Young people around the world want a new, trusted resource.
Dear News-Decoder Reader,
Today I’m announcing a campaign to raise funds for News-Decoder. I want to tell you why we are doing so and how you can help our not-for-profit grow.
News-Decoder has been operating for 18 months. We have published 399 articles by 164 contributors — half of them millennials — on a wide range of critical international issues.
We have organized a dozen webinars on topics including Syria’s civil war, human rights and climate change, bringing world-class experts together with hundreds of students. And we have written a series of meaty “decoders” explaining complex issues such as U.S. politics, Brexit and the Panama Papers.
Our work, including contributions by our experienced correspondents, has been recognized by the World Association of Newspapers, which recently awarded us a silver prize in its annual Young Reader Prize competition.
Global Online Academy, a consortium of 62 leading secondary schools around the world, partnered with us in delivering a course earlier this year to more than 400 students focusing on the U.S. presidential elections and major international challenges. And GOA has asked us to help craft and teach a new course in early 2017 on fake news — a threat to democracy around the world.
We have done all of this without exhausting the money we raised through a successful crowd-funding campaign in early 2015. (We’ve been frugal and still have 40% of the $50,000 we raised in the bank.) Yet if our not-for-profit is to realize its ambitions, we need more capital.
Here is why we are asking for financial support:
- Our contributors have been working on a pro bono basis since the start. They have written a quarter of a million words — for free. It’s time they were paid. We need to pay our correspondents if we are to step up publication of top quality content, including more “decoders”.
- We need to line up more academic institutions as partners and expand our international footprint. Currently eight universities and eight high schools in nine countries are in our pilot program. As we look beyond the pilot, we must attract new partners from a greater range of countries. That requires expertise and dedicated effort.
- We need to spread our message more aggressively. The world has never needed trustworthy, fact-based news sources more than today. Yet our light remains largely hidden under a bushel. We need to hire an expert who can shape our marketing and development efforts so that we become more than a mom and pop operation.
Our fund-raising campaign has three “tranches” totaling $68,000:
- To cover running costs including technology behind our website and webinars, we need $1,100 a month. The first tranche of $15,000 will go towards “keeping the lights on” for another year.
- To pay our professional contributors, we need $23,000 for 2017.
- The third and final tranche of $30,000 will enable us to hire a full-time person to handle marketing and development.
Our business plan calls for the eventual combination of donor support and membership fees paid by academic institutions. I am turning to donors first because we are still in the pilot phase with our academic partners and will not institute a membership fee until after the pilot ends in mid-2017. Once we have proven that we have a sustainable service, it will be time to turn to foundations.
So I’m asking if you will make a donation so we can realize our ambition to help young people around the world become better global citizens. The need has never been greater or the stakes higher.
You can donate by credit card, PayPal or check. Donations of $500 or more are tax deductible in the United States if you route them through News-Decoder’s fiscal partner, the CAFAmerica charity.
To make a secure donation, click here:
With your donation, you support a global effort to strengthen news literacy. This is a chance to build trust and to tear down walls dividing nations — and voters.
I promise to keep donors informed about our progress and also about how donations are spent.
As Eileen Kelly-Aguirre, executive director of the prestigious School Year Abroad program, said: “News-Decoder is stepping up to the challenge, supporting educators and young adults in their efforts to increase and deepen understanding of complex, critical realities.”
Thank you very much.