Fundraising is not something I’m especially good at. Frankly, I hate it. I don’t like receiving pleas to support organizations, even those I love. I get annoyed by the constant emailing, phone calls, and begging letters like this one. It’s a huge turn-off.
Yet, here I am, doing the very thing I despise.
It’s interesting the things you will do when your back is against a wall, and that’s exactly the position CounterPunch finds itself in. We are in a financial pickle. In our case, we are talking about survival, and what the future of our modest, independent media operation will look like.
We have a vision of this future, no doubt. Which I will explain briefly.
As many of you are aware, we had to cease the publication of our print magazine, which broke our hearts. The costs were just too great and the majority of our subscribers preferred a digital subscription anyway. So, after much internal discussion and headache-inducing meetings, we collectively decided that we needed to evolve or risk financial ruin.
It wasn’t all lost, though. As a result of these changing times, we launched CP+, our subscriber area. We are proud of what CP+ is and what it will become. It’s only been up and running for over a year, but we already have hundreds of premium articles and a complete archive of our years’ worth of newsletters and magazines. CP+ subscribers have access to discounts on merchandise and books.
CP+ also hosts podcast exclusives, and videos, and is home to some of our favorite writers like Jeffrey St. Clair, Paul Street, Eve Ottenberg, Pete Dolack, Eric Draitser, TJ Coles, Ron Jacobs, Julie Wark, Robert Hunziker, Chris Floyd and so many more. We plan to expand CP+ in the coming year, adding even more special features.
Through CP+ we are able to circumnavigate the entire way regular business is done on the internet and in the nonprofit world. We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t sell your information. We don’t take cash from Big Foundations. We don’t have a fundraising department or a grant-writing team. We don’t do things the way others do them and we are very, very proud of that. Did I mention WE DON’T SELL ADS?!?
On the contrary, our revenue model is simple. We rely on you, the reader, to fund our operation. By doing so, we are not beholden to any one entity, only our ideals. We aren’t corrupted or controlled. We aren’t compromised in any way. We are who we are because a small percentage (1%!) of our readers value what we do and have no problem ponying up $25 or more to keep us going. We hope that percentage will grow. We need it to.
This brings me back to CP+, which in many ways is our way of saying thank you to our supporters. Sure, a subscription to CP+ will get you all sorts of great content that’s mentioned above, but even more importantly, it funds our regular site, which is FREE for all and reaches millions of people every single year. We think that’s a pretty big deal, as CounterPunch continues to be the most widely read left-leaning outlet in the world. Yes, the WORLD. Your support keeps this stream of dissent flowing out across the globe, pissing off all the right villains.
Yet, here’s our reality, which is why I’m writing this letter to you.
If we don’t reach our modest goal this fund drive, we will have to figure out where to make up for lost resources. We will have to trim the fat and we have no fat left to trim. This will mean one or two things, if not both: first, we will be forced to run ads, which could bring in a lot of money for us, considering our traffic load, and second, we will have to cut back on the number of articles we run. We want neither!
Where does the money we raise go?
Our costs, sadly, have gone up exponentially. Inflation hasn’t only hit the regular consumer marketplace; it’s killing us as well. Fees for our servers have skyrocketed. We have to pay for the bandwidth of our site so that our articles load fast. There are so many other tools and plug-ins we have to pay for to keep the site safe, your information secure, and the (solar) power running.
This is why I humbly ask, if you have the means, please consider donating $25 or more. As a thank you, you will get a one-year subscription to CP+. The sooner we reach our goal, the sooner we can stop pestering you.
Don’t have $25? How about $5 a month? That’s the price of a bad cup of coffee, the cost of a gallon of gas and less than a crappy beer at your local dive. A monthly donation of $5 or more will also get you a subscription to CP+.
We also have a bunch of cool merch you can pick up, new t-shirts, and books, including one that is out next week called Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America, (not sure who wrote it).
Thank you so much if you have already donated. And thank you for reading, and sharing CounterPunch with others. We are an eclectic family of sorts. Yes, we argue, we bicker, but at the end of the day, we all can come together for a common cause: to beat the devil, as Alex Cockburn would say.
CounterPunch, Managing Editor