The Urbanist strives to be good stewards of your donations, delivering high value for the price of a small ongoing donation. This is more and more important as we as a society struggle to fund journalism amidst attacks on its legitimacy, layoffs, and declining revenue. You can read about the value delivered in our previous posts covering our 2018 accomplishments.

Overall, The Urbanist spent less than $2,000 dollars in 2018. A majority was on our trial paid writers program. The next biggest expense was website hosting. And about 7% was spent on miscellaneous administrative expenses.

The majority of our revenue (65%) is from subscriber donations and events. Advertising accounts for the rest. As an organization, we’re committed to being independent and supported by individuals, rather than institutions or corporations. To maintain that ethos, we’re focused on growing small subscriber donations. A majority of our donations were under $25 and 92% were $100 or less.

Budget Changes in 2019

Our budget will look significantly different in 2019. After running the trial paid writers programs, we decided that model was financially unsustainable without further revenue growth. We also want to work towards full-time paid writing staff, rather than paying per article.

This led us to bring on a part-time Operations and Development Manager. This role will dramatically change the budget in 2019. We expect this single position to account for ~85% of the organization’s budget in 2019.
However, if our 2019 subscriber drives and advertising efforts go well, this role will support itself and other roles, with our ongoing revenue. If revenue growth permits, we will expand paid roles to include publishing, policy, and programming, likely in that order.

We hope you join us for this adventure by becoming a subscriber today!

2019 Subscriber Drive

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Donation Total: $20 Monthly

We hope you loved this article. If so, please consider subscribing or donating. The Urbanist is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that depends on donations from readers like you.

Owen does servicing and consulting for a software company to pay the bills. He has an amateur interest in urban policy, focusing on housing. His primary mode is a bicycle but isn't ashamed of riding down the hill and taking the bus back up. Feel free to tweet at him: @pickovven.