Why are we even having a pledge drive?
I'll tell you why.
First of all, we want to increase the staff of The Sound of Young America. For the last three months, producer Julia Smith has been working full-time on the show. I've paid for 40% of her salary out of my own pocket. The extra time Julia's hard work affords me is the biggest reason I've been able to add Judge John Hodgman to our lineup. We need to raise money so Julia can have a full-time job at a reasonable wage.
Theoretically, The Sound of Young America editor Nick White works for us two days a week. The reality is that it's more like three, and even that's compressed. I want to hire him to work on The Sound four days a week, so we can have more highly-produced episodes like our interview with Mavis Staples last month.
Similarly, our costs in producing The Sound are increasing all the time. We've been running lots of comedy in the show the last year or so - something in almost every episode. We pay the people who write that material, and we pay for studios all over the world in which they're recorded. More and more, also, we have to book studios for Sound guests who aren't in Los Angeles. Two out of our four pledge drive episodes were taped in a studio we booked in New York, for example. We're also moving this month - we need more room to accommodate the four people who work in our office.
Theresa, our development director, has been working without a salary for about six months. She's a vital part of MaxFunCon, arranges all of our road shows, manages relations with donors and underwriters, and is generally indispensable. She needs to get paid for her work.
Speaking of getting paid for their work, we have a group of amazing podcasters who deserve to be paid more! We've been giving My Brother, My Brother and Me a monthly check, but it's for a modest amount that will be increased after the pledge drive. We also want to increase the monthly checks that Stop Podcasting Yourself and Jordan get. All of these folks are working incredibly hard, and they deserve to be compensated for their efforts.
We're making content that isn't designed as a wrapper for advertisements or as a lowest-common-denominator mass market product. We're making stuff that you care about and that we care about. I think it's worth your support.
Everything we do, we do because people like you donate. Thousands of them. I appreciate if you send us $200 a month, and I appreciate if you send us $2 a month. What's important to me is that if you like and care about the work we're doing, you give.
Do your part today, and see how great it feels.