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2018 Contribution Shortfall


2018 Fund Raising Goal = $50,000
Contributions to Date = $35,102 (70% of Goal)

Good News

We are relieved that Refdesk was able to offset its 2018 costs by supplementing contributions with advertising income. We have a growing audience and more subscribers than ever. Because of the combination these income sources, we have met our financial obligations, and our future is now safe and secure.

Bad News

2018 was the first year that Refdesk missed its annual fundraising goal since fundraising campaigns began in 2011. Many of our loyal contributors are deeply concerned about this, and what it may mean to Refdesk's future.

Why this happened

We made a number of changes to the way we fundraised, collected online payments, and handled account renewals throughout 2018. Each of these changes contributed to our fundraising shortfall:

  • We did not run a mid-year fundraising drive this year, because most of the giving happens at year end. It turns out that we needed both.
  • We stopped offering the ability to automatically renew accounts each year by storing your payment authorization.
  • Our new payment system did not email accounts prior to expiration requesting a renewal.
  • We had a few software bugs that made it difficult to process some contributions and renewals.

Although all of our known software bugs have been fixed, or are actively being worked with our payment processing service, we still have some work to do in order to re-introduce automated renewals and reminders. If each subscriber who renewed in 2017 renewed again in 2018, there would have been no fundraising shortfall. That's why we need to focus on making that process as easy as possible. We are confident that by addressing each of these challenges, we will have a successful fundraising effort in 2019. We are human too, and have learned from these mistakes.


It's not too late to contribute if you missed our 2018 contribution drive. Here are the options:

Contribute by Card Contribute by Check Questions
Contribute/Subscribe to Ad-free Refdesk using credit/debit card
Contribute by check, if you don't want an Ad-Free Refdesk account
If you have any questions or concerns, see our FAQ or contact us here

Ad-free Refdesk is a subscription-based service that allows you: (1) to view all of Refdesk with no ads of any kind on its 500+ pages, and (2) to load Refdesk faster than the regular version with ads. More About Ad-free Refdesk Here >>   Subscribe Here >>

Thank you all very much for your financial contributions to Refdesk.
Your support makes it possible for us to continue to offer our service year after year.


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