The Brony Thank You Fund is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity. All donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
I've just gotten to enjoy having a dozen people or so comment-bomb the fundraising website, telling me what a bad idea it was. Especially enjoyable was the word "disgraceful."
First off, the major thing they're doing is harming charity fundraising, since we already raised the funds for the ad, so all they are doing is driving off people who would give funds toward our non-profit goals.
Secondly, it struck me that I never really explained why I think this is a good idea. Beyond thanking people in a public way for doing way beyond a good job, for giving us an alternative to dreck like Jersey Shore and Argumentative Workplace Reality Program #12. So, I'm going to relax the professional attitude I've been bringing to the effort so far, and let my hair down a bit.
I'm not doing it to improve the image of the bronies. I'm doing it for a six year old child (I'm going to pick girl for argument's sake.) I'm doing it for the thirteen-year old version of her, seven years from now. I'm doing it for the day one of her "cool" friends points at her Rainbow Dash decal and tells her that My Little Pony is a kids show, and she should grow up. On that day, I want her to remember a marine who told her that he liked My Little Pony, a school teacher who was holding a Twilight Sparkle plushie, and I want her to tell her friend where she can go stick it (in a nice, polite friendly way, of course.)
I have a quote from C. S. Lewis I keep on my iPhone. I'm not a huge fan of Lewis as such, but I strongly believe in what the quote says:
Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
This is a lesson that the world needs to learn, because too much of trying to be 'adult' results in very, very childish behavior. Just watch any Sunday morning talk show.
This ad is going to get noticed, in a good way. It is going to bring a lot of positive publicity to which ever charity we select. The only reason it won't is if the detractors of the idea spend so much time pointing fingers at the small, ugly side of the fandom that it becomes all that anyone notices, and washes away all the good.
In the past month, I have spent hour after hour negotiating with a cable network to do something that has never been done before, spent hundreds of dollars of my personal funds to set up web sites, establish a non-profit corporation that will serve as a long-standing brony charity long after this ad runs, recruit a board of directors, and a million other things to get us to where we are today. Other than expecting the worst and insulting the brony community with negative stereotypes based on the worst examples available, what have the detractors done? It's easy to criticize from the stands.
We're going to do something unprecedented and amazing. Rather than tear us down over baseless fears, why not find something constructive to do yourself?