“As I write this, news has arrived that Wikipedia would be unavailable for the whole of Wednesday, 18 January. I am shocked because it is a site I use often; where would I get my misinformation now? I may have to use a paid-for site instead and this raises the whole issue of how I have managed to avoid the regular pleas for donations from Wikipedia. I am a freeloader, enjoying access to a free service and giving nothing back. And I am not alone!
Many publishing companies have begun to introduce pay walls for their website rather than rely on a free model. Presumably, this will reduce the traffic considerably, but introduces a subscription stream and ensures that advertisers have access to relatively well heeled subscribers. It seems to work for the FT, but I am not sure about the Third Sector! Most charities have always had a mixed funding model, where the service user normally receives a free or subsidised service and a third party donor or funder makes up the difference. The charity, as the agent, has to ensure that it can deliver the desired service and cover all of the costs of doing so from the income received.
The funding landscape is changing considerably with government cuts biting ever further across society. While some charities will find grant resources cut back, others may be able to access new income streams such as Social Investment. The change is an ideal opportunity to review the funding methods of your charity.
If you are interested in exploring this possibility, please contact Chris Harris to talk it through.