#MoonwalkWalks THE MJFFC 60TH MJ BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE, 29th Aug 2018. www.mjffc.org.uk/moonwalkwalks

1. HAVE YOU TRIED TO CONTACT the Michael Jackson Estate?

Yes. On the 16th December 2011 we made contact with the Michael Jackson Estate. The MJ Online Team who dealt with our enquiry, replied later on the 16th December 2011:

"Dear Mr. Hodges,

 

Jeff Jampol here, General Manager of the MJ Online Team. Mr. Branca forwarded us your letter. We are working for the Michael Jackson Estate, reporting to Co-Executor John Branca directly, and we have been brought on to help the Estate communicate with the fans more effectively – please feel free to reach out to me, or Ashley on our team (copied above), if you have any questions for the Estate in the future!

 

We, and the Estate, thank you for your interest in supporting Michael's charitable wishes. The Estate fully appreciates the desire of you and all of Michael’s fans to demonstrate their support for Michael’s humanitarian goals by contributing to charitable efforts, either financially or through volunteerism and are looking forward to sharing with the fans (and the world at large) the way in which they intend to implement Michael’s wishes under his will to have a certain portion of his estate benefit charities.

 

I realize we are asking you to accept our word for this but we can assure you that, although we are not at liberty to provide any details at the present time, the process is well underway but there are many steps that have to be taken before any announcement can be made. Bear with us, keep your faith, commitment and patience. Just know that this is an important concern and focus for the Estate.

 

In the meantime, we must advise you that for various reasons, including the Estate’s own plans, it is not possible for the Estate to consider endorsing or supporting outside projects, no matter how well intentioned. So please be sure NOT to indicate or suggest that the Estate will provide any endorsement or otherwise offer support of any kind for your project.

 

We would kindly ask that you communicate through us (the MJ Online Team) only from this point forward. As you can imagine, the executors and the other folks who work on Estate affairs are deluged with business matters, and they have specifically asked us to handle online communications with the fans for the Estate. They have also specifically requested that any email and other similar communicationsfor them come to us directly, so that the Estate may keep email and other channels open for their heavy overflow. Any questions you have can be sent to us, and you can be assured that we relay everything on to them. You can always reach out to me or Ashley directly.

 

Again, thank you for your support and passion. It’s critical to Michael’s continuing legacy that he have people like you in his corner, supporting the Estate as they work to continue to share Michael’s art with future generations.

 

Jeff Jampol

General Manager

MJOnline The Official Online Team of The Michael Jackson Estate™"

Added June 2018: They have also stated the following publicly previously c2009:
"We all know how much Michael cared about children and children's charities, among his many causes, and we also know that many of Michael's fans want to honor him by making charitable donations or volunteering their time to help others. We have received many inquiries from concerned and caring fans looking for information to help them in making their choices in this regard.

Although we are not at liberty to provide any details at the present time, we can say that the Executors are very much looking forward to sharing with the fans (and the world at large) the way in which they intend to implement Michael's wishes under his will to have a certain portion of his estate benefit children's charities. The process is underway but there are many steps that have to be taken before the announcement can be made. Bear with us, keep your faith, commitment and patience.

Just know that this is an important concern and focus for the Estate, and to this point, there are no "Estate-authorized" charities. The Estate will officially announce any organizations that it will be endorsing when the determination has been made.

Again, thank you for your support and passion. It’s critical to Michael’s continuing legacy that he have the fans in his corner, supporting the Estate as they work to continue to share Michael’s art with future generations."


We will also keep you updated right here.

2. Are you a 'registered' or 'recognised' charity'?

We are recognised as a charity with HMRC.

Update September 2018: As our charity currently solely raises funds as a group for other charities, it is not possible for us to register with the UK Charity Commission on this basis. We are therefore looking at introducing our grant-making service earlier than previously planned, in order to be able to become registered. As we are all volunteers, this may take some time, but we are working on it! More on this soon.

3. Can we use your logos to promote your charity and project?

Yes, but there is one condition! We welcome the use of our logos and content from our site, but the condition is that you tell us.

Being notified of where our images and content is being used, helps us to work out how you are making an impact and also so that we have the opportunity to provide you with hi-res graphics and new images to use. Please also remember to respect the trademarks of others when promoting.

4. What is 'Michael Jackson Monthly Giving'?

The wheels for charity donations started turning in 2009, soon after Michael's passing. The project as it is today, started on Michael's 53rd Birthday on the 29th August 2011 and is an initiative aiming to get EVERY SINGLE Michael Jackson fan to donate a small amount per month. The money collected each month is then given to the beneficiary chosen by the consensus of the monthly donors for that month. 

This project will provide a long term solution for MJ fans to donate for as long as they want to. Donors are free to nominate their own preferred registered charities for consideration and can cancel at any time.

5. Why did you set up this project?

Because of Michael's message of course! We have had a cause running for a few years now (www.causes.com/mjfans) and it has had many donations from fans willing to give. However, when we donated to it or to other causes setup my MJ fans, we donated the money, and that was it. We didnt get much feedback as it was a small donation to a large charity. The idea of this project is to change this. EVERY donor will be a part of something amazing and their monthly donation, no matter how small, will be a part of a much larger donation.

 

With just a handful of fans on board, we can really make that change.

6. Why can't we just donate to whoever we want monthly?

You can. The difference with doing it through MJFFC, is that our monthly donations are done in bulk, providing more of an impact to help publicise the initiative each time and results in a much larger recognised donation by MJ fans. It also helps us collate the figures that make up the Global Total. We do also occasionally offer links to the actual appeals, often in the case of a global event.

7. Where does the money actually go and what are your costs?

100% of the money you give after PayPal fees at the end of each month is given to the winning beneficiary for that month. Then is reset back to zero and we start again. Some months the donation will be larger than others, as more monthly donors come on board or leave, or from funds raised from other initiatives. August tends to result in a larger donation due to Michael's birthday. Donations are documented in detail and then added to our reports/accounts section. We also post up any feedback from the beneficiaries recieved in the invite only Facebook group.

We have MINIMAL RUNNING COSTS! We are one of very few MJ initiatives that work like this. We strive to get everything done for FREE, this takes a bit of haggling! When this doesn't work we fund it out of our own pocket, or through Gift Aid when we are able to claim it. The project purposely operates with very few outgoings. No money you give goes towards staff, our volunteers or on any expenses, this helps us maximise the amount of money we can give to the beneficiary each month.

8. How do we know the donation is actually being made?

We document, screen-grab and report on the whole process, we have made over 80 donations to date, totalling over £18k/$23k. This is an effort to show donors that this project is the big one and hopefully give donors the confidence to spread the word further for us. Screenshots of the donation process is shown on site and Facebook around the beginning of each month when the donation is made. Each beneficiary is also contacted by us to advise about the donation, and the charities can also be contacted by fans directly for clarification.

Donations by fans into MJFFC are in UK GBP. Donations made to the winning charities that can only be donated in USD, are currency converted at the time of donating, so the final donation in GBP may vary depending on the current currency conversion rates that are out of our control.

9. How much are the PayPal Fees?

There are two ways to contribute money to the pot.
1. One-off donations
2. Monthly donations


One-off donations are processed by our current payment provider, PayPal GIVING FUND of which are not subject to any transaction fee. Monthly donations however are slightly tricker. Currently there are no payment providers out there that offer a regular giving service with zero transaction fees. Therefore we currently have no choice but to use the standard PayPal route for these donations of which there is a 5%+5p transaction charge, charged by PayPal themselves.

We cannot use the PayPal GIVING FUND model for monthly giving due to the delay between you making your donations and us receiving the money. It takes between 15-45 days before we would receive the donation, which is not practical for a monthly beneficiary payout system. Standard PayPal donations are instant.

We are constantly looking into alternative payment providers that do not charge transaction fees for donations at all and we will keep you all up to date on our findings:


SO FAR (as on Jan 2018)

Virgin Money Giving:
CHARITY SETUP FEE = £150+VAT
CHARITY MONTHLY FEE = FREE
TRANSACTION FEE = UP TO 2%
MONTHLY DONATIONS= YES
MINIMUM £1? = YES
WHEN IS MJFFC PAID? = UNKNOWN
DONATION PRE-FILLING? = UNKNOWN
DONATIONS IN ALL CURRENCIES? = UNKNOWN.
VIABLE REPLACENT TO PAYPAL? = Possibly, but setup fees are high and there are currently unknowns.

If you want to donate monthly, you will need a PayPal account. If you are making one-off donations, you do not need a PayPal account.

10. How can I trust you?

We really believe in this project and MJ fans to be able to team up and REALLY get things done. This isnt a fly-by-night project where we just want one donation, we want you to donate monthly for ongoing support and we are in it for the long-haul.

11. How do I donate and vote?

To donate please visit the donate section on this website.
To vote please visit the vote section on this website.

 

THERE ARE A FEW RULES WHEN IT COMES TO VOTING - SEE THEM HERE

12. What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid, helps us run our charity.

Under the Gift Aid scheme, recognised charities, such as MJFFC, can reclaim an extra 25% in tax on every eligible donation by a UK qualifying taxpayer. The gift aid we claim back is spent on admin and fundraising, to raise even more money and get even more monthly donors on board. All of our staff are unpaid volunteers and we privately fund all of our own personal expenses.

What do I have to do?
When you donate using the 'I'm a UK Taxpayer' option, you are confirming that you are a UK taxpayer and the donation is not being made in return for goods, rights and services (eg tickets to events, raffles or auctions). Please note that tax can only be reclaimed on donations made by individuals who pay UK income or capital gains tax at least equal to the amount reclaimed on their donations in the current tax year. If in doubt, please contact us.

 

If you donate monthly via Standing Order with your bank, please fill in our online Gift Aid Decleration: www.mjffc.org.uk/donate#giftaidonlineform


Benefits to higher-rate taxpayers 
If you pay tax at the higher rate, you can reclaim tax relief on your gross donation at 20% (ie the difference between the higher rate of tax at 40% and the basic rate at 20%).

What if I am not a UK taxpayer?
The Gift Aid scheme is unique to the UK. If you are not a UK taxpayer, you can still make a donation, but your donation will not attract Gift Aid.

13. What is Top-Up The Pot?

We accept top-ups to the pot in the 'Michael Jackson Monthly Giving' Project. Also known as single or one-off donations.

 

Say you have done some additional fundraising for that month, or the currently leading charity is one that is close to your heart, you can donate a one-off donation here. Please be aware that if we reach the end of the month and there is a global event, such as earthquakes or other events deemed important, we will postpone the winning donation to charity until the following month, so that we can give emergency donations immediately.

NOTE: due to the complexities involved with admin, only monthly donors giving from £1 per month, are currently able to vote for charities.

14. How does the monthly charity system work?

A FEW RULES IN THE 'MICHAEL JACKSON MONTHLY GIVING' PROJECT:-

(last updated 18.01.18)

 

QUALIFYING CHARITIES

Monthly donors can vote on 3 charities each month. MJFFC decides on which 3 charities are chosen each month from our "Master List of Charities". You can view this list of charities and scoring system online.


UPDATE JANUARY 2018: We changed the way the voting worked in as much as we now all vote for a beneficiary a month in advance (eg. we vote in June for the beneficiary to be given the money raised in July), this will make it easier for monthly donors to change their vote right up until the end of the month. Previously we used to pause the current theme in order to replace it with a Global Event fundraiser, this was very disruptive, time consuming and confusing for one-off donors. Instead of posting details of our current theme that monthly donors are voting on, we will instead be posting about the actual beneficiary we are raising money for, this also gives us the opportunity to get the selected beneficiary more involved if they wish to.

 

The two runner-up beneficiaries get put back into our beneficiary consideration list for a later date. Donors are able to suggest their preferred beneficiaries for us to look into. We will investigate each of the beneficiaries put forward to check their validaty, work out their "score" (see below) and we will then add them to the master list of beneficiaries. If there is a "GLOBAL EVENT" which requires an emergency donation (see below), then this cause may be included in the vote for the following month if the monthly donors vote in favour for it.

 

 

BENEFICIARY SCORING

In order for the beneficiary to make the shortlist, where possible, we use a scoring system that takes into account and gives extra points for:

- their registration status, currently all charities considered are registered and checked in the country they are registered in. Due to the complexities of various countries regulations, we try and keep the shortlisted beneficiaries to be UK or US based as often as we can. We will be expanding to other countries as much as possible as we progress.

- the percentage that actually goes to the cause and not on admin & fundraising (it is important to note that in the case of charities, sometimes it is better when the charity spends a lot on admin & fundraising, it's all about how far their cause goes, how much it impacts the world and how efficient they are at raising more money for their cause for each pound they spend - this is a trickier calculation but we are working on it!)

- any positive connection with MJ (such as children's charity or a charity Michael or his children have supported previously)

- any known reason that they do not wish to be associated with Michael (yes we have experienced this before. Wow.)

- extra consideration is given if it is an MJ fan suggestion for a registered charity or beneficiary, such as the "A Million Trees for Michael" initiative, where donations are direct to American Forests, but was started up by fans themselves.

- the charities main focus is also considered eg. Family, Animals, Children, Environment and Science & Arts (FACES). We try and choose charities from seperate areas of focus, to cover a variety of good causes.

- if the beneficiary was put forward by a current monthly donor in the project.

 

In the event of a tie of votes, MJFFC's decision on the chosen beneficiary will be final and will be based on the scoring system.

 

"GLOBAL EVENTS"

Occasionally there are "Global Events" which are things such as earthquakes, floods, civil wars, storms, terrorist attacks etc. Basically anything that involves a large number of people or animals, be it through death, displacement or any kind of suffering. We saw many in 2016.

 

When this happens, a beneficiary that is involved in providing relief for this "Global Event", will be put to the monthly donors for consideration in a future month.

UPDATE JANUARY 2018: Towards the end of 2017 monthly donors deemed it ok that the "Global Event" be carried over for the following month due to things such as 1. Measuring the real impact of the event 2. Preparing to give to the best beneficiary that is helping the situation and 3. To supplement donations after the initial shock factor, where the media reports less about the event and there are less donations as a result.

 

Because of the nature of the new voting system, monthly donors are able to contribute more behind the scenes (via the Facebook Voting group) in regards to voting. This way we do not confuse the public by our fundraiser beneficiaries changing mid-way through the month. Once the beneficiary is decided by the monthly donors and each voting session is complete, it is set in stone and cannot be changed.

MONTHLY DONATION FAILURES

If you stop your monthly payments or they fail for whatever reason and we cannot make contact, you will no longer qualify to vote. You will be removed from the voting group when the voting finishes for the most recent monthly pot you paid into. e.g. If you pay on the 1st of June and then payment fails on the 2nd June, you will be removed on the 1st of July, as you would be entitled to a June vote. If you are removed for any reason and a new donor comes on board, they will be given any spare donor number slots including your previous donor slot number, if you do not start your monthly donations again in time. If you come back and start a new monthly donation, you will receive a new donor number, which will be the next one that is available. When a PayPal payment profile ends, PayPal notify us. When we recieve this notification, we will remove from the voting group.

 

These rules are likely to change as and when we receive feedback from our donors, this section will be updated accordingly.

 

15. Why are you making such a big deal about trust?

In the past, fans of Michael Jackson been scammed or participated in something that has raised questions.

 

So far we have direct experience with a few in the MJ community and they are as follows:

1. Sofie Strandberg's One Rose for MJ Group (not to be confused with the OneRose4MJ group), was trying to raise money for vacines for Michael's 53rd Birthday August 2011. The group raised ‎$10,706.00 USD which was apparently enough for 5,353 vaccinations for "5353 beautiful children in the third world to a life free from tetanus, measles and polio to honor Michael's care for the children". This was to be done through UNICEF. UNICEF were not aware of ANY donation made for this and Sofie Strandberg vanished. Donors are urged to use this group to report the issue. All information for doing this is in the documents for the group. The Police were notified. Sofie Strandberg's fraudulent group is this one: https://www.facebook.com/groups/112633555419436/. However the legitimate and currently running group is this one: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OneRose4MJ/.

We will also keep you updated on any others we discover here.

16. What are the chatroom rules?

PLEASE READ THE CHATROOM RULES:
  1. The chatroom is run by and moderated by MJ Fans for Charity (MJFFC). The chatroom service is supported by Chatango, and by using the Chatango chatroom, you are also agreeing to the Chatango terms of use here.
  2. We have the ability to block users from the chatroom. If you feel someone needs to be blocked or to report anything you are not happy with, please contact a moderator in the chatroom or email us at abuse(at)mjffc.org.uk. If there are none then we recommend you leave the chatroom and email us a copy of the chatroom transcript. As this is a Michael Jackson chatroom we actively delete false or consistant overly negative comments about Michael or any conspiracy theories about Michael's passing. Our aim is to protect the young and/or more vulnerable fans thus this chatroom aims to be a safe place for MJ fans to exchange messages about the King of Pop. This is our policy, if you do not like it, please find another chatroom. :-)
  3. There might be younger Michael Jackson fans in this chatroom, so be considerate to Michael's younger fans. You must be at least 13 years old to use the chatroom. Any content we deem inappropriate for children of this age (or even younger) will be deleted at our discretion.
  4. Please no links to other chatrooms as we are not able to moderate third party chatrooms.
  5. Above all, HAVE FUN! We don't want to come across as party poopers! Just remember: if you wouldnt say it to someones face, don't say it in the chatroom. LOVE always.
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION:
  • If you are using a mobile network to use the chatroom, please note that you may incur data charges by your network. Also some networks block the chatrooms due to the nature of chatangos chatroom content (but not our chatroom), so speak to your network provider to have this block lifted if it is a problem.
  • Still having problems with the chatroom or music or anything else? Contact us here.

*NEW* 17. What is a "personal appeal"?

Last updated: 9th November 2018.

In 2019 we will be changing "charities" to also include various "personal appeals".

 

Up to now we have always chosen "charities" to give the money raised each month to, but from January 2019 this will be updated to also allow the inclusion of what we call "personal appeals".

"Personal appeals" are similar to those appeals you find on websites like GoFundMe.com or Fundly.com. The appeals in this case would be similar, but we will only be considering those appeals that we believe are legitimate appeals and that also fall into our usual areas of Focus eg. Family, Animals, Children, Environment, Science & Arts (FACES).

 

WHY MAKE THIS CHANGE?
For the past 7 years we have been raising money for different registered charities and causes (over 80!), where all of the money each month has been given to a charity that obtains the most votes from our monthly polls, involving our monthly donor members.

 

It has however, always been the intention to be able to raise money for more personal causes, such as raising money for a child that needed a life-changing operation, or to fund the purchasing of books for a children's home etc. Mainly because this is also exactly the kind of thing that Michael did when he was with us. This change will give us the ability to start building upon this dream and will make our donations even more personal.

What this means is that in 2019 our members will be able to vote on a mix of the following types of beneficiary:

  • Registered Charities (the current options)
  • Internal Personal Appeals (this will be something that MJFFC and it's members have noticed needs funding themselves or via the funding sites mentioned above)
  • External Personal Appeals (this is something that members of the public will be able to submit to us via a "grant application" system to follow later in 2019)

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE "THEMES"?
A "theme" was a subject matter that we chose each month, in which the 3 shortlisted beneficiaries were connected to. For example if the theme was "Homeless children", all the beneficiaries shortlisted for members to vote on, would have been connected to homing children.

 

Due to the diverse nature of personal appeals, in 2019 we will be giving these "themes" a bit of a rest. Will still shortlist beneficiaries to choose from, but instead they would be more diverse. For example, one could be homeless children, another could be animal shelters and another could be an appeal for a childs operation. The beauty of this, is that members will now also get to vote upon the subject matter too. This project is all about the fans being given a choice, it is their money afterall and we believe this change will help achieve that.

 

More details will follow on this in the future whilst we develop and structure it some more, but if you have any questions at this stage please feel free to reach out to us in the usual ways!

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