Support Feministing’s work: A message from Maya

Feministing Executive Directors Maya Dusenbery, Jos Truitt, and Lori Adelman

Feministing Executive Directors Maya Dusenbery, Jos Truitt, and Lori Adelman.

Feministing needs your help. We need to raise $30,000 in the next month to continue bringing you the feminist news, analysis, and ways to take action you love. Over the next month, members of the Feministing crew will be sharing stories about the work they do. If you agree with us that it’s important and impactful work, please support us by donating to Feministing

Last year, many of you generously donated to Feministing’s Kickstarter campaign. Thanks to you, we were able to redesign the site. Now, we’re asking for (tax-deductible!) donations that will go directly to paying our team a fair wage for the work that we do.

Fundraising from our readers is not the only thing we’re doing to try to build a sustainable site — we’re also working on increasing our ad revenue, applying for foundations grants, and getting some big donations from individual philanthropists. In short, cobbling together the “diversified” funding sources that seem to be required to survive as a non-profit media operation these days.

But getting funding directly from our readers and others who support our mission is really the only one I’m particularly excited about. In my ideal world, Feministing wouldn’t need to depend on any ad revenue from big corporations or be accountable to grantmakers at big foundations. The more I’ve learned over the last year about how both the for-profit and non-profit funding worlds work, the more taken I am with the quaint, old-fashioned idea that people should just pay directly for the things they value.

Obviously, this notion is pretty foreign in the realm of online media, where everyone is used to having access to mountains of free content at the click of a mouse. And, of course, making our content accessible to all is central to Feministing’s mission, which is to recruit more and more young people to the feminist movement and, ultimately, change the world.

But like any public good, for it to be free for those who need it to be free, it’s gotta be subsidized somehow. And currently, most feminist media — and really large swaths of online media in general — is being subsidized in part by the self-exploitation of writers and activists who provide countless hours of free labor out of love and passion and dedication to the cause.

I don’t pretend to have a comprehensive, perfect solution to the problem of online media — how to keep it free and also sustainable — a puzzle that countless others have been trying, pretty unsuccessfully, to solve for awhile now.

But I do believe that in many different realms, the world would be better if, as much as possible, we gave our money directly to the people doing the work — growing the sustainable food, making the ethically-produced goods, writing the important stories — that we believe should exist. And if we recognized that in an economic system that tends toward exploitation, mediocrity, and inequality, paying more than capitalism’s ticket price if we can afford to for the good things — like media that’s driven by a commitment to change, not a quest for pageviews — is a way of subsidizing them for those who can’t afford to pay but also deserve a better world.

I realize that writing a post this long likely goes against all the fundraising “best practices” tips that I probably should have read. So thanks for reading and consider making a donation to Feministing — either for yourself or for me or for the 15-year-old girl who just stumbled upon the site and will someday be the next great feminist leader.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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