Geez believes in the power of storytelling. Our financial statements and constantly shifting bank accounts also tell stories. We want to be transparent, accessible, and put our money where our mouth is.
Why move to sliding scale and what are the risks?
We love our Geez community and know that it holds vast economic diversity. Some of the most important work these days is unpaid or underpaid. And also, some folks doing radical and revolutionary work have enough economic security to go around.
Having a sliding scale subscription offers our community a chance to experiment with alternative economics. Perhaps, we hope, that it takes a little bite out of capitalism’s grasp by leaning into community and trusting that there will be enough.
The risk is that if enough community members choose to pay less, the sustainability of the magazine will be questioned. Would we have enough to pay our staff? To pay for printing? We take that risk knowingly. We believe that we can shift again if needed. We are resilient!
How did we get the numbers for the sliding scale?
- $150+ — Help us offer lower rates to folks who need them by supporting our ongoing work. This amount pays for more than the cost of your subscription.
- $97 — When you subscribe at this rate, you are covering the full cost to create and deliver 4 issues without the help of grants and donors.
- $65 — Subscribe at this rate with the help of subsidizing grants and donors.
- $39 — This is the amount we have charged US/Canadian subscribers for the last 4+ years. Subscribing at this rate means half the cost of your subscription is subsidized by grants and donors
- $20 — We want this magazine to be accessible to everyone in our community and offer this rate with the help of grants and donors. If this amount is not affordable, we ask folks to email us to work something out.
Why does a subscription cost the same amount for Canadians and U.S. subscribers regardless of currency?
This is how Geez’s Winnipeg team originally set up subscription rates, and we decided to continue the practice after moving to Detroit. Yes, it does mean that U.S. subscribers pay a higher rate for their subscriptions. Consider this an empire tax.
What happened to institutional and international subscription rates?
In the past we have charged a higher amount for organizations and international subscribers. For simplicity and clarity, we are letting that go for now, trusting that it will work out in the level folks pick. But we will reevaluate this if needed. If it is helpful, we would recommend the $97 rate for both international and institution.
Why does none of Geez’s revenue come from ads?
From its founding, Geez was committed to being 100% ad-free. This choice is part of our larger commitment to experimenting with alternatives to capitalism. Instead of investing in corporations, we focus our time and resources on filling the magazine with beautiful content. We hope our pages offer a respite from an advertisement-saturated world.
How are staff compensated?
At this point in time, all of our staff are part-time. Everyone is involved with work outside of Geez, whether paid or unpaid, family or community focused. We have a $15 USD minimum wage. Our team is flexible and accommodating. We hope to increase both the number of staff hours and compensation rates. Long term we want to offer an affordable healthcare option for U.S. staff (plus higher compensation to Canadians to reflect the investment in healthcare), as well as paid time off and employee benefits.
Where is Geez printed and how is it mailed out?
Quarterly issues are printed at the employee-owned Friesens Corporation in Altona, Manitoba. We print on 100% recycled paper. Our mailing house is Dycom in Winnipeg, Manitoba. To keep shipping costs low for U.S. subscribers, Dycom brings magazines across the border to ship from a U.S. post office.
We do not outsource our back-issue and merchandise inventory and shipping. We have lovely humans in our office who tape up your parcels and carry them to the post. For smaller publications and merch, we use a local Detroit union printer. For merchandise, it’s our goal to source union made, organic, and local products.
How are artists and writers compensated?
We generally pay contributors between $30-100 per contribution. We have superb contributing authors and artists, and we believe we need to pay them more in order to properly value their work. Increasing pay for contributors is our number one priority.
What other financial commitments do you make that align with your values?
When we pay for something, we prioritize spending our money with organizations rooted in the community, where we know the dollars we spend will stick around for a while, and create other community benefits. For example…
- We pay for office space in the parish hall of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Detroit. We share space in the building with social justice organizations doing important work in the city and the world. Our rent fees help keep a roof over a soup kitchen that runs out of the church basement.
- Geez does not make purchases from Amazon.
- We bank at two small local credit unions.
- We prioritize small, independent businesses (and have a soft spot for those who are committed to Detroit). For example, our liability insurance agent has an office a few blocks from the Geez office, and supports small businesses in Detroit.
- We prioritize bipoc-owned vendors. As one example, the accounting company that files our annual paperwork, Fryar Financial, is independent and black-owned.
Do you read stories better by just looking at the numbers? Here is a simplified budget.
|2020 Actual||2020 Budget|
|Subscriptions, Back-issues, Merchandise||55,500.00||69,500.00|
|Staff (7 part-time people)||55,120.00||65,660.00|
|Contributors and Podcast Support||8,260.00||10,000.00|
|Postage for Subscriptions and Web Sales||10,892.00||14,200.00|
|Administrative Costs Including Rent||6,000.00||7,425.00|
|Online Payment Processing Fees||3,268.00||3,750.00|
|Liability Insurance and Board Insurance||0.00||1,800.00|
|Subscriber Postcards and Newsletter Costs||1,020.00||2,000.00|
|Professional Orgs and Award Submission||1,052.00||1,900.00|
|Fundraising and Launch Parties||2,065.00||1,150.00|
Do you have more questions? Do you see something missing here? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.