The consumer advocacy you see on this site may be free, but it’s not cheap.
Everything you see is funded by individual supporters like you. And if it weren’t for the cases we resolve and cover here every day — your cases — this would be just another navel-gazing complaint blog.
My advocacy team and I are beyond grateful for your support. It’s more important than ever.
Here’s the thing: You may have heard that the mainstream media has thrown in the towel on advocacy. That’s kind of true. The New York Times canceled its consumer feature, the Haggler, last year. Consumer Reports pulled the plug on the popular Consumerist blog in 2017. Even one of my own weekly columns got the axe, with my rate being cut by more than half. I refused to quit.
At a time when consumer rights are being dismantled before our very eyes, this site is one of the few that fights for you every day.
But during the first week of our winter fundraiser, I received an interesting question from a supporter: What if I want to do more than the three levels of support you currently offer? Specifically, he wanted to put up $1,000 as a matching donation in January, when we resume our fundraising (we took a break between Christmas and New Year’s). And another reader wanted to know if she could sign up to donate monthly.
It occurred to me that there’s no way to do that. But that changes today.
I’m pleased to introduce the new Inner Circle (IC), modeled after the top-tier underwriting levels at many museums.
Here are the Inner Circle levels:
Supporter — $500 to $740
Curator — $750 to $1,490
Advocate — over $1,500
Inner Circle members will receive special benefits, including access to our secret Facebook page and a subscription to our exclusive monthly newsletter sent to our corporate underwriters, with metrics and special insights into the advocacy. I’m also planning special IC-only giveaways to reward these key supporters. It’s as close to the advocacy as you can get without actually being an advocate.
If you use PayPal, you can donate monthly to gain access to the Inner Circle.
I’m retaining the existing support levels in 2018. But I’ll also be boosting some membership benefits there. For example, if you sign up this year, I’ll be developing a supporters-only newsletter for you, which will feature terrific offers, insights and tips. And I’m always working on better ways to say “thank you” for your support — so please let me know if there’s something you think I could be doing.
I’m really excited about this week’s fundraising efforts, because I’ll be giving away gift certificates from our friends at Bluffworks, which is the ultimate travel attire. We had a tremendous response to the Bluffworks offer during our last fundraiser, and they were kind enough to participate again.
I hope you’ll consider becoming part of our Inner Circle today. We’re just over a quarter of the way through our fundraising goal, and I’m looking forward to getting on with the advocacy in 2018.
You can make that happen. Thank you!