Transparency update

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt September 9, 2013

As I said when I announced our donation option, I am providing regular updates on what we take in and what we pay out. This is the first of them, which I plan to post around the first of each month.

The donations are sent through a PayPal account. In addition to the donations I receive, I’m adding $100 of my own funds each month.

Here’s what we took in:

Donations through PayPal: $130

My donation: $100.

Here’s a screenshot of the donations.

Please note that PayPal takes a cut of the revenue, so it slices into our overall amount.

Note: PayPal charges a fee for each transaction. Wish I’d thought of that.

After PayPal fees, our total amount raised: $225.63.

A huge “thank you” to our donors. You kick substantial amounts of ass. Please note that I haven’t identified the donors because I didn’t want to create another impediment to getting support for the writers. Also, the donors didn’t sign up for that when they donated. I can tell you that they are readers who like our work. They are free to identify themselves in the comments section if they wish.

In addition to the PayPal, we have also signed up for the WordAds program, which is supposed to bring in some kind of revenue but I don’t know what to expect from it. Another good way to help us would be to share an article if you like it. It’s also cheaper. 🙂 When I get some more information about it, I’ll let you know what’s going on with that as well.

If you think any other kind of documentation would be helpful, please let me know. I want to be as transparent as possible.

I split all contributions equally between our contributors (excluding myself). We’ve agreed to this arrangement out of our mutual commitment to the mission and each other. How do you measure the worth of someone contributing to a website anyway? If one person makes one post that generates 1,000 views and another makes 10 posts that generate 100, who has contributed more? How do you measure the value of having copy that’s clean and an aesthetic that’s consistent and user friendly?

The value of information published on a free internet is tough to determine. Some businesses have done OK with pay walls, VIP models, etc. That might work at a larger organization, but it doesn’t do jack for local news organizations with a much smaller circulation.

I’m not claiming the donation model is the answer. But it’ll help us get by until we can figure out a better one.

Please consider making a donation (button is in the upper right hand corner of the screen beneath the “search” box). No amount is too small. Give whatever you can. You are supporting a good thing. If you still have doubts, feel free to contact us: I will try to answer whatever questions you have as honestly as I can.

Please take a moment to take the following polls. It will help us get a better sense of how we’re doing and how we can create content that better meets your needs. Our only agenda is serving you. It’s just that simple.

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About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

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