February 23, 2012
This post kicks off P8TT’s annual fundraising drive. Please become a Sustaining Member so we can keep this community together to fight the battles ahead (and to enter for a chance to win two tickets to the new “8” play premiere with an all-star cast in Los Angeles!). You can chip in here so P8TT can keep going with a sustainable source of funding.
By Adam Bink
Friends: Once a year, we have to ask for support from you to help meet expenses here at P8TT. Last year’s successful fundraiser kicked off the first week of March and funded the last year’s worth of coverage and site costs here. That time is just about here again, so we need your help to keep going through the end of the trial.
P8TT has been on the front lines of the Prop 8 trial for two years now. Since we launched to cover the trial in Judge Walker’s courtroom, we have received over 5 million pageviews and now over 150,000 comments. Consider:
- Together, we covered the Prop 8 trial better than anyone, becoming the #1 Google result for “Prop 8 trial” (as well as the #2, as of today!) as our traffic has exploded during and after the Feb 7th decision on Prop 8 and this week with news of the appeal;
- We expanded the scope of our coverage to include all of the legal cases on the Defense of Marriage Act and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” as well as marriage equality happenings in places like Maryland, New York State, and Washington State;
- We expanded to be one of the leading sites covering and driving action on successful repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as well as counting votes and driving calls on the successful passage of marriage equality in New York State;
- We’ve led the way in fighting back against NOM by exposing the fraud, hate and #FAIL that they and their two bus tours embody to the national media and public, landing massive numbers of press hits, including Newsweek;
- And making significant site improvements over the past year, including bringing on a new writer (Jacob Combs) to expand our coverage of legal cases in particular.
Now, as we enter the next phase, we need your support to keep our lights on.
We are looking for 35 new monthly donors, 35 generous people who come to enjoy the coverage and community here at Prop8TrialTracker.com as often as every day and are willing to chip in a little for that benefit. It’s a specific number because it didn’t just come out of a hat; as someone who organizes action online and has a deep respect for people’s hard-earned money, I am a firm believer in calculating needs and telling people what their contributions what exactly their contributions will go towards. You may remember we raised just over $12,000 in last year’s fundraiser. I am happy to report this year’s needs are far less, in part because we broke through our goal with fundraising for our organizing programs around the Prop 8 trial earlier this month, and so our needs for the P8TT annual fundraiser specifically to pay operating expenses for P8TT are not as great. Therefore, 35 people (or more) giving $10 a month or more will help meet our site obligations until next year’s site fundraiser. It’s as simple as that.
But wait… there’s more! If you become one of those 35 people, you’ll be entered in the drawing for two $500 tickets (a $1,000 value) to see the West Coast premiere of “8,” the new play about the trial from our friends at the American Foundation for Equal Rights, who generously donated two tickets to help support P8TT. The reading is on March 3 in Los Angeles with an all-star cast, including Martin Sheen as Ted Olson, George Clooney as David Boies, John C. Reilly as Judge Walker and Jane Lynch as none other than Maggie Gallagher (not to mention Campbell Brown, Chris Colfer, Kevin Bacon and many others).
Now that I’ve explained what we’ve accomplished and our needs, allow me to explain exactly what your monthly contribution will go towards:
- First and foremost, we’ve been able to bring on a new writing intern (Jacob Combs). Not only has Jacob allowed me to focus on site improvements and organizing, but he’s expanded the number of posts we’ve been able to do over the past few months from 1-2 per day to 3-4 and sometimes more. More issues get covered, and covered well.
What many of you don’t know is that Jacob has so far gone 100% unpaid for his tremendous work, which can get as high as 20 hours per week and often does, particularly when he helps lead our coverage of major Prop 8 trial events, of which we’ve had, well, many in the past few months. Jacob is one of us — he’s been reading P8TT from the start, and his writing is a labor of love so that we can have the coverage you’ve come to expect (and according to the P8TT user survey, over 90% of you think we’re doing a good job with it), but labors of love can’t always keep the lights on. And so part of your monthly contribution will go to provide Jacob a monthly stipend so he can stay a part of the P8TT team and continue to provide that great coverage.
- Second, we’ve made a lot of technical improvements since last year’s fundraiser. We migrated to a new site that allows Jacob and I, as well as you, to post videos from sources other than YouTube, such as local NBC broadcasts or the Daily Show, while maintaining the popular comment system. We launched Quick Hits so folks from the community could elevate attention to the great news and commentary you provide. We brought on a full-time technical team at Richir Outreach to manage these improvements as well as fix site bugs, respond to your problems in the comments, etc. All of this was paid for in part by last year’s successful fundraiser, and all of it needs to be maintained on a monthly basis.
- Lastly, your money will go towards keeping up the fight for equality here at P8TT. A few days ago, our opponents decided to drag this on for another 6-9 months by appealing to the full 9th Circuit for a rehearing of the case. We face ballot referenda in Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, as well as likely in Washington State and Maryland. It will be a big year for equality, and if just 35 people can step up, we can step up as a community to not only cover these issues, but take action on them. Put plainly, we need to be more visible. We need to make the courts and the public see us and our family and friends. This site is a huge part of that.
So please, become one of the 35 people we need to support Prop8TrialTracker.com for the next year with a tax-deductible, small monthly contribution so we can make them — judges, legislators, and Americans around the country — see us. Contribute so Prop8TrialTracker can remain the best place for coverage on the web and so we can continue to provide great coverage on DOMA cases, DOMA repeal, and marriage equality.
Most importantly, please contribute so our community can remain together, strong, and sustainable on a monthly basis.
Thank you for all that you do.