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How The Tyee Pays Its Bills

The Tyee is funded in part by readers, who we call Tyee Builders. Builders pledge a monthly or one-time financial contribution to help us strengthen and grow. Contributions from Tyee Builders are the fastest-growing part of our budget, now making up about one third of our revenue.

Think of it as a voluntary subscription -- with extra benefits for you as well as for The Tyee and our national conversation.

Joining Tyee Builders is a fresh opportunity to grow sustainable independent media. We don’t stick our articles behind a paywall, because we believe that good journalism should be for everyone, not only those who can afford it. By becoming a Tyee Builder, you’re allowing us to pay our reporters, while keeping our work open and accessible to everyone.

Read on to learn more about how the Tyee pays its bills, and why, should you become a Tyee Builder, your financial contribution will have a significant impact.

Investors: The Tyee is supported in part by ongoing investment. The investors are Eric Peterson and Christina Munck, whose B.C.-based Tula Foundation funds a wide range of progressive programs including those of the Hakai Institute on the B.C. Central Coast. The Tula Foundation also publishes Hakai Magazine, an award winning publication focusing on coastal ecosystems and societies around the world.

The Tyee was started with initial investment by Working Enterprises, a Vancouver-based labour-affiliated investment group that has as part of its mission funding socially-responsible organizations. Working Enterprises, Eric Peterson and Christina Munck were joint investors until 2018, when Peterson and Munck became the sole investors in The Tyee.

The Tyee is not yet profitable. The investors have agreed that should The Tyee become profitable they would first reinvest those profits into the publication, and should profits become significant they would donate those to the non-profit sector. The Tyee’s investors do not seek to sell the publication. They are open to approaches from other interested investors.

Event Sponsorships and Advertising: A small part of our revenues come from advertising and event sponsorships. The Tyee values its relationship with advertisers; however we don’t anticipate becoming near totally reliant on advertising revenues as is corporate media. If you are interested in working with The Tyee on an advertising campaign, see our advertising page.

Partnerships and Collaborations: The Tyee funds some of its public interest reporting projects by seeking partnerships and collaborations with like-minded organizations. For example, Monte Paulsen’s 2009 Webster-nominated series on affordable housing was supported by three Canadian foundations interested in social justice issues. The percentage of overall revenue this represents has varied from year to year, ranging from zero to 12 per cent.

Special Initiatives and Events: The Tyee raises some money through initiatives including our Tyee Master Classes and from ticket sales from a new event series called Beyond the Headlines.

The big difference Tyee Builders can make.

What difference will new contributions from Tyee Builders make? Quite a significant one, for this reason: The revenue picture described above assures that the day to day operations of the Tyee are taken care of. Rent, computers, phones -- our modest but efficient journalistic infrastructure -- is in place and paid for, so Builder funds can go straight into more and better journalism.

The Tyee already attracts nearly one million page views on an average month – and our readership continues to grow. What new, high impact reporting and commentary can we provide to that influential audience? Tyee Builders will help us answer that question. If you join their ranks by committing at least three (and up to 100) dollars a month, you will be given the opportunity to enter into a continuing conversation with The Tyee, telling us what issues you care about most and want to see covered.

Five dollars a month is the cost of a coffee or two (depending on how fancy you like it). Ten dollars a month is a small pizza. Fifteen dollars a month is almost 40 per cent less than what the Vancouver Sun is charging for a subscription.

A note about The Tyee Solutions Society. In late 2009, The Tyee Solutions Society (TSS) was formed. TSS is a non-profit organization that is entirely distinct from The Tyee. TSS exists solely to produce news reporting in the public interest. Reporting produced by TSS is available to be published in various publications, The Tyee being just one. Reporting from TSS projects has been published or broadcast, for example, by the CBC, Torstar newspapers, and the Los Angeles Times. The Tyee Solutions Society formulates journalism projects in the public interest and seeks funding from grant-makers for those projects, while reserving editorial independence in the carrying out of those projects. For more about The Tyee Solutions Society, go here.

The Tyee does not count funding for TSS, a wholly separate organization, as part of Tyee revenues.