Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Nikki Bird, who volunteers as a staffer in our Finance Committee.
How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?
I am part of the Finance Committee, which handles the money things for OTW. We are responsible for the bookkeeping of the organization, as well as tax preparation, budgeting, and any other fun and exciting financial related matters that come up. Basically, we make sure a lot of the administrative stuff is taken care of for the OTW to keep running.
What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?
My weeks range from calm and quiet, with ample sleeping, eating, reading, and writing (although those have been rare and I’m probably just dreaming that this is even possible) to insane and crazy (the normal standard of my life now). I work full time (is there something more than full time?), am enrolled in online graduate-level accounting classes, and my significant annoyance needs occasional attention like watching TV together or epically competitive Monopoly games (I never knew I was so competitive). So I fit in my volunteer work as much as I can in the evenings and on the weekends.
And no week is the same for the Finance Committee, it really depends on what is going on. We have meetings once a week on the weekends and update each other on what’s happening, although we frequently chat in between meetings, discussing things that are going on as they happen. Some weeks are fairly quiet in terms of what needs to get done, others are jam packed with all kinds of things that it’s hard to know what to work on first. Lately, the main focuses have been the budget for 2018 and 2017 year end, as well as learning the bookkeeping system.
What experiences have you had that you found helpful for your volunteer work?
I am a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state I live in and work full time in the accounting department of a non-profit with prior experience as an auditor. So I have experience and education in non-profit accounting that translates really well into my role in the Finance Committee. And conversely, since joining the Finance Committee, I have learned and experienced things with OTW that I then take back to my work since the organizations have different focuses and operations. With OTW operating all online, it’s shown me some different tools and methods for operating more efficiently and in a paperless way that I then am trying to incorporate at my work.
What's the most rewarding thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?
I find it incredibly rewarding to be able to help OTW with the accounting. Non-profit accounting has some different rules and quirks than a for-profit company would have and I like being able to share my knowledge in a helpful way. As I progress in my career, I hope to become an expert in non-profit accounting, so my volunteering with OTW is helping me tremendously by gaining experience that I don’t have access to at my work, again just because it’s two very different organizations.
What fannish things do you like to do?
I stumbled into the fandom world at the end of 2016 thanks to looking online to decide if I wanted to read the next series in a fandom and discovered my OTP was canon (and at the time had no clue what that meant and didn’t even realize I had an OTP). That led me to fan fics and art on Tumblr, which lead to my discovery of Ao3, which led to me eventually trying to write my own stuff. I’m sad I didn’t discover this treasurer trove of online community sooner, although my school and work productivity is thankful (productivity definitely took a sharp nosedive for a few months as I consumed fics like oxygen and they were necessary for my very survival).
But I really enjoy being a part of the various fandoms I like, even if I’m not a super active participant. I like seeing other people’s headcanons, reading fics, seeing art. I just love consuming it all and feeling connected to other people based on our interests. Nothing is better than screaming nonsense with others about how great something is and how much you love it and all the feels that come with it.
I would love to actively write more often, but life has been too busy for that to be a regular focus. As I have little bits of time I’m slowly working away, maybe someday I’ll be able to post it.
Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.
The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.