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The Bristol Cable

Transparency

The Bristol Cable is committed to financial and organisational transparency.

We are a registered Community Benefit Society, owned and supported by our member-owners in Bristol. Our Registration Number is: 32448R, and our Company Number is: IP324478

We hope the information below answers any questions you may have, but if you have further questions please get in touch.

The Cable’s operating budget is currently made up of membership contributions (35%), grants (60%) and non-corporate advertising (5%).

Membership

In 2023, we launched a new member offer to encourage higher contributions while preserving our free to access journalism and member democracy. Different benefits are available for members who contribute above £1, £5 and £10/month. We also launched a Patron membership for anyone paying more than £1,000/year as a way of encouraging those who can afford to give more to do so, increasing their impact on people-powered local journalism, and subsidising our work for others who can’t afford as much. Patrons receive all Cable benefits, plus the opportunity to opt-in to receiving an annual impact report and their name on the website as a token of gratitude.

As per section 2.4.3. of our Ethical Fundraising Policy, the name of any member, donor or grantmaker who gives £5,000/year or more will be listed on the website as a rule, in line with the guidance of the Who Funds You? project.

Grants

As we build the membership and work towards sustainability, we apply for grant funding from philanthropic foundations to make up our budget. All the organisations we work with respect our absolute editorial independence and recognise our attempt to build a new model for local journalism. Fundraising decisions are based on our Ethical Fundraising Policy.

Print advertising

Our print advertising is managed by Ethical Media Sale & Marketing, and we make decisions on who to partner with based on our Ethical Advertising Policy.

Philanthropic supporters to date

2023, February: £18,000 core funding from Lankelly Chase.

2023, January: £40,000 over two years from Power to Change to develop our community tech.

2022, July: €130,000 from the European Journalism Centre for Future of Cities solutions journalism project.

2021, August: £23,350 from Lankelly Chase to develop our Community Relationship Management system.

2020, December: $100,000 core funding plus $70,000 match funding from the Reva & David Logan Foundation over two years.

2020, February: £41,143 from Nesta Future News Pilot Fund to develop our community engagement practices and tools.

2020, January: $450,000 core funding from Luminate (formerly the Omidyar Network) over three years.

2018: £5,000 from the Centre for Investigative Journalism for Media Lab 2018.

2018, January: $275,000 core funding from the Omidyar Network over two years.

2017, November: $180,000 core funding plus $75,000 match funding from the Reva & David Logan Foundation over three years.

2017, February: £6,500 from Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust for police surveillance campaign.

2015, November: $120,000 core funding from the Reva & David Logan Foundation over two years.

2015, August: £6,500 from Nesta for audience analysis project.

2015, March: £5,000 from Moondance Foundation, for Media Lab 2017.

2014, April: £1,500 from Lush for core funding.

2014, April: £3,300 raised in a crowdfunding campaign.

2013, August: £1,500 from Co-ops UK for core funding.

Annual Accounts

No matter how much you pay, we operate a one member, one vote policy.

Decisions can be voted on at the AGM, and in callouts which are sent via the Cable Insider, our exclusive members newsletter.

Cable members get together at each Annual General Meeting to look at the big questions facing the co-op. How should we spend our resources? What projects shall we focus on? What topics should we cover more often?

All members are invited to stand for and directly elect our board of directors, who offer advice for and scrutiny of the staff team.

Check out videos and results from previous AGMs here.

Here’s a rough guide to where your money goes, and how much things cost:

1 member contributing £10/month = 1 freelance article per year

3 members contributing £10/month = 1 community event

75 members contributing £10/month = 1 month-long investigation

240 members contributing £10/month = 1 full-time salary

362 members contributing £10/month = 1 year-long investigation

To be fully funded by members we would need:

3,333 members contributing £10/month = fully funded by members (thrifty budget)

6,250 members contributing £10/month = fully funded by members (ideal budget)

You can see how much of a difference members can make by encouraging others to join, or by increasing their monthly contribution.

We collect basic information about our members – such as names, email addresses, basic demographic information such as age, or the area of Bristol you’re in. This is so that we can communicate with you, but also so we can understand things we might need to improve on (for example, focusing on getting more members in certain areas, or doing more work that serves younger people).

To hold this data, we use our own system called beabee, purpose-built for us by our Workplace Lead, Will Franklin. Will works part-time across both the Cable and beabee each week. Having our own system means your data is secure, and will only ever be used to better serve you, and to help the Cable do better work.

We are committed to building a workplace where anyone who wants to build a new approach to journalism that amplifies voices and challenges power can come to work and thrive.

We know that in the media, as in wider society, individuals and groups are discriminated against, for example due to their race, sex, class or ability. This discrimination is not always immediately obvious or visible. It is always unacceptable.

As an organisation we aim to create awareness of these issues, including our own role within them, and work to address them.

This is central to our values and crucial to our success as an organisation, as we can’t effectively amplify voices and challenge power if we don’t address our internal biases and diversify our team and audience.

As an organisation, we seek to:

  • Understand our own blind spots and develop our understanding of experiences other than our own.
  • Challenge and develop the structures, policies and culture of the Bristol Cable, as well as our own behaviours, to enable all those who work at the Cable to thrive and support the aims of the organisation.
  • Ensure all aspects of our work will be welcoming to all who share our core aims.

We are still learning (as an organisation and as individuals) what it means to have a more equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace. If you have any concerns/recommendations please get in touch.

Whenever we ask for information on your identity (e.g. ethnicity, religion) this will only be used to better deliver on our values. Information will remain anonymised.

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