It’s looking like we’ll hit the $300,000 milestone today in this year’s TPM Journalism Fund drive. So big thanks for that. This isn’t just a pro-forma comment. It’s a big deal. So thank you. I noted that we recorded a special extra episode of the podcast this week with Kate and I and special guest Joe Ragazzo, TPM’s Publisher, talking about how TPM operates on the inside, our business model, how it’s changed over the years, lots of the nuts and bolts of operating a small media organization. You can listen to that here, and, if you don’t already, subscribe to the pod through iTunes or Spotify or some other service. You can even watch the video version here.
Since some of you have asked, I thought I’d share some details about how the drive has gone. Just because you might find it interesting. Now, one small caveat. A few of these numbers were compiled yesterday. So a few are slightly out of date. But pretty close. So here goes.
As of this moment, we’ve had 2,877 individual contributors.
The most common contribution is $100.
The average contribution is $92.
More than 80 individual contributors have given $500 or more.
26 individual contributors have given $1,000 or more.
5 individual contributors have given $3,000 or more.
The largest individual contribution online has been $6,700. (You know who you are! Thanks!)
(I mentioned at the beginning of the drive that we got one mega, mega, mega contribution of $25,000. But that came in via a check rather than through our online system.)
All these details are interesting in their own right and it’s fun to flag the really eye-poppingly large contributions. But I want to remind everyone, including ourselves here at TPM, that for many people the lift of sending $50 or $25 is the same as someone else sending $1,000. So even though those big contributions are hugely important to us, and, as you can see from these numbers, what really powers this is a lot of people sending in much smaller contributions. Those constitute the backbone of this effort. So every contribution means a great deal to us, both as nuts and bolts cash money but also what it means in terms of your deciding that TPM is important to you.
And one other point: If you’re on a fixed income or money is tight, maybe you’re thinking, “I really don’t have much money to spare but TPM is really important to me. I don’t want anything to happen to TPM.” Here’s what to do: DON’T MAKE A CONTRIBUTION! Seriously, we have lots of readers who can comfortably make a contribution at a level that makes sense for them. I really mean this. I’ve had this conversation with quite a few of you over the years individually. Seriously, if money is tight, don’t contribute. I promise, we’ll make it work.
And that brings me to one more point: As Joe brought up during the podcast episode I mentioned above, for every contribution of $60 or more, and in increments of $60 above that, we create a new community membership. We give these out to readers in financial need or readers who are registered students (full time or part time). In recent years we’ve distributed thousands of these free memberships. If you’re needing to choose between getting full access to TPM and sending us money you really don’t have, we want to give you one of these community memberships. You can find details on that if you go through the normal subscription path. If you can’t find it that way, just email us.
And if you are considering sending in a contribution, you can add to your list of reasons that your contribution allows us to make these free community subscriptions available.
If you’d like to join us in this drive you can do that here.