#SaveCaryCitizen: One Week In

Cary, NC — Last week, CaryCitizen launched an online fundraising campaign to help ensure a bright future for community news in Cary.

Every day since the fundraiser’s launch, our staff has been encouraged not only by the financial support but also by the kind words from our community of readers.

Off to a Strong Start

As of Wednesday, August 5, 2020, we have raised $8,867 from 192 supporters, making up 18% of our total fundraising goal of $50,000.

Thank you so much to everyone in our strong community!

Please share our campaign with friends in Cary and elsewhere who support independent community news and information.

What Does CaryCitizen Really Cost to Operate?

A long time reader and commenter asks a valuable question:

I enjoy the Cary Citizen, but $50,000 just to get through the next five months seems excessive for an online publication. I think many Cary citizens would like to see a long- term fiscal management plan (1 year, 5 years, 10 years), because I know they will be frustrated if they commit to donate money and the Cary Citizen folds anyway in another 6-9 months, or worse yet asks for another $50,000 to get you through the following six months. What are your plans to heavily cut costs on an ongoing basis on your end?

Here’s how much it costs to run CaryCitizen: $10,000/month. That’s $120,000 per year.  If that sounds excessive, consider what it costs to run the News & Observer every month, or WRAL. For all that expense, how much goes to coverage of Cary? Suddenly, $120,000 a year for a town of 166,000 doesn’t seem like that much.

Monthly cost items include three employee salaries (web editor, advertising manager, and publisher), fractional costs for a bookkeeper, accountant, and graphic designer, plus service costs for web hosting, security, ad server, payroll service, insurance, and state, federal, and employment taxes.

Previously (for the last eleven years), we had distributed some CaryCitizen costs to other “halo” businesses – opportunities for revenue based on our associations in the community. Examples include Fest in the West and our Downtown Map. Those revenue streams have dried up during the pandemic because events cannot be held, and the map cannot be distributed. We plan to return to this business model when the pandemic eases and businesses begin to feel more optimistic. Our GoFundMe campaign is meant to bridge us across the crisis.

That’s our 1-year plan: GoFundMe to get us into 2021 and build back our satellite revenue streams as conditions improve. If we are still in the middle of pandemic awfulness in January, we may have to reevaluate our plan.

Our 5 year plan: Be here when better days return to Cary.

Thank you again for all your support.

Story by Hal Goodtree. Ashley Kairis and Lindsey Chester also contributed to this story.

Help CaryCitizen make it through the pandemic – support our GoFundMe campaign.

2 replies
  1. George McDowell
    George McDowell says:

    Rooting very hard for CaryCitizen to be here in five years, and for long after that. The public service it performs is incalculable, and greatly appreciated.

    For purposes of a friendly discussion, I think you grossly understate the population of the Town of Cary, which you peg above at 166,000. But even your low estimate is higher than that suggested by the Cary Community Plan, which GROSSLY underestimates the Town’s population, and which underestimation may have serious consequences for our planning for the future.

    The reference date for the United States 2020 Census is April 1, 2020, over four months ago. The population announced by the Census Bureau will be for that date for the country, all the states, and all the counties and towns within.

    I think the population announced by the Bureau for the Town of Cary will be 172,750. Anybody disagree?

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