Madison, Wisconsin, est. 2014
© Tone Madison LLC, 2018
Tone Madison sustainers provide a vital source of support for our work through small, recurring monthly donations. They also enjoy a few perks that we think are pretty nice. We currently have three tiers for sustainers; if you'd rather just make a one-time donation, you can do so securely through PayPal or Square Cash. However you're able to support us, thank you—we can't do it without you.
Most of the revenue Tone Madison brings in goes toward paying our contributors for the writing, illustration, and other work they do as part of our coverage of music and culture in Madison. We believe journalists and artists should be paid for their work. When you donate, you're helping that happen. We have some basic costs to cover in the form of hosting costs for our website, but all in all we're a very lean organization and do not take on wasteful overhead—we don't even have office space.
Unfortunately, it is not. Tone Madison is not a non-profit, but an independently owned LLC.
We believe that our work will be more sustainable in the long run if we can pay for it through multiple sources of revenue. In addition to donations, Tone Madison brings in some money through ad sales, merch sales, and events. Each of these revenue sources inevitably has its ups and downs; if you rely too much on any given one, the ups and downs can make life really difficult.
We also believe that journalism as a whole is stronger when the people who value it help to pay for it. But just as importantly, we see our membership program as a way for readers to feel more involved and invested in the work we do.
Patreon announced in December 2017 that it would impose new processing charges upon donors. We felt this was unfair to our donors, who joined without ever agreeing to such charges. We treat our donors with respect, and arbitrary nickel-and-diming is not respectful. Patreon quickly reserved its decision, so we've left our Patreon intact for the time being, for those who prefer to give that way, but we decided we should start working on a better alternative anyway.
Our payment processing for donations is separate from our online store because our website provider, Squarespace, currently does not have a system for processing recurring payments. In light of the aforementioned changes at Patreon, PayPal's subscription system seemed like the best option that we could set up quickly while also providing secure payment processing to our members. We would like to develop a fully integrated in-house system for all of this, but that will take resources we currently do not have.
Reach publisher Scott Gordon at email@example.com.