'Bay Citizen' Gets New Funding

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Various wealthy philanthropists and foundations have chipped in to ensure the continuation of a local news website.

    The Bay Citizen was founded a year ago with a $5 million gift from Warren Hellman, the billionaire who pays for the Hardly Strictly festival. Since then, they've raised an additional $10 million. Approximately 1 percent comes from members and subscribers, with the bulk of the cash originating with charitable organizations, according to the SF Business Times.

    The first year of operation cost about $4 million, which included a staff of 28. The CEO makes about a half million dollars a year.

    Among those paying for the news site: Wells Fargo, the Fisher Family Fund, the Knight Foundation, and Diane Wilsey, best known for spearheading the rebuild of the De Young Museum.

    The Bay Citizen plans to use the windfall to pay for more editorial and technology work -- and, of course, recruiting more of those paying members. Members receive a special monthly newsletter, coupons, invitations to events, and a poster.

    Word circulated recently that the organization was running out of cash. Bay Citizen fundraisers were spotted around town, requesting donations in the style of Greenpeace volunteers. But those rumors turned out to be untrue, with no shortage of wealthy benefactors.

    Although donations are up, traffic is down, according to web monitoring firm Compete.com.