I am pleased and proud to announce the formation of the Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation (IFTF), a new nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the software and services that have long made IF creation, play, and study possible. Several friends from the IF community — myself included — have worked quietly over the last year to bring it together, and you can see what we’ve created at the organization’s new website: iftechfoundation.org
Per its mission, IFTF aims to run a number of public-service programs that will help provide funding and stability to the many volunteer-run projects that IF depends upon. The organization’s own resources include volunteer work and a grantable fund. IFTF is registered in the U.S. as a 501©(3) charitable organization, meaning that donations by U.S. citizens are tax-deductible, to the extent allowed by law. (And it will gratefully accept donations from everyone else, of course, even if it can’t offer a tax break for them!)
As listed on its activities page, IFTF’s debut program involves its assuming stewardship of IFComp, lending this event (and its year-round website) the legal and financial backing of a formal organization. Practically speaking, this has no effect on how the comp will operate; I’ll continue as its organizer this year, for one thing, and none of its rules or procedures are changing as a result of this shift.
But through IFTF, IFComp can now effectively own its own code and copyrights. Community-provided funding (and, where applicable, tax-deductible volunteer work) can significantly broaden IFComp’s own technological and organizational potential. And formally transferring the ownership from an individual to a nonprofit company also grants IFComp a new measure of safety and stability. I see all these as infrastructural improvements that IFComp, important as it is to the IF community and the world beyond as well, has long deserved.
That’s just the beginning — you can see the next couple of programs the newly formed IFTF is working towards on that same page. They’re certainly not all the programs that its founders can envision, but we hope they represent a modestly attainable and immediately valuable start for IFTF’s work.
I welcome any questions about IFTF here, or in email (email@example.com).