As part of J-Source and ProjetJ's transition to becoming an independently sustainable organization, Carleton University is looking to crowdfund $25,000 for a business manager position at the university.
The new structure of J-Source and ProjetJ will see Carleton house the business operations for both sites and the $25,000 will pay for the business manager's position in Ottawa, said Christopher Waddell, director of Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication and a member of the J-Source transition team.
J-Source and ProjetJ's audience has grown substantially over the past few years, so the team decided to tap into it as well as the journalism community, said Waddell. “It also indicates our readers value the publications enough to contribute a little bit to help it survive and help it grow.”
A successful crowdfunding campaign will also make the organization's model more attractive when it seeks funding from other donors next month, he said. As of June 20, more then 40 per cent of the required funds to support J-Source and ProjetJ's transition has been raised and the crowdfunding campaign will help to fill the remainder.
The business plan calls for crowdsourcing funds every year, but the amount could change depending on how other fundraising initiatives go. The newly formed organization will also apply for university and government grants to keep it sustainable.
J-Source and ProjetJ have been funded and managed by the Canadian Journalism Foundation since it was founded in 2007, but while the CJF will no longer manage or be the principal funder come January, it will remain a contributing supporter.
Management of the sites will be taken on by 14 journalism programs across the country, with Carleton, Ryerson University and Université Laval playing key roles. J-Source's editorial operations will be hosted by Ryerson while ProjetJ will see its editorial operations housed by Université Laval. A detailed list the Carleton business manager's role is listed on the crowdfunding page
Waddell said he hopes J-Source and ProjetJ can continue to expand and grow because there are very few sources for journalism information, debate and discussion in Canada.
Reaching the crowdfunding goal will show other potential donors that the site has a lot of support, and that “it's a valuable form of information and a valuable way of spreading information within the journalism and media worlds in Canada,” said Waddell. “I think that may encourage other people to think 'Well, if people value it that much it's worthwhile for us to contribute too.”