Crowdfunding is a powerful source of audience validation and financial independence, though the strategy for raising large chunks of operations cash in for-profit news is still in its early days.
The case studies are in. This skim-able rundown from The Engaged Journalism breaks down the strategy, execution, and retrospective in a brief set of bullet points by project phase. It pairs nicely with The Lenfest Institute’s Solution Set interview with Ernst-Jan Pfauth, which adds details direct from one of the news organization’s founders.
Dutch De Correspondent, “an antidote to the daily news grind,” had already blazed the trail for community-engaged, member-supported journalism in Europe. The founders set their sights on a global, English-language publication funded with an expanded version of the same strategy, with crowdfunding as the keystone. Now, The Correspondent‘s written the playbook after raising $2.5 million in less than 30 days.
In reality, the ramp-up lasted much longer.
“It looks like a 30-day crowdfunding campaign but it’s so much more than that. It was more than a year of preparation, and it’s very rarely luck,” Jessica Best, engagement editor, The Correspondent.