So. Wow. Where to start? Lead with the number, we suppose.
Did we say “Wow” yet?
48 days ago, Wings Over Scotland asked its readers if they might consider chucking in a pound to turn the site into a full-time enterprise for the next year. We hadn’t the slightest idea how people might respond. In an age where we’re constantly told that people won’t pay for journalism any more, we feared humiliation.
Our fundraiser closed this morning, having collected a total of £33,014 from over 1000 generous readers. (Just under 10% of the final figure came from people donating directly, having had technical problems with Indiegogo.) Most such undertakings are doing well if they attract donations from 1% of a site’s users, but we more than doubled that, with something in the region of 2.5% of readers chucking at least a quid into the pot, and some going far, far above and beyond the call of duty.
We’ve thanked people many times over the course of the last month and a half, and we could spend the next month and a half doing nothing else and still not have adequately conveyed our amazement and appreciation. Times are very hard for a great many people right now, and every single £1 that anyone managed to spare is a slap in the face to those who say that the public doesn’t value fair, honest, truthful journalism.
We choose that metaphor deliberately, because it’s hard to interpret the outcome of the campaign as anything but a massive vote of no confidence in Scotland’s mainstream media. So one-sided is the print and broadcast press in its coverage of the independence debate that Scots evidently felt the need to take matters into their own hands and pay directly to have some small degree of balance restored. The nation’s editors should be hanging their heads in shame today.
Perhaps we’re being overly modest with the “small” there. As of this morning, Google Analytics shows that 45,056 unique readers have visited Wings Over Scotland in the last 30 days. Many of the people who couldn’t afford to contribute to the fundraiser have helped the site grow in other ways every bit as valuable – tweeting links, sharing stories on Facebook, directing people here from inaccurate articles on newspaper websites for the truth, and sending us tip-offs or contributing articles themselves.
So let’s just say that our gratitude is beyond further expression, or we’ll never get anything done. We now face the daunting task of adding hundreds of names to the Credits page, and also of dispatching tokens of gratitude to those who donated to “Hero” and “Saviour” levels. We’ll have more information on that shortly – please bear with us for a few days while we sort it all out, especially if you’re one of the people who got there with multiple donations.
But like a manager with four in-form strikers, that’s the sort of problem we’re delighted to have. One last time, thank you all so much. We are truly humbled. We’ll do our damnedest to be worthy of your faith for the next year.