The legal threats discussed in my last post have led to a number of people suggesting I start a legal fund for my defense. I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea as I don’t foresee any legal costs arising from this. As it turns out, that might not be an issue.
It appears I wouldn’t be able to create a true legal fund anyway. Legal funds are nonprofit organizations, and those come with a number of restrictions. I’m reasonably confident setting one up to benefit yourself is not allowed. Even if it were allowed, I wouldn’t feel comfortable starting a charitable organization to benefit myself.
That said, there is nothing wrong with starting a “legal fund” which doesn’t operate in the formal sense. That is, you can create an account people can donate money to with the expectation you’d use it for legal costs. That’s fine as long as you don’t misrepresent the account as belonging to a charity (and thus making donations tax deductible). People are free to give money to each other if they want to.
Of course, if you’re not creating an actual legal fund, there is little difference between your “legal fund” and a “Tip Jar” you might normally see on a person’s site. The only difference I can see is people might not expect any leftover money in a “legal fund” to go to the individual. A number of people have suggested I could create a legal fund and simply donate any money I collect but don’t use.
I don’t know. Part of me is selfish. I am spending quite a bit of time on this. If people want to give me money, why shouldn’t I take it? I like to think my blogging in general has been a positive contribution. What’s wrong with receiving some compensation for it? The truth is I could probably use the money.
But I don’t want it. I’m prideful. I don’t like the idea of charity.
But I like money. There are a number of things I’d like to buy but can’t afford.
So I’m going back and forth on this. I’m typing this up as a stream of thought.* I don’t know what to think or do on this topic. I don’t think I could come up with a “right” answer given I’m irreconcilably biased. I don’t like that. As such, I’m going to short-circuit it. I’m not going to think about it any further.
I’ve created a donate button linked to my Paypal account. I ask you not use it. Should you choose to disregard my request, you’re welcome to inform me, privately or publicly, what you would like me to do with your contribution should it turn out I don’t need it for legal costs. I’ll follow any instructions I’m given.
*While this was all typed stream of thought, I did go back and fix some grammatical mistakes. It’d drive me crazy if I didn’t.