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An important request from openDemocracy's Chair

David Elstein
12 May 2010

Dear reader

As openDemocracy enters its tenth year as a web magazine we are turning to you, one of our regular readers, for your advice on how we should fund ourselves.

In our first decade we have been mainly supported by many charities and foundations; in our second we believe that we can only survive and grow if you and other readers become our principal funders.

Web publishing is moving towards making users pay for content. But we would never make it a requirement for our readers to pay since this is against our ideals and constituency.

Yet we believe that you and many of our readers would consider a voluntary supporter subscription. We do not need many to underpin our future.

Across the whole site we publish about 20 items a day of which four or five are fully edited articles read around the world. Yet our annual costs are less than £250,000 of which two-thirds goes towards editorial, mainly our dedicated team of five full and part-timers and columnists, and the balance to website and administrative costs including publishing and marketing. Other websites with global readerships cost millions.

I ask you now to consider giving us a contribution of £50 or £100, but at a level of your choice, either once a year or monthly, by clicking here.

Provided you can afford it. By doing so your support will have a double value by ensuring that many of our readers who are not able to pay, especially readers in developing countries, can continue to read openDemocracy without restriction.

As important as your donation, is your advice to us as to how we should fund openDemocracy in the future. Do please email me with your views at [email protected]

Yours sincerely, 

David Elstein

Chair

Peter Geoghegan: dark money and dirty politics

Democracy is in crisis and unaccountable flows of money are helping to destroy it. Peter Geoghegan’s new book, ‘Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics’, charts how secretive money, lobbying and data has warped our democracy.

How has dark money bought our politics? What can be done to change the system?

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Sign up to take part in a free live discussion on Thursday 13 August at 5pm UK time/6pm CET

In conversation:

Peter Geoghegan Dark Money Investigations editor at openDemocracy and the author of ‘Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics’.

Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy.

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