Canadian Magazine Industry News
24 April 2012,     VANCOUVER, BC
The Tyee Builder program seeks donations to boost content
The launch of The Tyee Builder program sees the independent awarding-winning magazine The Tyee turn to readers in a drive to increase funding. 
 
Tyee is asking readers for donations ranging from $5 - $100 a month. All contributions will go towards solely producing more editorial content explained Tyee Builder project manager Shannon Smart. 
 
"We're asking readers if they'd like to sign up sort of as an optional subscription that would help us boost our monthly editorial budget and allow us to assign more stories, hire more freelancers, and basically publish a larger volume of the award-winning journalism that we publish now," she said. 

On its website The Tyee outlines how the publication is funded. Over half the funding come from its two main investors Working Enterprises and Tula Foundations, 30 per cent from advertising, and the remainder from either partnerships with other organizations or special initiatives. Tyee wanted to make its funding model known so that donors are aware contributions will go directly into funding more journalism, and not the cost of keeping the operations afloat.

"We have independent investors that cover our monthly expenses so we've got all of our overhead covered already," said Smart. "That's how we function now. So all of this money that comes in is going to be put directly towards producing more content." 
 
The goal for The Tyee Builder program is to double the amount of editorial content it currently produces. Smart said this will require about $100,000 and that they're already a third of the way there with more than 200 people signing up within one week of the program's launch. 
 
A variety of acclaimed Canadian writers have responded to the program; copies of the writers' books signed by the author are exclusively available to those who donate $15 or more a month. Donors of $100 per month will receive an invitation to The Tyee's exclusive "Cornerstone Celebration," which is "part party, part strategy session, with The Tyee's editorial team."

The Tyee has been looking for new ways to generate revenue recently. In March it announced The Tyee Master Classes, a series of workshops led by Tyee contributors and colleagues, the first of which cost $195 to attend.  
— Mike Woodward
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