Make it or Break It: Our Future Depends on You

The third week of our Kickstarter campaign begins today! Statistics show that if we don’t have a third of our funding by the end of this week, we will most likely not achieve our goal. As you know, if we don’t meet our goal of $100,000, we will not get to take home anything.

Some of you have asked how we will remain sustainable after this campaign funding has finished. We are excited to share with you more about our plan now, as well as details about a few new giveaways. What we are asking from our supporters now is literally to “kickstart” our full funding needs for 2014, which will total $250,000, so that we can continue to provide critical information about the food system as we begin to approach foundations that have shown an interest in our work.

Naomi and I together have helped raise over $1 million for other non-profit journalism and food systems ventures in the last three years. Therefore, you can rest assured that your donations will be going to build a solid foundation for our future growth at Civil Eats. In addition, your donations to Civil Eats are tax deductible and will be handled by our fiscal sponsor, which has decades of experience working with small non-profits.

We believe that we will always rely in some part on our readers for donations and so we are also in the process of developing an ongoing membership model.

With full funding, we aim to expand our efforts by bringing on a corespondent in D.C., who will sit in on FDA, USDA, and EPA meetings and cover the issues surrounding food and agriculture policy. We see a real need for this as major newspapers have almost entirely eliminated this coverage in their pages. We know that there is a hunger for these issues and we want to break it down and make it relevant to every day people.

Now to the fun part: Two of our favorite supporters have donated new giveaways we’d like to share with you. First, Straus Family Creamery has donated a three month’s supply of ice cream (equivalent to a pint per week), which four lucky donors will receive for donating $250. Second, a lucky donor will be treated to dinner for two at Gather restaurant in Berkeley for a donation of $150.

Finally, our $5,000 donor will be invited to dinner at the upcoming restaurant Verbena in San Francisco, with Gather owner and former director of Slow Money, Ari Derfel, and the editors of Civil Eats.

Just this week, three of our regular contributors–Jason Mark, Barry Estabrook, and Kristin Wartman–wrote trenchant stories on food systems issues, from how the government shutdown will effect our food, to an underreported story on the monarch butterfly and other native pollinators impacted by pesticide use, and a service-oriented piece on food safety. These were among a handful of other important stories we published–all were written for free because these writers believe in our future. It’s just not sustainable that we continue to ask them to provide their talents without pay. But we simply cannot do it without your support.

Thank you to those who have supported our Kickstarter campaign so far. Please continue to tell you friends! We really appreciate it.

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