Who/What is The Wire?
Published by the Foundation for Independent Journalism (FIJ), a non-profit Indian organisation, The Wire is a bold experiment as a news website in a space dominated by advertiser-funded, corporate-controlled newspapers, websites and TV Channels. It was founded in May 2015 by Siddharth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia, and MK Venu.
What is the readership of The Wire?
Around 10 million individuals read The Wire and/or watch it's video content every month. Of these around 3 million access The Wire in Hindi, Marathi and Urdu, 6-odd million watch its videos and 6 million plus readers access The Wire in English. In addition to these millions of readers and viewers engage with each other and The Wire on various social media platforms every month.
What is The Wire's revenue model?
The Wire is registered as a non-profit and sustains itself through contributions from readers like yourself, grants from foundations and some advertising revenue. Other smaller sources of revenue includes events and content syndication.
A major part of The Wires monthly expense is met through donations made by readers.
How does The Wire make sure that it is not influenced by advertisers?
Revenue via advertising on The Wire is a smaller part of the total revenue (typically less than 30% every month) earned. This is a major difference between The Wire and other news publications, many of who earn almost all their revenue from advertisers. Keeping this part small allows The Wire to choose the advertisers it engages with directly and thus avoid any influence of advertisers on the content. Also as a major part of The Wire's advertising income is via programmatic ads on the website and mobile site and ads on The Wire's Youtube channel there is no direct interaction between The Wire and advertisers. This removes any chance of advertisers influencing The Wire's content.
How can I donate to The Wire?
You can donate to The Wire by clicking on https://thewire.in/support.
Here you can make one-time, monthly, or annual contributions.
You can also send your donations via cheques, payable to Foundation for Independent Journalism to The Manager,
F44-45 Shaheed Bhagat Singh Marg, Opp. Jain Bhavan,
Gole Market, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
How does the subscription/ retail model work?
This model relies on small sums of money from large numbers of people.
The Wire reaches out proactively to each and every user via a call or a meeting to see if they would be willing to support and helps the donor make a donation anywhere between Rs 200 to over a lakh depending on their capacity.
A subset of donors give a fixed amount every month - and this becomes extremely valuable as it is a predictable source of income.
How does a recurring support plan help The Wire?
News gathering and publishing is a human-intensive exercise. Any report published by The Wire requires at least 4-5 individuals to actively work on it. To keep The Wire sustainable, we have to create a predictable and stable source of income. A recurring support plan by our readers and viewers is the best way to achieve this.
Will a donation of a sum as low as Rs 200 a month help The Wire?
Yes. Every small bit counts. When you commit to support us with Rs 200 every month or even Rs 10 for an article, we see someone who is making our democracy stronger. This gives us confidence to continue doing our work.
Why is this regarded as a donation/contribution and not a subscription where I can get something in return for the amount contributed?
We would love to give you something in exchange for your support, however, the income tax rules prevent us from doing so. If we offer you anything in exchange for your support, then the amount collected will be regarded as commercial revenue and not a donation. If you remember we had mentioned that The Wire is a non-profit under Indian laws. This means that The Wire's commercial income must remain under 20% of its total income.
What are some of the big donations that The Wire has received?
Our single largest donor till now is the Bangalore-based Independent and Public Spirited Media Foundation (IPSMF). Rohan Narayan Murthy supported our science coverage for two years, from 2016-2018. We received our first grant from the IPSMF in 2016 and have an assurance of only three years of support. So far, in addition to large grants, The Wire has been fortunate to collect a small but significant portion of its donation from individual readers and supporters. In the coming months we want to be a news organisation which is supported completely by its readers and viewers.
Why do I have to be an Indian citizen?
Under Indian law, only Indian citizens and Indian entities can make donations to a media non-profit like The Wire. If you are a non-resident Indian (NRI), you can still make a donation, in any currency. But Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) may not.
What information will The Wire collect from me when I make a payment?
The Wire will retain your email id and mobile number to ensure that payment confirmation or failure can be recorded and intimated. The tax laws also mandate that we must gather personally identifiable information, such as name, email id, phone number, and address of all contributors to extend tax benefits. Other information such as PAN card details for amounts above Rs 4999 are retained as per current tax laws.
Do I have to share PAN details for donations?
The Wire used to collect PAN details for all contributions, however, as per the advice of our accountants and lawyers, we now collect PAN details for contributions above Rs 4999.
Is my information safe?
Yes. The Wire does not share any information you share during the payment process with any third party other than the payments service providers. We also promise not to sell or trade your information in any form. The data collected during the process is stored in a way that complies with the best data security protocols in the industry.
Why do I receive a receipt from Razorpay when I make a donation/contribution?
Razorpay is the payment gateway used by The Wire for collecting donations online. Every supporter will receive an invoice from Razorpay as well as a receipt from The Wire. You will also receive an SMS from your bank which will indicate that the payment has been made to RAZ-Foundation. This is short for Razorpay and Foundation for Independent Journalism.
Are contributions made to The Wire tax free?
Yes, contributions made to The Wire are tax-exempt under 80G of the Income Tax Act. Please make sure you share your correct email id while contributing in order to receive your tax exemption certificate. Exemptions are valid only in India.
In the case of recurring and one time donations how and when do you give the 80G receipt?
The 80G receipts are mailed to the donors within a couple of months for high value donors and on demand for those donating amounts below Rs 5000 (yearly aggregate). Currently all our donors can write to support@thewire, office@thewire to request for the 80G certificate. We will be adding a form for the same on the Support Page very soon
How long does a recurring contribution remain active?
All recurring contributions remain active until cancelled.
How can I cancel my recurring contribution?
You can cancel from here: https://thewire.in/subscription-management/lookup
Can I make an offline donation?
Yes, you can also send us your donation cheques made out to 'Foundation for Independent Journalism' via regular mail to the following address:-
F-44-45, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Marg,
Lane opposite Jain Bhawan
Gole Market, New Delhi 110 001
Please make sure you mention your PAN numbers while making the donation.
Can I make a cash donation?
Small cash donations against a receipt can be made in person only if you provide us with your PAN details, address and phone number.
Are there other ways beyond donation that individuals can support The Wire?
Yes, if individuals wish to support The Wire beyond contributing monetarily they can do any or all of the following
- Purchase equipment for our teams (video cameras etc)
- Volunteer with their time and help us in design and technology to create new products
- Share our stories and spread the word during donation campaigns
- Volunteer during events held in their cities
- Volunteer as researchers (dependent on editorial requirements)
How do I get in touch with The Wire?
For donation related queries and concerns you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org. For matters regarding content published on The Wire you can write to our Public Editor at email@example.com
Existing supporters of The Wire will also receive a message form The Wire via Whatsapp.