FDL is one of the few independent media organizations out there with an effective activism shop. I can’t really think of another site in the progressive blogosphere that has mastered the press-and-action combo quite as well as Jane has – especially without a dime of corporate or party money. It’s what continues to define FDL as a leading voice in the movement and allows us to push boundaries without hesitation.
But while we’ve been incredibly effective with what we’ve got, it pains us to know we can do so much more. The FDL membership association is our vision of how we can do better, together.
Believe it or not, our work is literally supported by the $5 or $10 donations you make on our blog and via our email list. That’s how we’ve kept the lights on since 2004, and its what we’ve used to build Firedoglake into a true force in American politics.
Chasing issues to fund our work is extremely stifling and limits the potential impact we could really make. It distracts us from more important work, like planning longer-term actions, sticking with campaigns and spending more time enriching the resources this site has to offer. It keeps us from expanding our staff so we have more people to focus on individual issue areas and run effective campaigns there. And it’s just downright stressful having to worry about how we’re going to continue month after month without any predictable source of funding.
Cue the FDL Membership association – a brilliant idea that originated like many others at FDL: in our comments section. It allows us to continue to build our organization on donations from our supporters while putting us on steadier footing for our future. Since its inception, the membership association has revolutionized our work at FDL – we’ve become much more organized internally, and we’re churning out projects and ideas left and right.
It’s been an incredible start and a real harbinger of what we can accomplish with a predictable financial base. But we’re not quite there yet, and we’ll only get there if we have the backing of the folks who make this place so valuable in the first place: our readers, writers, commenters and activists — YOU. Our members are the foundation we have to build upon, and are the true source of our strength and efficacy.
So while we’re constantly looking for ways to expand our abilities for the FDL community as a whole, we’ve come up with special opportunities for our members to get more engaged and involved in our work.
We’re launching an activist newsletter for our members, so they can have a biweekly update on the various campaigns we’re running here at FDL, their status and our plans moving forward.
Then there’s our FDL members-only town hall series that has already turned a few heads – and the guests and topics keep getting better and better. What really makes these town halls great is that members get to engage presenters in a Q&A section at the end – typically the longest and most interesting part of the session. Where else do you get an opportunity to debate experts, activists, and other members of our movement on the pressing issues of the day?
We’re also exploring members-only actions — things like asking our most dedicated members to schedule meetings with members of Congress or other elected officials, as ambassadors of our progressive community. Our members will help further and strengthen our actions by taking on more involved tasks than signing petitions or making calls.
This goes hand in hand with the FDL members volunteer program that Jane has been working so hard on – a way for members to get even more involved in our operations and really make Firedoglake their own. The volunteer program will give members a place within our organization to help us further our mission and grow.
As a thanks for supporting our work, each new member receives a goodie-bag full of FDL stuff. Join at the Friends level for $45 per year and we’ll send you a personalized membership card, exclusive members-only discounts at progressive retailers, a pack of Firebagger stickers and invitations to our exciting series of FDL town halls. Become a Benefactor for $120 per year and we’ll throw in an FDL t-shirt or tote bag, and if you join as an elite Gosprey member, we’ll also invite you to an exclusive annual members-only dinner with the FDL community!