This time last year, I sent out a bit of an S.O.S. message: The COVID year 2020 had taken us to the edge of our possibilities and partly beyond. Both our output and our reach had multiplied. We had to massively expand the editorial team. I asked for your support and the response was overwhelming. We couldn’t have done it without your help. Many thanks for that!
Nevertheless, will close 2021 with a significant deficit. We see this as an investment in the future: the demand for what we do is huge, in Germany, in Europe and globally, and we have worked very hard to satisfy it. We have relaunched our podcast. We have massively expanded our online symposia. We have launched the „Public Access to Public Law“ (OZOR) project. At the same time, we have come close to maintaining the level of the exceptional year 2020 in terms of both output and reach.
This was only possible through a further significant increase in staff. We are now five people in the editorial team (without OZOR), not counting myself, who work part-time (usually 50%) on this huge project every day. I thank my maker every day for the good fortune of being able to work with these great people. Nevertheless, we almost collapsed again in December, so I hired a sixth editor on 1.1.2022.
Next year, these investments must bear fruit.
We have come a little closer to our OZOR goal of obtaining consortium funding for the regular blog operation from the library budgets of the universities and institutes where our authors and readers research, teach and publish, but we have still quite a bit to go. Still, we will be able to finance one part-time editor position in this way in 2022, which is great.
We have also made progress with respect to our crowdfunding efforts with our readers, i.e. you: on Steady, the number of supporting members has more than doubled from 382 to 816. Just a bit more and we have two more of our part-time editor positions covered this way!
But even that won’t suffice to put Verfassungsblog on a solid financial footing. We don’t do paywalls, we don’t do online advertising, and we want to keep it that way. We firmly believe that this can work: open access for all.
The prerequisite for this is that the number of university libraries participating in consortium funding increases. We will do our utmost to achieve this in the coming year, and for this we may need your help to convince library directors who may not be so familiar with our work that Verfassungsblog is worth the expenditure.
The other prerequisite is that the number of Steady members rises further. There are still thousands who use and read Verfassungsblog intensively without paying. I can’t quite believe that they all have sound reasons for doing so. Especially since every new Steady member gets our legendary „Hold on to the Constitution“ mug for free:
Alternatively, or cumulatively, if you have books, events or vacancies to promote and a budget for doing so, it would be great if you put an ad in the editorial. It doesn’t cost much and gives you visibility and us a bit of margin.
All the best to you, a successful 2022 and see you soon!