Grubbs Grizzly founds 'educational resource and think tank'
According to Grubbs, the organization's mission is:
[…] to serve as an educational resource and think tank for the furry community, with the goal of promoting furry arts and furry businesses, fostering better communication among furries in the United States, and dispelling misinformation about the furry fandom both within and outside its membership.
Grubbs says the AFA is not restricted to policy, but may provide services such as a membership directory, unique-named fursona registration and business yellow pages, awards, convention and business organization services (including grants and job boards), lists of fandom resources/news, member discounts, group insurance, and media relations.
Such extensive ambitions seem like they might require both a large membership and a big budget. Grubbs tentatively suggested dues of $15 from a proposed 10,000 members, leading to annual revenue of $150,000. (For comparison, Anthrocon's annual budget is around $300,000.)
The organization – whose motto is "Stronger Community through Furry Unity" – is to be open to furries age 13 and above worldwide, although those below the age of 18 will need parental permission. Grubbs is currently seeking volunteer committee and board members.
So far, responses have been mixed, with some eager for increased governance (and a "tax write-off" for donations), while others questioned the need for such an orgnization, fear misrepresentation, and expressed doubts that the organization can achieve so many goals at once:
I see pros and cons to this. Unfortunately I just don't think it would work out in the end. Furries are a very diverse group and there's just no way to represent them all without...well...drama.
I really can't see it working with that mission statement. It's too massive and broad. Too many ways for it to step on other groups' toes.
Some commenters also cast doubts on Grubbs' ability to run an organization of the size proposed. (He currently works as a freelance editor.)
The most positive reception came for the idea of a business directly listing, reflecting the popularity of existing venues such as "Artists Beware".
The AFA's incorporation documents were filed with California's Secretary of State office on August 10. Grubbs, who "will serve as president and treasurer of the association in its initial stages", intends to establish 501(c)(3) status for it but has not yet prepared the necessary documents.
Update (29 Oct): Grubbs Grizzly has posted a response to the commentary on this article.