Greater Greater Washington

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For our birthday, support us for the future!

Today is Greater Greater Washington's 6th birthday! Do you want to see Greater Greater Washington continue to grow and thrive for many more years? If so, please help us find a new Associate Editor, and help us pay him or her by becoming a supporter!


Money gift box from Shutterstock.

Yes, we are kicking off our first-ever reader drive. If you find Greater Greater Washington a valuable resource and/or enjoy the community we have created here, please help it become sustainable by contributing whatever you can afford or think is a fair value for what Greater Greater Washington means to you.

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Great supporter—$50/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Supporter—$20
Great supporter—$50
Greater supporter—$100
Greatest supporter—$250
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

Our articles come from many volunteer contributors (46 over the last 3 months), who write about their areas of knowledge and interest and about their communities. That lets us post Breakfast Links and 3-5 good articles every day, but it is only possible with the labor of an editor helping contributors refine and perfect their work.

Last spring, Dan Reed came on board part time to fill this role, and he did a terrific job. Fortunately for Dan, but unfortunately for us, he has now gotten a full-time planning job, which means we need to find the next Dan Reed.

In addition, we need to pay the next Dan Reed. We were able to pay Dan with some of my own money and some funding from the Coalition for Smarter Growth, but these won't be enough for the long term. We therefore need the blog community's help to afford a great editor.

Become a supporter

You can help keep independent, thoughtful, policy-oriented reporting and analysis healthy by supporting us.

In the future, we'd like to also start organizing special events, maybe with an interesting speaker, for our supporters. To organize those we need staff, so stay tuned for more as we develop this program. Meanwhile, we hope you agree that just having Greater Greater Washington become sustainable is worthy enough in itself.

Please give us a 6th birthday present and support us! If you have more questions, we have some answers below.

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Great supporter—$50/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Supporter—$20
Great supporter—$50
Greater supporter—$100
Greatest supporter—$250
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

Why don't you just put ads on the site?

In the future, we might also start putting up some ads or exploring other ways to monetize the blog. However, we really, really don't want to go down the route many sites have taken of cluttering everything up with annoying ads. We also don't want to be making article decisions based on what'll generate the most clicks rather than what is actually important.

The more you can contribute, the less pressure there will be to pursue ads. Not only does that mean a cleaner site, but it also means less time worrying about ads and more time getting better posts!

What if we raise more than we need for the Associate Editor?

No money will go into my pocket. If we raise more than we need for the part-time Associate Editor, the first thing we can do is have the Associate Editor work more hours or even be full time. We also would love to have someone who works on reaching out to communities and about issues that we don't cover as well today.

I'll post about some of those ideas in the near future, but meanwhile, you can be sure there's a very long list of things we can do if we could afford to.

Why can't I make a tax-deductible donation instead?

Two reasons. First, to be able to accept tax-deductible donations, the IRS has to certify you as an official 501(c)(3)-type nonprofit with a charitable, religious, educational, or other eligible purpose. That takes, among other things, a bunch of time and money to establish and gain all of the approvals. It's actually quite expensive and time-consuming. And we don't have enough staff time (yet) to do it without taking away from editing and publishing articles for all of you.

Also, we make endorsements, as media organizations traditionally do, but 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofits absolutely cannot do this. When I've talked to readers and contributors, a lot of you have said you value this element of our coverage and don't want to sacrifice it.

We could set up an affiliated (c)(3) that can use tax-deductible donations for certain eligible activities. We might do this in the future, but that would probably happen if we could launch, and get funding for, a substantial new initiative that the (c)(3) could take on.

You didn't answer my question!

If you have any other questions, contact us at info@ggwash.org and we'll do our best to get back to you quickly. We'll post some of the questions and answers that are relevant to a wider audience in an upcoming post.

More than enough information? Support us now!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Great supporter—$50/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Supporter—$20
Great supporter—$50
Greater supporter—$100
Greatest supporter—$250
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.
David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

Comments

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You guys should take Bitcoin; I've got a decently sized BTC wallet, but no credit card (and hence no PayPal), and I'd love to donate. Plus, no fees.

by ImThat1Guy on Feb 5, 2014 10:37 am • linkreport

Dave, getting c3 status for GGW shoud not be an issue. Remember you can do member communications on certain political activities.

Otherwise the standard setup is c4/c3 but that can get complex. If you go that route I'd also start a small PAC for the full trifecta.

Make sure you pay your SSN taxes as that is the only thing the IRS cares about.

by charlie on Feb 5, 2014 11:21 am • linkreport

I really appreciate the ad-free nature of GGW and I hope this is just an idle threat to motivate readers in to donating. :)

I'm a member of other communities that have realized greater success in soliciting donations when the site has something extra to offer them. I'm not a proponent of putting content behind paywalls or creating different classes of readers. But maybe something simple like optionally offering to have donor's usernames appear in a bold font under their post, or possibly the ability to use a small avatar.

by dcmike on Feb 5, 2014 11:46 am • linkreport

ImThat1Guy: I'll look into Bitcoin. Thanks.

charlie: I am not a lawyer but I think I have been told pretty clearly that c3s can't be involved in politics at all, period. I thought it was c4s that can do some targeted member communications. But I need to talk again with the lawyers soon anyway.

dcmike: Good suggestions, thanks. Definitely the likelihood of getting ads is not an idle threat - I have a meeting tomorrow about it in fact. I really would rather not though. The editors are going to talk about how we can set up some things you can "get" for donating. Your idea for a way to recognize the donor on the site comments is a good one.

by David Alpert on Feb 5, 2014 12:04 pm • linkreport

Dave, a c3 can certainly be involved in politics. Not be too snarky (esp after 12:14 comment) but ask your friends at CSG.

There are a lot of rules, and I'd agree with you that it is sometimes better to draw the line and say "no politics". However, it isn't that much of a burden. Certain recordkeeping and structuring. And GGW clearly fits into what that exception is designed for.

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-%26-Non-Profits/Charitable-Organizations/The-Restriction-of-Political-Campaign-Intervention-by-Section-501(c)(3)-Tax-Exempt-Organizations

http://www.asaecenter.org/Resources/whitepaperdetail.cfm?ItemNumber=12202

"You can within limits. A 501(c)(3) organization may inform political candidates of its positions on particular issues and urge them to go on record, pledging their support of those positions. Candidates may distribute their responses (with respect to those positions) both to the 501(c)(3)'s members and to the general public. However, 501(c)(3) organizations may not publish or distribute statements by candidates except as nonpartisan "questionnaires" or as part of bona fide news reports.

501(c)(3) organizations with a broad range of concerns can more safely disseminate responses from questionnaires. However, the questions must cover a broad range of subjects, be framed without bias, and be given to all candidates for office. If a 501(c)(3) has a very narrow focus, this may pose a problem. The IRS takes the position that a 501(c)(3) organization's narrowness of focus implies endorsement of candidates whose replies are favorable to the questions posed. Unless your are certain that your organization clearly qualifies as covering a broad range of issues, your organization should avoid disseminating replies from questionnaires."

Again best practices right now suggest a c4 and c3. That being said, 98% if GGW isn't about endorsing a candidate. It is abouut endorsing positions. As you said before -- beleive in your beliefs and vote for the guy.

in the alternate, move the endorsment so it is done individually rather than as done before.

by charlie on Feb 5, 2014 12:25 pm • linkreport

You should considers ads but allow advertising entirely on your own terms.

Limit the size of the ads, and charge a flat rate that's independent of clicks. Make no promises on traffic. You can tell potential advertisers what your traffic has been over the last 6 or 12 months. It may go up and down month-to-month, but usually a trend up or a trend down is somewhat gradual.

Moreover, we're now entering the local political season, and I think local candidates might want to get an ad up. This an influential, informed audience that can move votes.

GGW is the NPR of dcblogland. Your audience won't mind and knows full well that funding will help strengthen, not weaken, the operation.

GGW is clearly a respect brand, with an intelligent and well crafted editorial model. It's audience is informed. Advertisers know they helping cover costs, and helping the site. Any advertiser/sponsor who rents a small amount of space will be thankful for the opportunity.

by kob on Feb 5, 2014 8:13 pm • linkreport

Surfing directly to www.greatergreaterwashington.org moments ago, I found all the headlines that I would have expected. But, reading the story here, I also got the link to the 46 contributors cited. Somehow, that got me to probe today's text for the word "about" and I found it 14 times, but nowhere on the page was a link to the informative www.greatergreaterwashington.org/about. Maybe that should be added t the standard main/home page somewhere?

See www.tidbits.com, a Maccentric site run by Adam Engst, for how it seeks and derives some support from its readers, and gives supporters subtle icons on their postings. It also has had, over time, a process to feature "sponsors", presumably ones Adam is comfortable with as having decent products or services. If sponsors are to be a future at GGW, I'd hope for some form of review before their contribution/resources are accepted and GGW and given a kind of imprimatur.

by Lindsley Williams on Feb 6, 2014 6:27 am • linkreport

@Lindsley Williams:
The "about" page is linked from the home page. It's called "who we are" and is located at the top right.

by Matt Johnson on Feb 6, 2014 6:49 am • linkreport

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