Wow, Met Our First Goal, On to Our Second!

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 178 donors have already invested in our efforts to shed light on the dark and seamy corners of finance. Join us and participate via our Tip Jar. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser and what we’ve accomplished in the last year.

Thanks to our loyal readers! We’ve already gotten nearly 200 donations in the first 24 hours (out of our fundraiser target of 1000 donors), and blew past our first goal, which was $12,700 to provide for more technology investments in the site, which will provide for a better reader experience on mobiles and tablets, and faster resolution of other site issues.

Our second goal is $11,000 for travel, and as of 4:30 PM, we already have $300 towards that target. Note that we get lots of invites to conferences, and right now we turn down nearly all but also because it would result in fewer posts (the usual problem of only so many hours in the day) and so we need to provide for blog coverage by paying our writers to do more than their usual duty. And of course, there is also the actual travel cost. Even going to Washington DC on a day trip and having a few meetings (as in cabbing around a bit) is close to a $500 item. And next year, INET (the Institute for New Economic Thinking) will be having its session in Paris. Two year, we had the opportunity to ask Larry Summers a question and see him evade it, so I’m sure we’d learn something, or if not, at least cause trouble. In many cases, the benefit of going to a conference isn’t just attending the sessions, but getting to meet people we may know by e-mail or reputation.

We’ve also had reader meet-ups in New York, London, Washington, and San Francisco. Readers have asked that we do more, and meeting our travel budget will support that as well.

In addition, we have some people whose travel expenses we’d like to fund. Last year, we paid for Lambert to come to New York twice, once to attend a meetup, the other a conference. We have other people who contribute to the site whose travel we’d like to sponsor.

So those of you who have contributed already, thanks again for your generous support, and we look forward to those NC fans who have just found out about the fundraiser to help make the site more successful.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. bobh

    I wanted to make a contribution via credit card, but it appears the tip jar options are:
    1) paypal– I don’t use it and don’t want to.
    2) setting up recurring monthly charges on a credit card–I got trapped on one of these once by NARAL When I tried to cancel the card for a better deal, the card company wouldn’t let me because the monthly NARAL transaction was contracted for, presumable for eternity, and I kept getting a monthly bill for the contribution. I finally got it stopped, but it took several hours on the phone in a bad mood, and NARAL was not helpful. They couldn’t believe I wanted to stop giving.
    3) send a check– I finally did this from my online bill-paying account, but it won’t get to you for a week, and I think your process might be leaving impulse contributions on the table from people like me. I could be wrong that there is no other non-paypal way to make a one-time donation, but that is the way it appeared to me and my short online attention span.

    Anyway, good luck.


    1. lambert strether

      Here are the physical mail directions:

      [T]here are multiple channels for donating, and you will see them all if you click on our Tip Jar. If you decide to give by check, please also send an e-mail to with the headline “Check is in the mail” (and just the $ en route in the message) so we can count your contribution in the total number of donations.


      1. bobh

        I just sent a “check is in the mail” email stating the amount. Just wanted to say that I almost didn’t get to sending the check yesterday because, for me at least, the process of clicking away from NC, going to my online banker, setting up an account with the right address, etc. is cumbersome and distracting. I work for a nonprofit, and we try to capture impulse gifts by making them as simple as possible. It sounds like you are doing that, but the simplest possible way for you, given your situation, is a little complicated.

  2. Randy Given

    Are contributions tax-deductible? I’m thinking they aren’t. I’m fine with that — already contributed this year and previously. Well worth it. Just checking.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      We are not a not for profit, sadly. The cost of accounting and other compliance and the administrative burden is REALLY high, which is why we can’t (yet) go that route. This was one of the big issues Rolling Jubilee faced with their debt-buying campaign. Even having raised over $800,000, and having lots of volunteers (as in having to pay for only the essential services in hard cash, like accounting), they still had a lot of trouble meeting the obligations of being a not for profit.

      We are not tax advisors but people who have investment income do deduct the cost of subscriptions of financial publications like the Wall Street Journal. Please discuss whether this would be kosher in your case.

      1. John Zelnicker

        I’m an Enrolled Agent (for those unfamiliar, a professional designation granted by the IRS that allows me to represent clients in tax matters) and I think anyone with investment income or with a job in finance, economics or politics could legitimately deduct contributions to NC. It is a payment for the purpose of improving the delivery of information important to making good decisions about investments or performing one’s job more efficiently. At least, that is the approach I would use to justify a deduction if it was challenged.

  3. Kunst

    Not interested in Paypal. Tried to set up a monthly subscription on a credit card, but it still through me into a Paypal screen. I’ll try again later.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The Tip Jar provides instructions on how to send a check (please go to the upper right to click and see). The PayPal screen will allow you to use your own credit card (as in not use a PayPal credit card or account) but PayPal will get some of the transaction fees.

      We used to have another payment service for credit cards besides PayPal but they dropped their service for users like us. I’m not fond of PayPal either, but the reality of our neoliberal world is we are often stuck dealing with monopolies and oligopolies.

      If you send a check, we get the proceeds net of merchant fees (about 3%, we lose roughly that much from any credit card use). So if you can stand the inconvenience, a check is better for us.

  4. John Hemington

    Bobh and Kunst have valid points. If you are going to have a fundraiser you should make it as easy as possible for people to give. When I clicked on the Fundraiser link it wasn’t even clear how to make a donation and I, like bobh and Kunst don’t particularly like either of the presented alternatives. Furthermore there is no answer posted to Randy Given’s question as to tax destructibility. Naked Capitalism is a great site and I refer to it every day and want to support your efforts so why make it difficult for folks to do this?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I am sorry you are finding this difficult, but the Tip Jar provides clear instructions on how to give via check. The first link in the text at the top of the post is to the Tip Jar, which is also prominently displayed on the right. The kickoff post also provided instructions for sending a check prominently, early in the post.

      We do not do remotely enough business to justify having our own credit card merchant account (they require minimum monthly amounts). We had an alternative to PayPal last year (WePay) but they dropped their service to small users.

      You do not appear to be predisposed to hear this, but we are not “making this difficult”. PayPal is widely used. For instance, the overwhelming majority of eBay merchants (who are also small businesses like NC) allow for payment ONLY via PayPal. That shows you the dearth of alternatives. They would clearly offer more options if there were any.

      We do make it clear how to donate via check. And PayPal does allow users to use a credit card (as in not a PayPal card or PayPal account). So you can use a credit or debit card via PayPal, but I can understand why enriching them even indirectly (PayPal gets less than your credit card company would) might not sit well with you.

      We do not mention tax deductibility because we are not a not for profit. We do not want to give people the impression we are. Moreover, there is an entire class of not for profits (501 (c) 4s) which engage in social justice/political advocacy like Public Citizen where donations to them are not tax deductible to the donors.

      This is the fourth year of the fundraiser. I must tell you, you are the only one in all these years to become agitated about these issues. I am sorry that we aren’t at a scale where we can offer other options.

      1. Vatch

        Hi Yves, you are correct about paying with PayPal by credit card. I don’t have a PayPal account, but I’ve made payments to multiple vendors with PayPal on several occasions. There’s the tiny nuisance of having to enter my information, but that only occupies about one minute of my life.

        Naked Capitalism readers: It’s easy to donate using PayPal.

  5. downunderer

    Glad you are there, and glad that I can help!

    I too have heard things about PayPal that I don’t like, but I do enough international purchasing that I have found it quite useful for quite a few years (pretty much since it started, I guess) and I’ve never had any problems. I don’t like US dollars much either, in certain respects. But being still alive, I’m stuck in this world and stuck doing things the usual way.

    The only check I’ve written in almost ten years paid for a possibly predatory parking ticket for which I wanted a more reliable paper trail than the usual internet or credit card transfers might provide.

  6. Skorn

    Yves & Lambert,

    Just donated via CC. Thanks to NC I can now competently describe a CDO, as asset bubble (buying a home in the BOSTON area now = big NO), admire the great Bill Black, and can comprehend the many ways the FIRE sector bends us over at will. Many thanks to the brilliant Yves and the many contributors for making NC a mandatory daily read. I hope Lambert continues to debunk the Obamacare horror show!

    PS Love the 2pm water cooler addition to the site!

  7. Clive

    I loathe PayPal. “Loathe” is putting it way too mildly. “Detest” is getting closer to it, but still falls short, it’ll have to do for now. I detest the way that if I remit in sterling to recipients with a US dollar denominated account, they get stiffed with a crappy exchange rate (yesterday’s donation gave NC a GBP/USD rate of 1.5768 vs. a true market spot rate of 1.6210, fleecing NC out $1.40 on my $50 donation; now, I don’t expect PayPal to do this trade for nothing, but come on, a dollar and forty cents ? that is just profiteering on what is one of the most widely traded and stable currency pairs around). And if I remit in sterling I get duped with an”Add Funds from a Bank Account” fee (20p) and then the recipient (if they have a US dollar PayPal account) gets a the crappy exchange rate too to add insult to injury.

    Yes, PayPal sucks.

    But now is not the time to cut off our worthy principled noses to spite our anti-neoliberal faces. It’s never, ever a clean fight and sometimes you have to pick the lesser of two evils.

    There are no good options here. Overall, the channels we have available for the NC fundraiser are definitely the least-worst. At the drop of the nearest hat, I could rant for England about how rent seeking his hit every corner of the “marketplace” and that, despicably, doesn’t spare even charitable concerns (shaggy dog story, the brief version is, I am a trustee and treasurer of a charity set up in the UK. The admin is a nightmare. I don’t suppose the situation is any easier in the US. And for donations, the charity’s committee had to hold its nose and pass a resolution to accept donations via the JustGiving ( who are not in any way altruistic and have a rent-seeking fee structure but have successfully sidelined the genuinely community orientated The Big Give ( who couldn’t “compete” because they didn’t gouge out fees form donors).

    Yeah, we can moan away at how we have to engage with sordid world in which we live, but occasionally I fear we (that means all of us, myself included) can degenerate into a self-parody of armchair clicktivists. Sometimes we have to do something more meaningful and that means (where we can) putting our hands in our pockets, put up with exploitation from PayPal and going beyond just pressing keys on a keyboard.

  8. reslez

    Upped my donation a little this year. One thing I like about the site is you make clear some of the funding goes to the writers. This site is mandatory daily reading and vastly informs my view of the world. If it went away it would leave a gaping hole.

  9. Irrational

    Held my nose (re. Clive’s post above) and used Paypal, only option from Continental Europe, which largely does not know cheques anymore. Selected Visa’s exchange rate – we’ll see if that is more or less predatory than Paypal’s.
    Bravo for the recent improvements.
    By the way, I find a positive effect of the (relatively) new format of the newsletter: because it forces me to go online, I read more comments from all of you and am myself commenting more actively!
    Am about to recommend the site to a grad student interested in hedge funds ;-)

  10. ??? ????? ??

    Energy could be the becoming a scarce with the This scarcity has lead to understand more about increase all over the energy charges that has lead to educate yourself regarding imbalance everywhere in the family compartments People are everywhere in the a multi functional look out also energy alternatives as if you are as homemade solar power system saving avenues. Studies reveal that 50 for more information on 70% regarding total a fresh one homemade solar power system to use penetrates heating

  11. Ronald Pires

    PLEASE !!! I know ads help pay the freight, and I know advertisers LOVE to use Flash to attract eyes, BUT … Once you go over 2 or 3 Flash ads on a single page, the page will become unresponsive, suffer LONG download times, suffer page crashes, and can even crash all pages open in a multi-page browser. I have seen this happen on other sites; it drives viewers away in droves, and these problems are starting to happen here. (Note that part of the problem may involve slow ad servers also.)

    I sympathize with the money issue, and even sympathize with advertisers trying to gain business, but PLEASE, try to fine a way to restrict the number of Flash ads a page holds. If you don’t, they will end up hurting more than they help.

    Note: For some reason, probably related, the comments box is becoming difficult to type into, frequently skipping a letter or letters as I type them. (A one-sentence comment I just typed elsewhere on the site had almost a dozen of these. I’ve checked, and my fingers still seem to be working well otherwise.) You can only ask a CPU to do so much before it gets overloaded, and unfortunately we don’t all have high-end gamers that can handle this stuff.

Comments are closed.