Fan Funds

Fan funds were first created as a way to build closer ties between fans who lived great distances apart at a time when most communication was through fanzines, letter columns, and mail. The first fan fund is believed to have been the Big Pond Fund, created by Forrest J Ackerman in 1947 to bring Ted Carnell from the UK to Worldcon in Philadelphia (Philcon). Sufficient funds were not raised.

The first successful fan fund was WAW With the Crew ’52, which was designed to bring Irish fan Walt A. Willis (WAW) to TASFIC in 1952. The fund, spearheaded by Shelby Vick, raised enough to pay for Willis’ trip that not only included TASFIC, but also trips to Los Angeles, the Okefenokee Swamp, and New York. Willis gave a speech at TASFIC and later wrote about his adventures in The Harp Stateside.

Fan funds are now an established part of fandom, with several annual funds helping unite fans from around the globe. Traditionally, the TransAtlantic Fan Fund (TAFF) and the Down Under Fan Fund (DUFF) are used to bring fans from either Europe or Oceania to the US for Worldcons (or vice versa). The funds run each year, reversing direction. If no Worldcon is being held on the destination continent for the year, the traveling fan will attend the appropriate national convention(s).

TransAtlantic Fan Fund

More information about TAFF, including past winners, can be found at the TransAtlantic Fan Fund Unofficial Home. Due to COVID-19, a TAFF race was not held in 2021 and the winner of the 2022 TAFF race will travel from Europe to the US to attend Chicon 8. The current TAFF administrators are Geri Sullivan (US) and Johan Anglemark (Sweden).

The candidates for the 2022 TAFF race were Anders Holmström (Sweden), Fia Karlsson (Sweden), Mikołaj Kowalewski (Poland), and Julie Faith McMurray (UK). Anyone involved in fandom (including attending Chicon 8) was eligible to vote. Voting ran from December 15 to April 18. The ballot, including the list of nominators and the candidates platforms, is online. The winner of the race, Fia Karlsson, was announced on April 20 and intends to attend Chicon 8.

YearConventionTAFF DelegateHome Country
1952TASFICWalt A. Willis (WAW with Crew ’52 Fund)Ireland
1962Chicon IIIEthel LindsayUK
1962Chicon IIIWalt A. Willis (Tenth Anniversary Willis Fund)Ireland
1982Chicon IVKevin SmithUK
1991Chicon VPam WellsUK
2000Chicon 2000Sue MasonUK
2012Chicon 7(eastbound race: Jacq Monahan)USA
2022Chicon 8Fia KarlssonSweden

Down Under Fan Fund

More information about DUFF, including past winners, can be found at the DUFF, the Down Under Fan Fund. The current DUFF administrators are Erin Underwood (US) and Marlee Jane Ward (Australia).

YearConventionDUFF DelegateHome Country
1982Chicon IVPeter ToluzziAustralia
1991Chicon V(southbound race: Art Widner)USA
2000Chicon 2000Cathy CupittAustralia
2012Chicon 7(southbound race: Hold Over Funds)