Why we launched a fundraising campaign

Dear reader,

If you subscribe to our daily newsletter or watch the announcements on our website, you will know that we recently launched a year-end campaign to double our monthly donor count to 1,000 by the end of 2021. This means that we want to welcome 500 new monthly donors to our Press club over the next few weeks. It’s a tall order, but we think we can do it, because we think you feel what we do with local journalism – that it is vital, that it has to be free and that it has to be. sustainable.

In this week’s daily newsletter, we have made an effort to give current and potential readers and members of the Press Club an overview of our operations – an overview of what your dollars are already doing or could do to support us.

We discussed transparency and how it is one of the fundamental tenets of journalism in that it reflects the relationships we have as journalists between all of our sources and the audiences to which we provide information and information. contents. We mentioned our code of ethics and how we always try to disclose conflicts of interest when they arise in our work.

We also mentioned the firewall between our sales and editorial teams (and between our editorial teams and Press Club donors). The editorial team (including INDY editors) don’t know who the Press Club donors are unless they tell us.

We also operate completely independently of any commercial or political sponsor (individuals, groups and businesses that pay for advertisements in our newspapers or digital products). While we are committed to advancing progressive ideals in our news and cultural reporting – and our editors are largely free to edit in their work to this end – the INDY is not affiliated with any political party, PAC, community organization or any other group. We are independent.

Finally, this week we discussed one of the most important reasons to support free local journalism through The Press Club, and that is that the dollars you give to stay local: All this money is used to support a local operation, which pays local writers and editors, creatives and designers, photographers, managers, distributors, editors and others who work hard to keep our communities informed.

Together with our friends at BlueLena, whose software we use to produce all of our newsletters and other emails, we have calculated that it costs around $ 1,000 to produce a story here at. INDI.

The writers on our team are responsible for producing one article for print each week (a news article or a longer article) and several blog posts on top of that. I will tell you that none of them make $ 52,000 a year, although we are committed to paying our full-time employees a living wage, which for Durham is currently $ 16.25 an hour, plus health care and other benefits.

You can also think of it this way: we aim to publish three original stories every day; there are 260 working days in a year. That’s 783 stories at a cost of $ 1,000 each, which equates to $ 783,300.

We also have an independent budget of around $ 800 per week and this is how we pay many of our artistic and cultural editors, investigative journalists and interns who do not work for us for course credits. So let’s assume that in addition to other general operating expenses, this is an additional $ 300,000-400,000, and we have an annual operating budget of about $ 1.2 million (we don’t get all that money from sales. ).

That’s all to say: pay writers, photographers, designers and others who work for the INDY this is where your Press Club donations go. We would like to have a bigger freelance budget someday. We would love to pay all of our employees more. We’re looking for ways to continue in a world where ad sales won’t do all the heavy lifting – and that’s why your donations are so important to us, and why you can feel good doing them.


Support local independent journalism. Join the INDY press club to help us maintain the viability of intrepid reporting and essential arts and culture coverage in the Triangle.

Follow Editor-in-Chief Jane Porter on Twitter or send an e-mail to [email protected].

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