Site finances update, 1/15/2020 January 15, 2020 3:09 PM   Subscribe

Hey folks, time for a quarterly update on how the site's doing financially, and a reminder that the direct financial support of MetaFilter's membership and readers is fundamental to keeping this place operational. Your help supporting this community is vital, and appreciated.

The cautious good news: the budget changes we were putting into motion in the latter half of last year (see previous quarterly update) have gotten us to a break-even place. This last month our standard recurring expenses—payroll, hosting, and misc. service expenses—came out to about $30,500 and our net income from all sources was about $31,500. It's not exactly easy breathing but it's a small net and that's a welcome change from where we were last summer running something like a $7K/mo deficit.

The main caveat on the above is there's historically been a general bump in traffic and ad revenues in the last month or two of the year; holiday shopping + year end ad budget spending seems to lead to a December boom and January bust on that front, and so I'll be keeping an eye out to see what happens in the next couple months as far as possible rebounds go. We've seen Adsense drop somewhat sharply between January and April/May a few times in the past so I'm mostly going to expect that and be pleasantly surprised if it doesn't happen this time.

restless_nomad has been working part-time recently with plans to depart in the next month or two; she talks briefly about what she's up to here. We are in turn beginning the process to find and hire a new part-time (at least to start) moderator to fill in where she's leaving off.

And a big bit of outlier good news: we received a very significant one-time contribution from an anonymous supporter of the site. I can't and won't go into it beyond that, other than being clear that it's a no-strings-attached contribution and that I'm very thankful for the room its given us to move with things that have been otherwise difficult to plan for financially in the last few years.

As a one-time contribution it doesn't change our month-to-month revenue situation, so our budget challenges remain what they have been. But it's substantial enough that it has allowed us to step back a bit from the month-to-month brink we'd been at with our depleted savings and focus a bit more on long-term site planning and development, and staff professional development possibilities. It's made it possible for us to budget more generously for the anti-oppression/anti-racism consulting we've talked about previously. It also means we can pursue our current hiring process without worrying about the instability of that new person's position in the face of some sudden bad turn in revenue.

I'll check in again on all this in April if we don't have reason to update before then. And as with the last update, I'm going to do this with comments closed; I do appreciate feedback and support so you're always welcome to reach out to the contact form or to me directly.
posted by cortex (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 3:09 PM 55 users marked this as a favorite

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