Halfway There With Two Thirds To Go


Dear readers,

We’ve reached that point in the fundraising campaign when it’s time to level with you.

We are now more than half way through our 50 day Fundbreak campaign and we are only a third of the way to our $175,000 target.

After a strong start — $20,000 raised in the first two days! — pledges have slowed and it now looks as though we won’t reach our target by 15 December. By no means are we ready to give up but there’s a mighty long way for us to go.

At current projections, New Matilda will stop publishing at the end of this year. We cannot operate for a sustained period without a firm financial foundation.

If you are reading this, we don’t need to tell you why that would really suck. We know that NM readers value the contribution we make to public debates. Many of you have already donated to NM; if you haven’t, now is the time to do so.

If we don’t make our target, the money that has already been pledged by readers will be returned and the site will be shelved for the foreseeable future.

Hang on a minute… You’re giving the money back?!

That’s right, folks. The $55,000 that has already been pledged will go straight back to our supporters if we don’t reach our target.

As Anna Klauzner writes in our profile of Fundbreak today, the site runs on an "all or nothing" fundraising model. If the project doesn’t reach its set target the money is returned to the backers. Why would we do that? Because we don’t want to take your money if we can’t deliver the goods.

"[Fundbreak co-founder Rick] Chen feels this feature of the crowdfunding platform is essential to ensure people don’t taking advantage of the system. ‘Say you have a project that needs $5000 to kick start it. If you raise $500, you clearly won’t be able to use the funds to make it happen,’ says Chen. ‘We don’t want people to use our platform to grab money’."

Right now, we’re operating on a shoestring budget and our editorial resources are stretched even further because we’re devoting considerable time and energy to fundraising. It’s true that a smaller target would keep us online for three or four or six months  — but then we’d have to get busy fundraising again. We want to plan long term editorial projects and we need time to find ongoing investors. The time we’re currently spending fundraising is time we’d prefer to use bringing you sharp analysis, smart commentary and good journalism.

So if you want New Matilda to stick around, if you think it plays an important role in the Australian media, now is the time to act. You won’t have this opportunity a month from now.

We know there are some big gaps in the Australian media — and we know that the business is changing so rapidly the pundits can’t keep up. If NM folds there will eventually be another progressive media organisation that emerges to take its place and finds a workable business model. But how long do you want to wait? And after all, NM is a known quantity with a track record.

So if you’ve already signed up, how can you help?

If you know a far-sighted investor or philanthropist frustrated by the range and quality available online in Australia, put them in touch with us.

If you’ve already pledged, convince a friend to do the same. If each of you convince two friends to support NM, we will get over the line and publish through 2011.

It is not just to individuals that we are looking for support, especially as the fundraising deadline looms. We are offering organisational supporter packages but we would love to hear from organisations which can buy bulk subscriptions for members.

And finally, if you’re in Sydney, come along to our quiz night at the Beauchamp Hotel on 30 November at 6.30pm. Book a table here.  We’ve got questions from some of your favourite New Matilda writers including Ben Pobjie, Ben Eltham and Mel Campbell lined up. You can meet the NM editorial team and ask us any questions you have about the site and our fundraising program.

If you liked this article help keep New Matilda alive by pledging your support.

New Matilda is independent journalism at its finest. The site has been publishing intelligent coverage of Australian and international politics, media and culture since 2004.