Donate to TON and Your Gift Will Double—or Triple

Pixabay (CC0)


Dear Friends of The Open Notebook,

This summer a reader told us: “TON is literally responsible for my entire freelance science writing career. My first (and still most stable!) gig was sparked by a profile of an editor on TON, and the advice and Pitch Database have been invaluable to me. It would be hard to overstate how much I appreciate your work.”

Of course, reading this made our day—but it also echoed emails and tweets and comments that we hear again and again: that The Open Notebook is a classroom, a community, and an invaluable source of support. That TON matters.

We believe our work matters now more than ever. Science journalism (like science) has never been more essential than today—or more under attack. There’s only one way for science journalists to survive and thrive in the midst of the extraordinary intensity of forces they face: to be extremely good at what they do. The Open Notebook is the only publication dedicated to providing science journalists with tools to sharpen their skills. Since launching TON seven years ago, we’ve published almost 350 articles and have had some 450,000 unique visitors from almost every country in the world. About 12,000 people visit The Open Notebook every month.

To help science writers improve their craft, we need our readers’ help. This year, you can double or even triple your impact when you make a tax-deductible contribution to The Open Notebook. From now through December 31, an anonymous donor will match all contributions to TON (up to a total of $5,000). And if you commit to making a recurring donation, the first three months’ worth of your gift will be matched 2:1. In other words, your contribution will triple in value.


Why Donate to The Open Notebook?

We know a lot of organizations are knocking on your inbox, asking for money to support worthy causes. Why donate to TON? Here are a few possible reasons:

  • You believe high-quality science journalism matters and TON helps make journalism better.
  • You went to journalism school, and TON is a continuing education.
  • You didn’t go to journalism school, and TON helps you understand how to do your job well.
  • You’re a scientist who is transitioning into science writing, and TON has helped you make that transition.
  • You’re a freelancer and the TON Pitch Database (recently expanded to include more than 150 news and feature pitches) and our stories on pitching have helped you land an assignment.
  • You got a job as an editor and TON‘s resources have helped you learn how to edit.
  • You’re an international journalist and TON has helped you break into U.S. media outlets.
  • The Open Notebook’s “A Day in the Life” profiles have helped you feel less alone in what can be a lonely profession.
  • You value TON’s efforts to improve diversity in science journalism, through stories like this one, this one, or this one.
  • You sometimes feel like an impostor, but this story helped.
  • TON has helped you get better at some specific aspect of science journalism, such as doing investigative journalism, or writing ledes and kickers, or understanding structure, or weaving exposition into narrative, or writing flashbacks, or doing data journalism, or annotating stories for fact-checking.
  • You’ve enjoyed and learned from TON stories such as these favorites from 2017:

Writing Well about Disability

The Reluctant Scientist: When Meeting Presenters Get Cold Feet

On Being a Science Writer and Managing a Mental Illness

Finding and Landing the Right Internship in Science Writing

Mac McClelland Tails Extreme Birders Through Cuba

No Need To Fear FOIA

Read This! (Or Not): Writing Book Reviews

Storygram: Amy Maxmen’s “How the Fight Against Ebola Tested A Culture’s Traditions”

When Science Reporting Takes an Emotional Toll


Creating and publishing these resources costs money. We pay writers competitive rates for every interview, feature, and story annotation. We also pay for professional editing and copyediting, as well as covering administrative costs such as website hosting and domain registration, site maintenance, and nonprofit registration fees. When grant funding is scarce, TON’s co-founders pay these costs out of their own pockets.

If TON is a meaningful resource for you, consider making a tax-deductible donation or—even better—a recurring contribution. Remember, donations made through the end of 2017 will be doubled, and recurring donations will be tripled. Please #SupportTON.


And thank you for your generosity!

~ Siri Carpenter and Jeanne Erdmann
Co-founders of The Open Notebook



Skip to content