July 14, 2010; Source: Comic Book Resources | There’s a nonprofit for almost anything and everyone. That’s the beauty of the diverse nonprofit sector. How about a nonprofit that “creates a financial safety net for comic creators in need?” The Hero Initiative has helped comic creators with financial support for emergency medical care, other family or household needs, and even getting new jobs.
According to information posted on GuideStar, the Hero Initiative was established in 2001, and its press release suggests that the Initiative has spent $400,000 in grants since its creation. Funding for the Initiative includes auctioning comics, selling merchandise at conventions, sponsoring comic artists’ autograph events, and soliciting private donations.
According to the organization’s 990 submitted for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 2008, with $387,742 in revenues and $281,927 in expenditures, the Hero Initiative awarded only $30,102 in assistance to people in need, less than one-half of what it spent for travel, conferences, conventions, and meetings. Perhaps the recessionary period of 2007-2008 found few comic artists in need of help. But ending the year with an excess of $102,000 and a fund balance of $222,000, the Hero Initiative, while still small, might be able to do more for its constituents.—Rick Cohen