South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) is a national movement strategy and advocacy...
The Forge: A subscription model to increase revenue support
The Forge is a newly created journal and community by and for organizers across the progressive movement, elevating the strategy and practice of organizing by sharing ideas, methods, history, and inspiration. While The Forge succeeded in securing initial funding through foundation grants, they needed to develop revenue generation strategies that were independent and driven by the progressive movement to sustain long-term growth.
With a grant from Progressive Multiplier, The Forge hired a consultant to help them launch a tiered subscription system for individuals and organizations to have a more structured way to invest and support the content. The new subscription tiers ranged from $500 to $25,000, offering opportunities to various organizations that benefit from The Forge.
“The Forge has open, free access to all of the material. There's no paywall where we start to exclude people and make each pay money to access,” said Kelsea Norris, Director of Donor Organizing at The Forge. “We are at the center of the movement in many ways, convening many different institutions from funders to different grassroots organizations to labor folks. [This model] created a space where those groups could be our subscribers.”
After their first round of emails introducing the model, they raised $19,000 from 12 organizations. The Forge attributes their success to asking groups with whom they already had deep relationships. The subscription model also opened the door to add-on funding opportunities. By demonstrating their strategy and structure with the subscription model, The Forge was asked to apply for select grants that total $250,000.
To continue to grow the model, The Forge will focus on cultivating their relationships with organizations that have the potential to join as subscribers and sharing targeted, themed content of value with them. A reliable stream of independent revenue will allow The Forge to reach more supporters and potentially to be able to pay their contributors, broadening the number of voices who are a part of the community.
The mission of The Forge is to elevate the strategy and practice of organizing through the sharing of ideas, methods, history, and inspiration and by building connection and community among organizers and between sectors of the progressive movement.