2021 Financial Report
We launched our membership plan in early 2020 when headlines were all about Brexit and borders—when both a pandemic and the possibility of war in Europe felt like distant dystopias. Two years later, headlines have drastically changed. But our mission hasn’t. Now, more than ever, we need a united front of independent media.
At the end of 2021, we asked ourselves: how can we safeguard our position as an independent and slow media?
This past year was a pivotal one for us. We reevaluated our membership program, finances, outreach and communications strategies and our magazine production to try and understand how we could continue as a media outlet, all the while doing right by you, our community.
As a non-profit media collective, we build our work around projects and around people. Any unspent funds will always be fully re-invested in new projects and our journalism.
Thank you for supporting us with every step we have taken. We are grateful for your presence, input and questions. Let’s dive into last year’s finances to see all those changes translated into our work.
As always, most of our spending goes to the people working to make Are We Europe what our organisation is and stands for.
Half of our expenses go to our dedicated core team. Think of the familiar faces you see recurring in the weekly newsletter, on our social media and website. So that’s our editorial and design teams, our video and podcasts producers, management, our heads of communication, marketing, business, growth, and of course, the membership team. Our team grew in size last year, which is why the team salary doubled compared to our 2020 report!
We have our trusted contributors and freelancers, a dynamic and ever-growing community of around 800 talented storytellers dispersed all over Europe. Ultimately, our magazine is about providing support to anyone looking to tell a story. We need to make sure we can stay flexible and tailor our budget to unforeseen situations. Just like what we are doing now with our Ukraine Issue. Or last year, when we called in an advisory board for our Queer Issue.
Office costs and “others” are all the boring but (very) important stuff: paying for our online tools, internet, rent, banking costs, taxes, advertising budgets, accounting, lunches, team transports, brainstorming workshops and team weekends (not so boring after all).
We love print (and we think you do too). We work closely with Heftwerk, a publishing company specialising in indie magazines based in Berlin. They print our beloved magazine and oversee shipping and logistics with us.
Next to our magazine production, we dedicate budget and resources to projects for Awe Studio. If you didn’t know, Awe Studio is our new storytelling agency. We make engaging multimedia projects, articles or videos for like-minded organisations such as our podcast series Bridging the Atlantic with the Bertelsmann Foundation or This is What a Generation Sounds Like with Allianz Kulturstiftung. From 2022 onwards, however, we have further separated Awe Studio from the media production.
We make most of our magazine sales through physical and online bookstores. It’s thus crucial for us to reach out to distributors and stockists. We also sell straight from areweeurope.com’s online shop!
Grants, sponsorships and our projects at Awe Studio are our primary sources of revenue. Thanks to organisations like the Adessium Foundation, Stars4Media or Alliance4Europe, we can produce our magazine and support our contributors. We’ve also participated in projects like Untold Stories, Humans in the EU and Sphera.
With our co-working space, KANO, we were able to rent out affordable desk space to other European creatives. If you are around, feel free to drop by.
We ended the year with 450 members. And while we haven’t reached our goal of becoming less dependent on external financing, we are more than grateful for your believing in us! We hope you will continue to enjoy our magazines and stories in the year to come. Never hesitate to reach out, and help us shape the stories and projects you want to see.
So what did all these numbers mean? We hope we have provided you with a satisfactory explanation. Want to see last year’s report? Go here ☞
Do you have any questions or suggestions on what we can do better? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You may have noticed that the share of our membership revenue is still fairly small. To stay solvent, we need to increase the amount of Are We Europe members. We want to reach 700 members by the end of April. Help us by referring our membership to a friend.
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