Just before midnight EST on October 31, 2022 — Halloween — you helped get us to our Fall 2022 Fundraising Goal IN FIVE FREAKING DAYS!!!
Five! Days! I expected this to take three to four weeks. Fundraising is part of our business model because reader-support is the only way to run an indie media outlet while also paying our people. It’s one of the reasons we can be so unabashedly queer and lesbian and bi+ and trans and gay in all the ways you love. That said, this response, this outpouring of support, came at a speed I never imagined was possible.
But that’s what you all keep doing, isn’t it? You’ve routinely shown us that what should be impossible is indeed possible. Just when I thought I could predict what was going to happen, you all showed me that, no, this community believes in throwing our expectations up into the air and batting them away like a Twilight Vampire or a Rockford Peach or an All-Star, sending our expectations sailing over the fence and the trees and to somewhere beyond we could have never imagined that they would fly (in a good way).
So what does this mean?
- It means that we have enough money to keep going through January 2023. We aren’t going to shut down, at least, for now, and because of that, we won’t be left with a scary pile of debt and no Autostraddle. The loan still exists; we’re gonna be paying it off for a while — and officially made our first payment on it this month — but we needed to be HERE in the first place to do that. Thank you.
- It also means that we can immediately make good on rollout of our Games vertical, which has already begun (Laneia’s heading it up and we are building it as we go!). Watch this space for more evolving games situations as we get this ship out to sea.
- Within the next few months, we’ll begin the search for a person to contract to help us start to re-conceive live events. This doesn’t mean that we’re going to immediately bring back in-person events because again this is a search for a human and those take a minute — but we ARE going to start the process.
- AND it means that in 2023 we’re committed to exploring more audio, especially for personal essays and longer reads. Will this be complex and require money and designing a new workflow? Yes. Will it be so cool? Sure will!
So, in sum, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! Thank you to the over 369 people who signed up for A+ and to the nearly 2,000 people who donated.
You are our everything.
And what are we going to do now?
You might have noticed I said that we have enough money to survive through January, but there are a whole lot more months in 2023 than just January, aren’t there? During this fundraiser, over 369 people signed up for A+. A+ members are the LIFE BLOOD of Autostraddle. If you’re a member, you’re one of the major reasons we’re here at all. And what we really need in order to keep going is to grow the number of monthly A+ members so that we have more consistent support from month to month.
Plus, several of our senior team members and writers already wrote some fundraising pieces, and I’d love to honor their work and publish them, to let them tell you why they think you should be a member if you aren’t already.
So, we have the amount we told you we needed to survive for now — but we’d also like to make sure 2023 which, right now, is still scary in terms of our financial outlook, is a little less so. So for just a little while longer, we’re going to ride the current momentum into an A+ Member Drive!
If you haven’t supported the fundraiser yet, will you consider becoming a monthly A+ member?
Here’s how this will work:
FIRST – We Are Doing A LAST CALL For Fundraiser Perks!!!
- I’m going to leave the fundraiser open until Thursday, November 3rd at noon PST. This will be your last chance to donate to get these limited edition fundraiser perks.
OMG(oddess) Being an A+ Member is Cool Because Current Members Got Discounted Perks and New Members Get Stickers and You All Get SO MUCH:
- Everyone who signed up for A+ at the $6/month ($60/year) level or higher…SURPRISE SWEETHEARTS you are also getting the fundraiser 4-sticker pack (normally for a $30 donation)!
- AND during the Fall 2022 Monthly A+ Member Drive, anyone who signs up for a MONTHLY membership at the $6 / month level or higher is going to get that same sticker pack. BONUS STICKERS.
- The drive will run through November 12, so just, like, 1.5 more weeks and then we are going to enjoy the Holigays together, okay?
- Also, if you already donated or are an A+ member, no, we aren’t going to email you. We want you to enjoy the awesomeness you have wrought!!!
Why Should I Join A+?
- Because you are consistently supporting indie queer media and all we do here! A+ members funded half our entire budget in 2021. That’s serious business.
- A+ members get access to all kinds of bonus content, including the abilitity to have their advice questions answered by the team.
- That content now includes a bonus Saturday puzzle that is, yep, just for A+ members.
- A+ members also get access to exclusive discounts with our partners in our ever-expanding A+ marketplace (and now that the fundraiser is over, you can bet I’ll be reaching out to more businesses!).
- AND A+ members are invited to periodic Pop-Up A+ Discord Servers, such as the one opening this week, with a hang with the Autostraddle team happening on Friday! The next one is happening in December, during our annual 13 Days of A+.
When will I get my perks?
So! Did you catch the part where this went WAY FASTER than expected? I had actually planned to work from out of town for a week coming up (my girlfriend has band practice in another state) so I can’t pack perks just yet — and oops I just DID NOT EXPECT YOU ALL TO PULL OFF A MIRACLE OKAY, but I have the email for everyone who is due to get perks, both regular donor and A+ member, and when I am back and settled I will email you with a timeline of when I think you can expect to receive your perks. In the meantime, if you have emailed me with an updated address (or need to) I have received those missives and will confirm so that I send your perks to the correct address. So, while I can’t give you an exact timeline because we’re definitely not Amazon over here (I ship these things out personally, and the person who helps us out in the UK similarly is just one human), I do promise I will keep you up-to-date.
So Is Autostraddle Okay Now?
Yes and no haha! You’ve given us more time to work on 2023, to continue to build traffic and ad revenue and new ad partnerships. By signing up for a monthly A+ membership, you’re helping us to stick it out LONG TERM. But yes, we’re okay for now, and considering this hellscape, that is pretty damn cool. You all are incredible.