For the price of a coffee per month, help crowdfund independent Central American journalism that monitors the powerful, exposes wrongdoing, and explains the most complex social phenomena, with the goal of building a better-informed public square. Cancel anytime.
Reader support is crucial to making independent journalism viable in the long term. Rather than installing a paywall, we have opted for a collaborative model where readers contribute not to access our work, but rather to guarantee that we can keep doing independent and investigative journalism that is free and open for the world to consume. Reader support also helps fund our public editor, tasked with holding us accountable to our audience.
In supporting our work on a monthly or annual basis, you'll help make our work sustainable. In return, you'll get access to:
Meetings with our journalists.
We'll invite you to in-person and virtual events on our reporting and current events. Also available for one-time contributors.
During the Central American Journalism Forum every year, our regular crowdfunders gain access to special discounts and activities.
Regular crowdfunders get 20% off in our bookstore.
Is there another way to support El Faro besides debit or credit card?
We also accept bank wires. Our account number is 082510016976 at Bank Davivienda, and our legal name is Tripode S.A de C.V. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you the Swift Code and other details for international wire transfers.
If I become a crowdfunder, how long will I be part of the community?
Your membership will last as long as you want. You can cancel any time by requesting it by email. We will confirm your cancelation in 3 to 5 working days.
Is there a minimum amount for contributions?
Yes. You can make a one-time donation starting at $10, monthly starting at $2, or annually at $20.
In terms of benefits, is there a difference between one-time and recurring contributions?
Yes. Those who donate even once gain access to special discussions on our work, whereas those who contribute on a monthly or annual basis also gain access to our bookstore and ForoCAP discounts.
What happens to my contributions?
After taxes and commissions charged by online payment processors, your contributions are invested 100% into our journalism. Producing an investigation implies paying reporters, editors, developers, and designers; footing the bill for fieldwork, including transportation, lodging, and daily expenses; photocopy fees for large public files; and sometimes more. In addition, a percentage of your contributions is used to pay our public editor.
What is the role of the public editor?
The public editor maintains editorial independence while monitoring our work, responding to questions and criticism through periodic writing, and identifying shortcomings in our reporting — both in the treatment given to each story and adherence to journalistic ethics. Chilean journalist Monica Gonzalez has worked as El Faro’s public editor since June 2018.
How are you accountable for reader contributions?
We periodically send transparency reports in special newsletters reporting not only reader-generated income, but broader details of our general financials, key staff and institutional decisions, and other internal news that we judge important for our crowdfunding community to know.
Can I have a tax exemption receipt for my contributions?
No. Since El Faro is not an NGO, we are unable to give tax exemption receipts. You can ask for a formal invoice for your contributions by emailing us at email@example.com.
What is El Faro's business model?
With a general budget of just over $850,000 per year, El Faro’s work is primarily funded by international foundations (65% of revenue). The traditional media business model based on advertising (22%) is not viable for independent media like El Faro, whose strategy is not to get traffic to the site at any cost. That is why asking for reader support is a logical alternative to the old model of charging for the printed newspaper or a paywall on the web. In 2015, El Faro launched its first crowdfunding campaign, which has evolved to our current model of membership and contributions. The income from our readers represents roughly 4% of our revenue. Lastly, the tickets and tuition fees of the ForoCAP, journalistic alliances with other media, royalties from books and syndication of contents to international media represent 9% of our revenue.
Who owns El Faro?
El Faro was founded by journalist Carlos Dada and businessman Jorge Simán in 1998. They were the only shareholders until 2014 when, as part of the collective spirit of the project, others from the newsroom acquired shares. The current owners of El Faro, aside from Dada and Simán, are: José Luis Sanz, Carlos Martínez, Sergio Arauz, Daniel Valencia, Óscar Martínez, Ricardo Vaquerano and Élmer Menjívar.