A charity can be designated by a convention as its official charitable organization. For furry and anthopomorphic organizations, such charities usually support the welfare of wildlife or domesticated animals, but there are exceptions. In 2005, the Memphis-based Mephit Furmeet 9 collected an unrecorded amount in money and resources for victims of Hurricane Katrina, many of whom were staying in the same hotel.
Some conventions may retain an official charity for an extended period of time while others may rotate their designated charity each year.
A charity auction is now held at most furry conventions. The convention auctions off donated items from the attendees at the convention with the proceeds going to a single or group of designated charities. At larger conventions, the total amount raised in a charity auction can approach or exceed $10,000. Long-running European convention Eurofurence ran their first charity auction in 2007, raising 1814€ (roughly $2628).
- See also: Art auction
As popular as such special events are, they aren't always the best source of cash. Many US furry events are run by non-profit organizations claiming 501(c)(3) status, which are both tax-exempt and eligible for tax-deductible donations. They often run large surpluses, some of which may be donated directly to charity.
Leading such groups is Anthropomorphic Arts and Education (organizer of Further Confusion), which in 2008 made the largest ever recorded donation of $16000. AAE received $41068 in the same year through tax-exempt donations, mostly purchases of sponsor memberships. In contrast, Anthrocon is a non-profit social club and does not regularly run a surplus from which grants can be made. Instead, it has run charity auctions and/or raffles since its first year, raising over $170000 in total.
Timeline of charity donations
Official convention charities
- Anthrocon: various
- ConFurence East (defunct): Wolf Park in Battle Ground, Indiana
- Furry Weekend Atlanta: various
- Further Confusion: various
- Mephit Furmeet: Tiger Haven in Kingston, Tennessee
- Megaplex: The C.A.R.E. Foundation in Apopka, Florida
- Oklacon: Safari's Interactive Animal Sanctuary in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Interesting charity auction items
Nutella, one pack of 8 jars ($40)
A clean picture of the staff of The Golden Lash ($50)
The last brick of the Adams Mark hotel ($200)
- 501(c)(3) organizations must be "organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals", where "no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual" (26 USC A 1 F, I 501(c)(3))
- AAE's total revenue for the 2006/7 fiscal year (ending January 31) was $136018.
- Anthrocon chose 501(c)(7) based on advice from their lawyer, who did not feel that all of Anthrocon's activities would satisfy the "public good" argument.