Well this week I was heartened to see a publication has done just that. Women’s online mag The Hoopla launched Friends of The Hoopla Fund. A crowdfunding of sorts it asks for readers to make a regular payment or one off to whatever value they feel to help support them paying journalists.
Finally some innovation! While crowdfunding has been around for a while and exists for all mediums, including journalism, The Hoopla is not putting a minimum or maximum on contributions.
And unlike a subscription, whether you contribute or not they will continue to release a free email every day with their top stories.
But what makes this model really exciting is the transparency. Each quarter they will publish how the fund is spent. Wow.
This is unique to crowdfunding as through usual platforms there is no obligation to report back to those who have funded your project how the money is spent. It is all in good faith.
With a strong following I look forward to seeing the Fund after its first quarter. They are taking a risk shifting their business model to a readership, which now get their journalism for free, actually coughing up.