads.

              For the CCF to reverse sponsorship roles in their explanation? Looked like "instant-spin" to me!

              What do they take ME for? Stupid,

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Hush you zealot! Your fundamentalist ramblings aren't welcome here; for this is Slashdot bastion of reason and impartiality.

      To arms!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GooberToo (74388)

      Christian Children's Fund made the decision to decline the gift from Gen Con, LLC as the request presented to us gave the appearance that CCF (the organization) was an endorser or supporter of a gaming convention, which CCF was not.

      Therefore, anyone they do accept money from, they are endorsing. Interesting. Sure makes you wanna know who's been donating.

      • by Rycross (836649) on Monday November 03, 2008 @06:25PM (#25618899)
        No, this particular donation appeared to imply an endorsement. They're in no way saying that every donation received implies an endorsement. Why they feel that way is probably related to the detail of how the funds were raised and donated (as in, I'm not a lawyer so I wouldn't know).
        • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

          by Lars T. (470328)

          No, this particular donation appeared to imply an endorsement. They're in no way saying that every donation received implies an endorsement. Why they feel that way is probably related to the detail of how the funds were raised and donated (as in, I'm not a lawyer so I wouldn't know).

          Yeah, you are right - they are just saying that this particular donation by this particular group of devil worshipers would imply an endorsement - thanks for clearing that up.

          • by Rycross (836649)

            That implication is yours. They explicitly stated why they refused, and that it had nothing to do with the game. You're the one extrapolating their "true" motives, and coincidentally this matches your pre-confirmed bias. Funny that.

            Or do you have any evidence whatsoever that they wouldn't apply the same standards against similar non-sponsored fundraisers? By all means, supply your evidence, I would like to know as well.

            By all means, have fun stewing in your righteous indignation.

        • by 2short (466733)
          "this particular donation appeared to imply an endorsement."

          Why? It's a check. You cash it. I've cashed checks plenty, and never felt I was endorsing anything. So has CCF. Why does this check appear to imply anything?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            "We thank you for allowing the opportunity to raise money on our behalf", or any number of phrasings in the request could imply endorsement. Why is this such a big issue? Because misrepresenting (and I'm not saying they did at all, but it's something to be aware of from the perspective of the charity) an endorsement from a charity to solicit donations is what some people might refer to as "fraud".
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by ShakaUVM (157947)

              Because misrepresenting (and I'm not saying they did at all, but it's something to be aware of from the perspective of the charity) an endorsement from a charity to solicit donations is what some people might refer to as "fraud".

              Right, and GenCon has had a lot of that going around these days. They lost the right to do the Star Wars Celebration conventions after LucasArts donated a bunch of stuff for a charity auction, and then GenCon kept all the money. (The agreement was that they'd donate the "profits", s

    • by owlnation (858981)
      so not only is idle "pants," but it is also "wrong" and possibly "libelous."

      Nice work. When will this section die?
      • It will die as soon as peopl
        e stop posting to it, or as
        soon as they fix the wretc
        hed comment box. Which
        ever comes first.
    • by Sibko (1036168)
      Here, let me take the same quote and highlight something else:

      Christian Children's Fund made the decision to decline the gift from Gen Con, LLC as the request presented to us gave the appearance that CCF (the organization) was an endorser or supporter of a gaming convention, which CCF was not. As many non-profit organizations, CCF is selective in its endorsements or support in order to maintain the integrity of its name and logo. We cannot lend our name to an event for which we have no involvement. This decision should in no way be interpreted as CCF holding an opinion on Mr. Gygax, gaming enthusiasts or the game Dungeons and Dragons

      Translation: "We can't take your money because we have an image to maintain!"

      We had this discussion on 4chan already - if they won't take charity money because they don't want to be associated with GenCon, well, fuck'em. There are plenty of other charities out there that will not make this distinction and will happily accept our donation.

      • Translation: "We can't take your money because we have an image to maintain!"

        Yes. Their image gets them donations. If they don't protect their image, they might not get donations. They are not saying that this event damages their image, they are saying that they need to check it's not going to do so in advance. In advance is no longer possible.

        Don't mistake charities for beggars -- beggars can't be choosers, but charities can and are.

        HAL

    • by Lars T. (470328)
      The Richard Dawkins Society made the decision to decline the gift from "Left Behind Fragfest LLC" as the request presented to us gave the appearance that RDS (the organization) was an endorser or supporter of a gaming convention, which RDS was not. As many non-profit organizations, RDS is selective in its endorsements or support in order to maintain the integrity of its name and logo. We cannot lend our name to an event for which we have no involvement. This decision should in no way be interpreted as RDS h
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arthurh3535 (447288)

      As many non-profit organizations, CCF is selective in its endorsements or support in order to maintain the integrity of its name and logo. We cannot lend our name to an event for which we have no involvement. This decision should in no way be interpreted as CCF holding an opinion on Mr. Gygax, gaming enthusiasts or the game Dungeons and Dragons.

      How can you not see this as "D&D is not good" in that context? It is an opinion, straight up that they don't feel it is a good donation... strictly because of the D&D connection. This is nothing more than mealy-mouth speak for "we don't want to look bad for dissing on them."

    • "Some of my fellow faith-mates do make the rest of us look pretty silly. But the non-religious folks apparently have a knee-jerk reaction that would make Dr. Dobson proud."

      Wait a second. So CCF decided that accepting $17000 raised through a gaming convention would damage the integrity of their name and logo by the implied association between the event and CCF. If the money had been raised by a group of elementary school children selling lemonade (or bibles) in the summer heat, would CCF have turned it do
    • by HexRei (515117)

      This is doublespeak. One moment they are worried they might be seen to "endorse or support" the gaming convention- next they are simply blaming it on their lack of involvement. Which is the truth? Do they truly only accept donations from organizations with which they are "involved"? Let's face it- they don't condone gaming or gaming conventions, to the degree they are afraid to accept donations from them. That shows serious bias no matter that ridiculous self-contradictory disclaimer.

    • When, in the history of charitable giving, has accepting a donation constituted an endorsement of the donor? They just don't want to have any perceived associated with D&D, at all, which is particularly vile for an organization that claims to be:

      a) Christian
      b) a Children's fund

      This isn't about Christians being pariahs, it's about gamers being pariahs, and adding that statement to the very brief story summary would have in no way changed this fact.

    • IF the donor really wants to support their fav charity,
      let them put $17,000 into an plain, unmarked envelope
      & ship it to the CCF's treasurer, marked "Anonymous
      Donation" (or, to disguise the source further, they can
      also slice that amount of money into parts, and ship
      the parts in various, separate envelopes, variously
      addressed by different hands and/or computer-labels
      with various fonts/character attributes / sizes, etc.

      Simple test...

  • by mothrsuperior (981616) on Monday November 03, 2008 @06:01PM (#25618589)

    From the link:
     

    Edit: In response to complaints received, people have been receiving the following explanatory letter.

            Christian Childrenâ(TM)s Fund made the decision to decline the gift from Gen Con, LLC as the request presented to us gave the appearance that CCF (the organization) was an endorser or supporter of a gaming convention, which CCF was not. As many non-profit organizations, CCF is selective in its endorsements or support in order to maintain the integrity of its name and logo. We cannot lend our name to an event for which we have no involvement. This decision should in no way be interpreted as CCF holding an opinion on Mr. Gygax, gaming enthusiasts or the game Dungeons and Dragons.

    (Emphasis in bold supplied by me.) At first, I was upset because I thought they were rejecting the money because of its association with D&D. I have changed my position. I have worked with charities and in fact many of them (particularly large ones) have very specific rules about events they will sponsor. Many charities will not sponsor any event that they don't manage themselves. There are many reasons for this and very few of them will have anything to do with moral condemnation of the event organizer.

    Nothing to see hear, Move along.

    • by Fluffeh (1273756)

      Nothing to see hear, Move along.

      IMPOSTOR! No slashie would make this sort of grammatical error! Quickly! To the brands and pitchforks! We have an angry mob to form!

  • After Reading TFA (Score:4, Informative)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Monday November 03, 2008 @06:01PM (#25618593) Homepage Journal

    Just to be clear - they did not turn it down because of the D&D connection but because of policies in place about how they filter the funds they take that may make them appear to endorse events they do not control. This is completely normal and sensible. I am sure they would love to have the money - but they aren't going to put themselves into a position that violates policies put into place for a good reason. And to save you the time of a click and page load:
      Christian Childrenâ(TM)s Fund made the decision to decline the gift from Gen Con, LLC as the request presented to us gave the appearance that CCF (the organization) was an endorser or supporter of a gaming convention, which CCF was not. As many non-profit organizations, CCF is selective in its endorsements or support in order to maintain the integrity of its name and logo. We cannot lend our name to an event for which we have no involvement. This decision should in no way be interpreted as CCF holding an opinion on Mr. Gygax, gaming enthusiasts or the game Dungeons and Dragons.

    • Hey, what are you trying to do? This summary was perfectly good fodder for Christian-bashers on Slashdot. How many Slashdotters are going to miss out on +5 insightful/funny mods due to your concise description of the facts? (Jokes about a 6000 year old earth to follow...)
  • by ouphie (1049832) on Monday November 03, 2008 @06:25PM (#25618897)
    Hell, send the money to Child's Play. Great cause and run by gamers.
  • by sinij (911942) on Monday November 03, 2008 @06:26PM (#25618917) Journal
    D&D supports creationism, why else would monsters get spawned? They are not evolved, but just appear in spots = intelligent design.
    • I'm the Dungeon Master! I control worlds, universes! Every potion you drink, I mixed it! Every magic item you find, I put it there!

    • by VShael (62735)

      Well, in D&D gods definitely exist.

      I've pissed off more than my fair share in my time.

  • by EEBaum (520514) on Monday November 03, 2008 @06:56PM (#25619285) Homepage
    I'm reminded of reporters slamming Ron Paul for taking money from white supremacists. He defended the action, his rationale being along the lines of "better I use it for my message than them for their white supremacy."
  • Who supports who? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tsu-na-mi (88576) on Monday November 03, 2008 @07:00PM (#25619331) Homepage

    I could see CCF's viewpoint if they were the ones giving money to Gen Con, or lending their logo as a sponsor/supporter, but instead, it's Gen Con giving CCF the money. How is accepting a donation supporting the donor? This sounds like BS to me.

  • Don't attach a name to it. Just submit the donation anonymously.

  • The Gary Gygax (co-creator of D&D) donated to this group for quite some time without any issues, but after all that, when they don't accept the cash people hurl accusations of D&D hatred? Doesn't work logically imo. It's possible management (therefore their philosophy) changed, but I haven't heard anything about that. While I personally think it makes little sense, imo I think we have to simply accpept the "we don't endorse this game conventions" rationale. It makes more sense than the "we hate D
    • First, yes, this is stupid, but I think I understand what the reasoning might be.

      You wonder why they would take Gygax's money, but not the money from the convention? Money from one individual donor is easily 'lost' in the noise, so they probably never knew about the connection. But, I suspect that CCF is worried that if they were publicly associated with taking a moderately large donation from a D&D convention, it would hurt their other donation streams from the conservative Christians.

      Unfortunately, pe

      • Perhaps, but it's one fairly popular person. I'd say on par with Gabe and Tyco of Penny Arcade fame. I guess a check from GenCon (how did they submit the money anyways?) is a bit more obvious than a check from Gary Gygax, but he's been doing it for years. You'd think some D&D hating group would've found out and tattled on them a long time ago. Think of all the politician X is taking dirty/hypocritical money articles you see every year.
  • There's no way they should accept money from that evil group. Through their books they have corrupted generations and exploited them in pursuit of money. They have taken the minds of children and warped them into obsessive cultists...

    Wait, hang on - silly me. I read the article backwards.

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