Dear readers and supporters,
I’m writing this note on a snowy afternoon from the Peterborough Currents office at Sadleir House. The Currents team just finished discussing our favourite stories of 2022 — the ones we were most proud to publish. We accomplished a lot this year! Now, 2023 is approaching, but the future of Peterborough Currents is as uncertain as ever. Let me tell you why.
Seven months ago, Ayesha and I wrote a letter explaining that our start-up grants had run out, and that we needed a big boost in membership — revenue from readers like you — in order to survive. We needed to buy time in order to explore new revenue streams and apply for grants.
After that, you really came through! We brought on dozens of new supporters, enough to keep paying the bills. In June, we reached a peak of $2,550 per month in audience revenue. But since then, it’s decreased to about $2,300.
I hate to say it, but not much has changed since we wrote that letter in the spring. We’ve applied for new grants, but we haven’t been successful in getting them. However, we also experimented with advertising and sponsored content, and that has been much more encouraging! In the new year, we’ll continue trying to increase these revenue streams.
For now, though, things are still looking dicey. Our monthly budget barely breaks even — and that means even the small drop in membership revenue we’ve experienced since June puts our business at risk of bankruptcy.
By the end of this year, we need to recoup those losses. Can you help us get back to where we were in June? It would only take about 25 new members to get us there. I bet we can get there by the end of the year.
Running a business as a volunteer on such a shoe-string budget brings a lot of stress. Recently, I began to wonder whether it was time to shut things down. Is the fact that we are always this close to bankruptcy a sign that maybe this venture isn’t sustainable after all?
But then, I imagine taking down the Peterborough Currents website and I think … what a shame that would be! Our community is blessed with a lot of news media, but I believe Currents offers Peterborough something unique. Just look at our best stories from 2022. These are all stories you couldn’t find anywhere else.
I believe there is still a lot of potential in our little website, and a lot more we can contribute to our community. Also … there are more stories that I want to write! So I want to keep trying.
But I need your help. If you’re not already a supporter of Peterborough Currents, can you sign up right now?
Every time someone signs up, we get a bit more revenue to put into producing journalism. But just as importantly, every new supporter gives me a jolt of encouragement, and tells me that our work is worth continuing.
Can you give us that jolt before the end of the year? Please sign up as a supporter here.
Co-Publisher, Peterborough Currents