Where your money goes when you donate: a message from the director
From its inception, I along with Suwita Hani Randhawa, Luke Buckley, and Andrew Jenkins, envisioned the Judicalis Group is a collective of individuals who all work together. We decided that skill development was difficult, so we might as well use each other as a means to do just that. The simple idea is that the more folks we get together, the more skills we can develop and with better skills comes better knowledge sharing.
As a result, this is not a project designed to make one or two people rich. Our primary goal is to be able to raise the funds necessary so that all of non-labor costs can be met. This includes things like web hosting, domain registration, and fees to register the Judicalis Group as a non-profit. To cover these costs, many of the original contributors have pledged their portion. However, it is my goal to make the website auto-sufficient. I also have lofty goals, because hey, why not? I would like to be able earn enough money through the website so that as director I can realise two main goals.
The first goal is to make the Judicalis Group more accessible to a greater audience so that the ideas of our members can actually become influential in guiding the public discourse on issues related to crime and society in a responsible, measured, non-partisan way.
The second is to be able to compensate each contributor, editor, webmaster, and intern at a rate that is above minimum wage. I know I am a long way off from that goal, but this is where you come in.
Your donations will go to paying for the following things, in the following order.
First, our basic operating costs will be met. This number does not include labor. Everyone who is working on the website is doing so as a volunteer. Paying these costs first ensures that no one has any out of pocket expenses as a result of their involvement. This yearly cost is low, perhaps less than 300 dollars.
Second, we will aim to make improvements to the site. Amongst us we have some sharp folks, but sometimes we do not possess the skills necessary to write the code to achieve the end products that we want. It will be necessary, as the website grows, to build a platform that can handle the traffic and the number of contributors we expect to have. Therefore the secondary costs will go to pay individuals to do work that we cannot do ourselves in house. A good website results in a net benefit for both us as writers and you as readers. There will be a reasonable cap on these expenditures so, hopefully, there will be funds for our third payout: every Member who helps make the Judicalis Group what it is.
Once these costs are paid out, every penny of your donation will will go to compensate the folks who donate their time to make this project happen. It is my goal to compensate each and every person fairly, using a proportionality model. As time goes on and the website generates more income, then I hope to guarantee a set wage for folks contributing to the benefit of the site based on the time they put in. If that ever happens then every Judicalis Member who contributes to the website will get paid first with the remainder of the receipts going to site improvement.
Until that happens though, I have thought of the following model to allow you to encourage our writers and help us contribute to the public debate.
You can donate directly to the Judicalis Website by using any of the buttons on the right side or on our home page. You will also see that as contributors prove their dedication they will be permitted to put up their own personal donation buttons and control the ads on their pages. If you would like to directly support any specific contributor you can go their their blog page and donate so that a minimum of 50 per cent of the donation will go straight to them. Obviously, if you cannot donate, then visiting our sponsors will help us out a little bit too. If you run a website and would like to link to us, we would be most grateful.
It is true that too many (read nearly all) web platforms expect their writers to work for free. Right now I have no choice but to ask that from my colleagues. However, I am working hard to figure out a way to get their work not only recognised but also get them paid for it.
Your donations will quite literally keep us writing.