In my spare time—ha!—I am thinking about setting up, or helping oversee the setting up of, a translation fund driven by donations.
Here’s a hypothetical model.
Using carefully vetted translators, strong centralized oversight, and soliciting the opinions of experts in non-English-speaking countries (editors, etc.), we’d oversee the translation of short stories into English, our only focus being “non-realist” fiction (or whatever term denotes the totality of fantasy/SF/horror/surrealism/magic realism/etc. without dividing things into the false camps of genre and literary). The emphasis would at first be on stories by writers not yet translated into English.
Donations would fall into “small” and “investor” categories. Small donations would truly be donations, with no return. Investor donations, which could be targeted toward specific writers or countries listed by the translation fund organization, would have the possibility of monies being recouped.
How? Donated monies would be paid to the translator for the translation. The writer would, as part of the deal, agree to turn over a % of any resulting magazine or anthology sale to our translation fund. The investor could then either put that money back into the fund or take it out.
It’s late and it’s possible I’m reinventing the wheel. I’m sure also there are a thousand holes to be poked in the logic of this idea. But I thought I’d put it out there since even if the above isn’t practical perhaps something good would come out of the discussion.