Dutch journalism platform De Correspondent now has 30,000 paying members

Repost from MediumHow we’ve doubled our number of members, one year after our world record in journalism crowdfunding

De Correspondent is a Dutch-language, online journalism platform that offers background, analysis, investigative reporting, and the kinds of stories that tend to escape the radar of mainstream media because they do not conform to what is normally understood to be ‘news.’ It launched on September 30th last year, after raising a total of 1.7 million dollars with a world record crowdfunding campaign, and welcomed its 30,000th member today.

One year ago, we needed 15,000 members

On March 18, 2013, initiator and editor-in-chief Rob Wijnberg announced on live television that he would need 15,000 members in order to launch De Correspondent. Prospective members could obtain a one-year membership for 60 euros (around 80 dollars). We never imagined that this number would double within a year’s time. Thanks to these 30.000 pioneers, we are now able to keep practicing ad-free, independent journalism.

The crowdfunding campaign finished on April 18, 2013, welcoming a total of 19,000 members. On September 30, 2013, De Correspondent went live. At that moment, the number had already risen to 20,000. As of today, another 10,000 members have signed up.

Marketing budget: €300

Our marketing budget? Well, we’ve spent around 300 euros on promoting posts on our Facebook page. The growth is completely due to word-of-mouth — our members are able to share articles for free with their friends and followers — and PR — every time a major Dutch media outlet covers our endeavour, we welcome twice as much members the following days than we normally do.

Though we are incredibly happy that around 2,000 new members are joining our cause every month, we are still nowhere near our final goal. For example, we do not yet know how many members will renew their one-year membership in September. Until then, the pressure remains. The more members sign up, the more we can improve our website and the more we can invest in investigative reporting.

responsive web design of de correspondent

30,000 members know more than 30 correspondents

As a result of the close collaboration between the journalists and the designers and programmers at founding partner and creative agency Momkai, the platform and its custom build editor Respondens are improving all the time. In the coming months new features will be launched, that will enable members to share their expertise. We believe every member to be an expert in something. 30,000 members know more than 30 correspondents, so we want to facilitate them in sharing their knowledge and expertise.

Let’s end this update with some interesting numbers. Our members have proven to be active contributors. Since the launch on 30 September 2013, our members wrote 29,000 contributions to our articles. Moreover, they shared an article with friends 103,000 times and in total, they read our articles 1.8 million times. We’ve published 720 articles until now.

We still have a long way to go and plan on keeping you updated through this Medium collection. Thanks for your attention, and greetings from Amsterdam, the Netherlands!

Author: Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth (1986) is the cofounder and CEO of The Correspondent, an ad-free journalism platform that has over 60,000 paying members. He lives in New York with his family.

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