Friday Fundraising and Cat Blogging – 23 September 2016

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About a month ago, I wrote about our latest experiment in how we pay for MoJo’s journalism—our first-ever attempt to ask our regular readers to sign up as sustaining donors with a tax-deductible gift that automatically renews every month. The day after our pledge drive went live, the Justice Department announced it would phase out private prison contracts in the wake of Shane Bauer’s first-hand investigation into those facilities. In response to that amazing news 1,061 donors signed up, donating $11,792 in just the first nine days.

In the five weeks since then, our results slowed down—but we expected that. In fact, a big part of the experiment was not just learning if we could raise the money, but figuring out how could we do it. We hoped we could do it without blanketing the site with ads or bombarding your inboxes with panicky emails.

So far, so good on that front. You’ve probably seen a fundraising ad or two over the last few days, but we’ve managed to avoid the sensational emails. With a week to go, we’re currently sitting around $21,500 raised from 1,785 donors—which is pretty generous when you consider that $21,000 each month turns into more than $250,000 a year from now. Still, our goal remains $30,000, and it’s going to be a nail-biter whether we can make that next $8,500 before next Friday’s deadline.

So here’s hoping you’ll help us get across the finish line and meet our $30,000 goal—which will turn into $360,000 by this time next year. You can do it by credit card here. If you prefer PayPal, you can give monthly here—just be sure to check the box next to your gift amount.

And now, without further ado, your reward in advance for contributing to Mother Jones: double catblogging. Enjoy!

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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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