This week we are kicking off our annual drive for The TPM Journalism Fund. This year the drive is particularly important because this has been an especially difficult year for news publishing generally and us in particular. If you are a member you are already supporting our work. But if TPM is important to you, today I am inviting you to contribute to the Fund if you are able. If that’s all you need to hear, please just click right here.
The TPM Journalism Fund is designed to accomplish two things. Produce more journalism and make our journalism more accessible. The Fund does that in two ways. First, it supports the work of the whole TPM Team. Second, for every $60 contributed to the Fund, we will create a membership for a student or someone experiencing financial hardship.
We hear from core readers a lot asking, “What more can I do, what more do you guys need?” That’s why we created the Fund. In 2020 it allowed us to add a new member to the team even during the incredibly brutal economics of the first year of the pandemic. This year our focus is not so much on growing — though it would be wonderful to do that — but rather on sustaining our efforts. So this drive is really very important for TPM.
Having sounded a bit of an alarm about the importance of this year’s drive, I owe you some explanation.
Over the years I’ve told you about the general discontents and woes of the news publishing business, especially starting in the middle of the last decade. Those remain the case. In some ways they have intensified. But the last year has brought a different kind of challenge. These times are, as you may feel yourself, the winter of our discontents. People see our politics in a dismal state. They have a general foreboding about what comes next.
Our existing members — you — have continued to remain steadfast and renew at exceptional rates. But a publication needs to be signing up new readers at a certain pace just to keep up with what publishers call “churn” — the inevitable coming and going of subscribers that is the case for any publication. This climate has made getting new sign ups particularly difficult. For the present, that has made us even more reliant on the TPM Journalism Fund.
We have also been brainstorming internally about new ways to tailor our offerings to this particular moment — something a vital publication always needs to do. And we have some new offerings coming on that front — ones which I think you will also enjoy. But for now, we are very reliant on meeting our goal for this drive which is to raise $200,000 for the Fund, a bit under 7% of our annual budget.
And with that, we are under way on this year’s drive. If you’re able to contribute, please just click right here. Thank you again for being a reader, a member and a contributor. We truly appreciate your support.