Dear Friends of TON,
In the past year, The Open Notebook has published dozens of feature-length articles examining many aspects of the craft of science journalism and examining outstanding works up close through writer interviews and Storygram annotations of award-winning stories. We’ve also added dozens of new pitches to our Pitch Database, published the first six stories in our Diverse Voices series in partnership with the National Association of Science Writers Diversity Committee, created three new article collections (Getting Started in Science Journalism; Using Narrative to Tell Science Stories; and TON en Español), partnered for the third time with the Science Storytellers project, and hosted the first-ever World’s Finest Science-Themed Peeps Diorama Contest, drawing 50 entries and breaking Twitter.
This year, we’re preparing a print anthology that will include 30+ TON stories on the craft of science journalism (including some never-before-published pieces). We’re also planning to release additional themed collections and to create a new platform through which people can use TON’s materials for more active learning, or for syllabus-building. We’re continuing to expand our TON en Español series. And finally, in case there could be any doubt, we will again be hosting another Peeps contest!
All of the resources we publish are free, to anyone anywhere in the world. But producing TON is not free. We are committed to paying fair rates to all our contributors. To do that, we depend on the financial support of our community. That’s why we’re focusing our spring fundraiser on increasing the number of people who support TON through a monthly gift of $10 or more. Thanks to generous donations from a pool of matching donors, every new recurring donation of $10/month or more will be met with a $50 donation from the matching fund, until the fund is exhausted. (The same holds for current monthly donors who increase their monthly gift by at least $10/month.)
Recurring donations are valuable to TON because they help us plan ahead. Knowing what our income will be in six months or a year enables us to take on ambitious new projects. For example, gifts from recurring donors made it possible for us to begin creating Spanish translations of popular TON stories this year, through our TON en Español project. Growth in the stability of donor support has also helped us raise the rates we pay to our contributors.
If just 75 people—about half a percent of our regular readers—were to set up a new $10/month recurring gift, this fundraiser would yield an additional $12,000 a year. What does that buy? It pays the writing fees for 12 features, or for 16 story-behind-the-story interviews. Or it pays for editing and copy editing of more than 20 stories. Or it pays for translation of 16 TON features into Spanish. Or it covers all of our operating expenses for about 4 weeks. No matter how you slice it, it makes a big difference to us.
If TON is a meaningful resource for you, please consider making a recurring donation—or if you are already a recurring donor, consider upping your monthly contribution. (Needless to say, if you don’t care to make a recurring donation but would like to support TON financially at this time, we gratefully accept one-time donations, too!)