For over two decades, CounterPunch has managed to get by on the generosity of our readers. At first, we had only the newsletter, which was supplemented by a small annual, mail based fund drive. After a few years, we started the website and since that time, our readers have slowly been moving from magazine subscriptions to just reading free articles on the website, leaving us with fewer and fewer paid subscribers.
Meanwhile, our web readership has increased vastly, with nearly one million unique visitors a month. Unfortunately, only .005% of those readers donate to us. Most media outlets have staff just for grant farming, but not CounterPunch. We refuse to to be man-handled by big foundations, funded by the 1% and corporations, telling us how to operate. Now, with our readership as large as it is, we could be funding our efforts with interest-based advertising, and every time you visit the CounterPunch site, you’d be creeped out by an advertisement selling a product you just looked up somewhere else on the web.
Hopefully it won’t come to that. We prefer to use our “white space” to let you know about the books we’ve published and those by the writers that are featured on our site every month. The reality is, the cost of putting a website has increased 3,000 times since the CounterPunch homepage first went online in 1997 – no that’s not a typo! We first bought our URL (counterpunch.org) for $9.99 and that was the cost of putting up the site.
Now, for every tiny feature we have on the site, we have to purchase a plug-in or pay a monthly fee. We love our new site, and we know our readers are enjoying it too – 40% of you read it on your mobile devices – that would not have been possible on the previous site. But now, it costs CounterPunch to just have the site sitting there on the web and the more people that visit the more it costs. That notice you’ve been seeing across the top of our articles for the past 3 weeks – the one readers have called “rude, ugly, obtrusive, lame, f*d up” – that’s asking everybody to pitch in, and doesn’t go away even if you’ve donated – it would cost us a small fortune to make that disappear for everybody who’s donated already! That’s how the internet works now, and unless we want to go back to print only, or trash CounterPunch altogether (Jeff’s told us he’s filling out an application for Grocery Outlet), then we need all of you to donate so we can scrape together a budget to keep CounterPunch going for another year.
We hear from many readers who apologize that they can’t give more. Know this: every bit counts and we need every one of you to donate what you can afford. If you think the amount of a one-time donation is more than can afford, consider dividing it up into smaller monthly donations. It’s a painless way to make a big difference. You can set up monthly donations with a credit card or through PayPal for as little as $5 a month in our shopping cart.
CounterPunch survives on a lean budget with a small, intensely dedicated staff. We don’t have retirement plans or paid vacations or six figure salaries. Jeff and Josh work tirelessly to put up the vast array of articles you read everyday. Josh puts together our free News Updates, where you get a quick view of what’s new on our site a few times a week. Nat disseminates our stories across social media, informing a new generation of readers that CounterPunch is where they can turn to read what the mainstream media won’t print (let’s not let them become known as the Selfie Generation!). Deva and I are on the back end, making sure your orders are fulfilled, your receipts mailed, the bills are paid and the bureaucracies are dealt with. For those of you who still read paper, we want to continue to produce the magazine and publish new books that few publishers would even consider printing. We want to continue publishing dozens of original articles daily on our website to millions around the globe for another year, but unless everybody pitches in, we simply won’t be able to stay afloat.
If you don’t like to donate online, please call our business office or mail in your donation today!
(800) 840-3683 or (707) 629-3683
PO Box 228
Petrolia, CA 95558
CounterPunch Business Manager