Make it or Break It: Our Future Depends on You | Civil Eats

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.

We’ll bring the news to you.

Get the weekly Civil Eats newsletter, delivered to your inbox.

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.

Today’s food system is complex.

Invest in nonprofit journalism that tells the whole story.

Paula Crossfield is a founder and the Editor-at-large of Civil Eats. She is also a co-founder of the Food & Environment Reporting Network. Her reporting has been featured in The Nation, Gastronomica, Index Magazine, The New York Times and more, and she has been a contributing producer at The Leonard Lopate Show on New York Public Radio. An avid cook and gardener, she currently lives in Oakland. Read more >

Like the story?
Join the conversation.

More from



‘It’s Impossible Not to Feel Like I’m Part of the Flock’

In an excerpt from her new book, ‘Under the Henfluence,’ Tove Danovich discusses her ongoing fascination with chickens and the challenge of reconciling the backyard trend with today’s industrial practices.


The IPCC’s Latest Climate Report Is a Final Alarm for Food Systems, Too

PAJARO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 14: In an aerial view, floodwaters fill the streets on March 14, 2023 in Pajaro, California. Northern California has been hit by another atmospheric river that has brought heavy rains and flooding throughout the region. The town has been inundated with floodwaters since Saturday after a levee was breached along the Pajaro River. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

This Farm Bill Really Matters. We Explain Why.

a trio of illustrations showing a black farmer, corn growing in front of the US Capitol Building, and a white woman with a baby paying for groceries with a SNAP-enabled card

Supreme Court Case Could Reshape Indigenous Water Rights in the Southwest

A close-up view of center-pivot irrigation watering corn on NAPI farmland. (Photo courtesy of NAPI)

All Eyes on California as Fast-Food Worker Rights Land on the 2024 Ballot

Fast-food workers and activists protest McDonald's labor practices outside a McDonald's restaurant on March 18, 2014 in Oakland, California. (Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)