RO donations and crowdfunding
Our mission is to support (freelance) journalists and provide an additional source of income for them. We do this by selling their work in online newsstands like Blendle , but also by providing technology and marketing services for journalists that want to collect donations and do crowdfunding.
We believe that the best way for journalists to be truly independent is to create direct relationships with their audience. Trust in journalism can only be maintained when media makers and people looking for information and perspective can communicate directly. Part of this relationship is, necessarily, financial support. Media are in crisis, and this crisis will most likely continue. So journalists need the support of the people they work for: their audience. Sponsors of journalism and journalists. Reporters Online provides services that enable both journalists and their sponsors to do so.
We have recently started this service; we do not, af this point in time, have a complete set of terms and agreements. We do, however, have a couple of simple guiding principles.
- Our journalists can be sponsored by their audience. This can never erode their independence in any way.
- Our journalists and their sponsors are a community with a joint goal: to provide good journalism. They work together to achieve this goal.
- The primary way to promote the work of journalists is to do exactly that: to promote their work. The platform of Reporters Online, and all marketing activities, will be focused on publication of journalism.
- Reporters Online facilitates the communities of journalists and their sponsors and does not influence their joint operation in any way, within the limits of the law. Reporters Online does not facilitate journalism that is unlawful or discriminatory and will see to it that donations are not used in a fraudulent way.
- 90% of all generated revue for journalists will always go to them, 10% will go to Reporters Online to support and maintain the platform. Donations to Reporters Online will be used exclusively to support and maintain the platform.
It's easy. When you publish an article on Reporters Online, we add a form and the end of it that readers can use to donate. It looks like this:
Readers that value your work can donate a pre-selected amount. For example:
All donations for your articles are registered in your name. At the end of each quarter, we collect all donations for all participating authors and pay out the amount you're entitled to. This is 90% of the net revenue of donations, after substraction of payment costs (our payment provider Mollie receives a small amount for each transaction, usually €0,30 to €0,40 depending on the payment system used) and 10% commission for Reporters Online.
Payments are possible with iDeal, Paypal, creditcard and a lot of European online banking systems.
Donations are also possible on your own WordPress website, with forms added to your articles, donation buttons on your front page and even complete crowdfunding pages.
Technically and financially they work exactly the same as do donations on Reporters Online, but collecting donations on your own website has a couple of advantages:
- It tends to work better, because readers are assured they donate directly to you.
- You can check donations on your own dashboard directly.
- You have more flexibility: you can add a donation button to your front page, you can set your own text for donations and set the amounts you want to collect.
- You can ask readers for their mail address, to thank them by mail or use in a newsletter (please note: you need their permission for this).
- You can do crowdfundings, for example:
If you don't have a website to collect donations on, we can make one for you! It's fast, easy and cheap - free actually, you only pay for the hosting of the site. See for more information our website service, that we run jointly with the Dutch collective of freelance journalists De Coöperatie (so it's in Dutch for now).
You can also use our donations if you already have a WordPress site, but for technical reasons we can only install this if it's hosted by us. Please contact us for more information.