This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 236 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page, which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser and what we’ve accomplished in the last year.
Thanks to our loyal readers for such fast and generous responses! Here we started the fundraiser at the deadest time of the week, midnight Saturday, and this has been our best first day response evah!
We’ve already well over 200 donations in less than 18 hours out of our fundraiser target of 1100 donors (the total number of donations is an approximation since I do a full count every midnight and then work off that during the day). It was particularly gratifying seeing donations come in in waves, first the Mountain/Pacific time zone types before they turned in, and then another wave at 5:00 AM my time as the Brits and Europeans started making donations.
Even more important, we blew past our first goal, which was $19,000 to provide for more technology investments in the site, better loading speed, more robust defenses, design and feature tweaks, and faster resolution of other site issues, a markedly higher level than last year due to a more hostile external environment. So good for you for helping us support unsexy but absolutely critical budget items. This is our foundation for all the content we provide.
But this is only our first goal, so if you haven’t had time to contribute yet, we hope you’ll go to our Tip Jar pronto, which show you how to give by check, debit or credit card or PayPal.
We’ve hit our target quickly, and are moving faster than at the same time last year. Lambert is off the grid right now, and he is the master of our fundraising thermometer. So we have the high class problem of having it seriously out of date relative to where we stand now. He will get it more current when he comes back on duty.
Our second goal is $19,500 for travel and meetups, and as of 10:00 AM, we already have $1,100 towards that target. We used to devote this item to conferences, and we expect at a minimum that we’ll go to the next MMT conference, which we expect to be an annual event in Kansas City. Note that we turned down the opportunity to speak at a major conference this month because it was badly timed and your humble blogger felt she couldn’t handle the prep plus the travel plus other things already scheduled.
This is consistent with my practice in recent years of turning down pretty much all conferences (as well as TV requests) . For us to keep up our regular publishing schedule, we need to provide for blog coverage by paying our writers to do more than their usual duty if I travel, go to meetups, or even do media. As one astute reader said, we are like a single mother who can’t leave our apartment without hiring a baby sitter. So we even with your generous past support, we are still so resource constrained that we aren’t getting out as much as we ought to.
As much as I joke that we run this site with 1.5 people (now up to maybe 2.3 with Jerri-Lynn, Outis, and Jules), that’s due to Lambert providing Water Cooler, and Lambert and other writers also making sure none of us keels over due to overwork. Taking the time to do what most normal journalists and business people do, get out and have face time, has been a luxury we’ve seldom been able to indulge in.
So aside from the MMT conference, which appears to becoming a new focus of intellectual and political activity, our big priority is going to more meetups, particularly in cities where we haven’t held them before.
More important, it’s clear from the reader participation in all the meetups we did this year and, and the wistful comments from reader in other cities would like meetups, readers enjoy them and regard them as very important, as shown by the fact that the NC in LA group plans to meet monthly most of the year. It’s not just that some of you would like to meet Lambert and me. Much more important, it’s an opportunity for local members of the NC community to get to know each other. We’ve found without exception that readers really enjoy these discussions, and they always go on well after the formal session time.
However, our skeletal staffing means these trips are more costly than you’d think. Even going to Washington DC on a day trip and having a few meetings (as in cabbing around a bit) is over $600 item, and a meetup means an overnight stay. And for most travel, the blog coverage cost exceeds the actual transportation/lodging expenses. So as much as we’d love to go to conferences, see readers outside NYC for meetups, and go visit a CalPERS board meeting and ask a few questions, all of those are bigger ticket items than you might imagine.
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 donate through the Tip Jar to help make the site more successful.