Friday Fundraising and Catblogging – 11 December 2015

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Don’t worry: catblogging isn’t being ditched today. But first, I’m going to make you read about our year-end fundraising pitch. Why? Because Monika and Clara have written a piece that breaks down our entire operation in chart form. Be still my heart! As you can see, two-thirds of our operating budget comes from readers:

From our beginning almost 40 years ago, we have made a bet that you would support a newsroom that tells the stories no one else will. And you did. Today, two-thirds of our annual budget comes from readers; some 40,000 of you contribute, more than at any other nonprofit news organization outside public radio and TV.

….Some of you—about 175,000, to be exact—subscribe to our magazine. Another 12,000 folks buy individual issues on the newsstand. About 10 percent of our subscribers also become donors—they tack on an extra $20, $50, or even (hooray!) a five- or six-figure gift. Then there are donations in response to specific appeals: For example, about 6,000 people have pitched in online to help us fight the billionaire who sued us for covering his political giving and anti-gay activism. What’s critical for the long haul is that our base is broad and deep enough to ensure that we’re not dependent on any single check or revenue stream.

Click the link if you want all the gory details of how we operate. Or, if you’re one of the brainy ones and you already get it, just click the button below:

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And now for catblogging. Because you guys deserve it. This week is a classic: a cat in a box. Lots of Christmas stuff comes in boxes, and that means the house is full of cat toys this time of year. And cat chew toys, since Hopper likes to gnaw boxes to shreds. She’s no pussycat about it, either. (Wait. Am I allowed to say that?) I tell you, she goes after boxes with a will. Every time she bites off a piece, she spits it out and makes a yucky face, but it doesn’t stop her. She may not like the taste, but she really likes to shred cardboard. She also likes to stick her furry little snout into the camera, which gives you a picture like this—taken early in the week when the box was still relatively intact.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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