Answering Some Of Your Tip Jar Questions

I’ve noticed a few recurring questions and themes in the tip jar comments, so I’m going to take my best crack at answering them.

Where does the money go?
* Full-time salaries for Ben & Meg
* Freelancer dollars (everybody else)
* Legal fees
* Eventual cost of running servers.

All the tip jar donations go directly to paying for’s overhead.

How much does it cost to run the site?
Between $190 and $300k. We’re not allowed to be specific, but Consumers Union Annual Report is a matter of public record and can be found here.

Why are you asking for money? Didn’t Consumers Union just buy you? Don’t you make them money with subscriptions? Are you guys in trouble?

There’s a difference between funding and revenue. The site is fully funded and supported under Consumers Union, a non-profit company. They also take donations. As for revenue, some of our readers go over to Consumer Reports through links and banners, and some of them end up subscribing to Consumer Reports. In addition, your generous donations further help offset costs. In other words, they pay the bills and we help out a bit, but aren’t obligated to “earn our keep, or else,” as it were.

Why don’t you put up a donation thermometer and button?
We will, eventually.

I don’t like reading posts about the tip jar.
We’ll only be posting them for another week or so, but if you can’t wait, make this your new Consumerist bookmark: ../../../..//tag/not:donate-to-consumerist/

It filters out all posts tagged with “donate to consumerist.”

Any other questions? Ask them in the comments or send me an email at

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