Late in July, we called for your help. We needed 1,000 people to become paying members of The Canary within six months in order to survive.
We never imagined we would be here, under two weeks later, having already reached and exceeded our six-month target.
Thank you, readers, you are amazing! You’ve reminded us what we can achieve when we come together as a community of people seeking to create a world that works for everyone.
More than 1,000 of you decided to stand in solidarity with us to support the vibrant, progressive, independent media sector and secure the future of The Canary. We can now focus on building a stronger and more resilient Canary.
Why fundraise? What’s changed?
We were running at a loss due to changes beyond our control. With just enough money to cover the losses for six months, we needed to do something to keep the lights on. Thanks to readers, we now have enough monthly income to survive beyond six months.
Our business model has, until now, relied largely on social media to drive traffic to our website, which then generates revenue from advertising.
Net profits are shared between remuneration for freelance writers and editors, with a small percentage going to directors, operational costs, marketing, and business development.
This model no longer works. Facebook and Google have changed their algorithms, reducing our overall traffic. Advertising income is falling across our sector, and people who oppose our politics encouraged advertisers to blacklist us.
When news of our appeal got around, our detractors prematurely celebrated our demise. But it backfired quite spectacularly. The more they celebrated, the more people flocked to support us. And now, our immediate future is secure.
New (temporary) business model
We are working to become less reliant on advertising. Instead, we want to be primarily a reader-supported publication. This campaign is an important stepping stone to reach that aim.
Our writers and editors deserve greater security, so we are also leaving the gig economy. We have created a number of part-time salaried positions for editors and staff writers. Freelance contributors will still be able to pitch, but most content will be produced by a smaller core team, for the time being. We will also accept or commission articles from guest writers.
The velocity with which we have reached our campaign target means that we are now free, for the next few months, to plan for the future.
At this point, we don’t know what the next phase of The Canary will look like, so we are taking a breath to create a solid plan. We have hundreds of ideas and this is going to be a very exciting time for the team.
What we do know is that the support of our readers means we get to fight on. We will break the stranglehold of the corporate-owned media and produce more of the ground-breaking, campaigning journalism you’ve told us you want to see.
A new target for support
We want to have a clear plan before we take our next step, so we haven’t yet raised our target.
That said, the more support we have, the more quickly we can move from survival mode to thriving and innovating again. So any support you can offer will be of value and in service to the ongoing development of The Canary.
Once again, a huge thank you to everyone who has stepped up to offer financial support. Together we can bring about change through campaigning journalism.
Featured image via Nancy Mendoza / Pixabay
Since you're here ...
We know you don't need a lecture. You wouldn't be here if you didn't care.
Now, more than ever, we need your help to challenge the rightwing press and hold power to account. Please help us survive and thrive.