This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 251 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 prompt and generous responses! We hit our first goal in eleven hours despite launching in the middle of the night! Because Lambert, the Master of the Fundraiser Thermometers, is off the grid, our thermometer is very much behind where we are. He will get it more current when he comes back on duty.
We’ve already well over 200 donations towards fundraiser target of 1100 donors (the total number of donations is a rough tally since I do a full count every midnight and then work off that during the day). It was particularly gratifying seeing donations start coming in right as the fundraiser post went live just before 5:00 AM this morning.
We also got gratifying messages like this one from Jean:
Thank you and Lambert and everyone else who makes up NC – which starts my day everyday. Truth and justice – so hard find these days. You are all truly brilliant and special. Even though much is truly sad, it is best to know it all. As Vaclav Havel said “Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something is worth doing no matter how it turns out.” You are a living example of that. I am grateful everyday.
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. We’ve had to invest heavily here in recent years due to a more hostile external environment. So good for you for helping us support mundane but absolutely critical budget items. This is our foundation for all the content we provide.
But this is only our first goal. 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.
Our second goal is $21,500 for travel and meetups, and as of 5:00 PM, we already have $2,160 towards that target. We used to devote this item to conferences. Travel has become more expensive thanks to higher air fares. This year, we had to turned down the opportunity to speak even at the Left Forum even though it was in New York City because your humble blogger couldn’t handle the time demands.
In recent years, I’ve turned 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, Lambert Jerri-Lynn and other writers (and very important, Jules Dickson doing a lot of moderation heavy lifting) 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 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 valuable, as the rise of meetup groups in cities we haven’t gotten to yet, like Tucson and Minneapolis, attests. 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 from NYC was a $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.