Every 1-2 years I like to have these check ins just to make sure my values and those of KMS as a company are still aligned with my readership.
Since KMS began donating to charity, based on your votes, we’ve been supporting the Navajo Water Project, which provides clean running water to some of the most marginalized, oppressed, and isolated people in the US. Since then, they’ve expanded their work to include other Native American and First Nations groups, but their work isn’t done yet.
Below are a few organizations that are important to me and that I believe are aligned with the values of KnotMagick Studios. You can vote on your preference here (WordPress will let me run polls, but then puts the results behind a paywall, which is unhelpful). You do not need an account to vote, and the poll is open to the public.
Below I’ve linked to the websites for each organization so you can learn more about them or provide support on your own, as well as a short explanation on why I chose that organization.
- The Navajo Water Project–See above
- The Trevor Project–Providing mental health support for LGBTQIA youth. Most of my characters identify somewhere on the LGBTQIA spectrum, and most of them have mental health issues. As someone who fought severe depression for years, this one is very important to me.
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline–This one has really come to the fore in my life in the past year, as I work to help my mom escape abuse. So many of my books involve abuse, from emotional, physical, economic, to sexual, I want to be able to do some good in this area.
- The American Council for the Blind–Again, this one has really been on my mind lately. 70% of visually impaired people are under or unemployed because of their disability, and I’ve spent my entire life watching my mom fight to get and keep crappy jobs because of her vision, even when she’s capable of so much more. AJ Marshall’s disability was based heavily on my mom’s struggles.
- NAMI–Another mental health-based organization, I’ve partnered with them at Steampunk Symposium in the past but haven’t yet had the opportunity to provide long term support.
I’d like to make it clear that I am in no way trying to indicate that we should move away from NWP, I’m just taking the temperature of the room, so to speak, and trying to provide other options, if they are wanted.
History of Support
As many of you know, KMS is not a large organization. It is made up of me, a single person who wears many hats and occasional has the privilege of being able to hire contractors for editing or cover art roles. KMS does not earn enough to support me, or even come close–in 6 years of business, it still hasn’t earned enough for me to claim it on my taxes. For this reason, I don’t have any official documentation to show you.
I committed to donating at least 5% of each sale to charity in 2016 when I began self publishing in earnest. However, I dislike making tiny donations (less than $5) because it’s sad to me, and also because most credit card and e-commerce fees on websites range from 1%-$3/per transaction, so that $5 donations can easily be cut down to $2 or less by the time it makes it to the organization’s account.
For this reason, I donate $40 at a time, and try to donate once every quarter. This isn’t a lot, and I try to do more, but in most cases at least $35 of that donation is my own money, completely unrelated to KMS income. If you do the math, $40×4=$160/year. Income of less than $500/year doesn’t need to be reported on taxes. So that means I’ve been donating roughly 32% of KMS’s income, if not more, to charity.
I’m stating all of this just for transparency’s sake, so that you know where your donations are going. Eventually do want to make those documents public and have them available here on the website, but at this point KMS is so small that it’s rather pointless. If you want to see the receipts or the history, I would be happy to provide as many records as I have available.
Regardless, I want to thank you for your support, and for enabling me to support NWP, and I look forward to our future charitable endeavors.