One of our Public Talks at 518 Valencia, Fall 2013.
Photo: LisaRuth Elliott
We launched Shaping San Francisco's digital archive at Foundsf.org in 2009. Since then the number of our users has grown to over 30,000 per month! Foundsf.org is a free public resource. We may look professional, and we ARE professional historians, but what you see mostly relies on volunteer labor to make it happen. No, we will never sell advertising space on this site, nor are we sponsored by companies or major patrons.
It is hard to become rich through cultural production, but we DO want to stay relevant and sustainable.
For this we turn to you.
Here's what you'll be supporting:
Shaping San Francisco has existed since the late 1990s, and is committed to excavating the lost history of San Francisco's residents, landscape, and economy. We see history as a creative act in the present, and want to make it available to you.
Won’t you please be one of our hardy band of dedicated supporters?
Sign up today.
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The fine print:
Your donation to our efforts is tax deductible (we operate as a project of Independent Arts & Media, a California nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation). We will send you one of our books (3 to choose from!) as a thank you gift for signing up at $10/month—or more (you can impersonate 2, 3 or more people by making your monthly donation a multiple of $10!).
Shaping San Francisco is supported by individual donations and small grants, which have been the key to covering the cost of everything from our internet bills to rent for our Talks space and our small office. The two co-directors earn a modest monthly stipend. Given how many hours we work on the project, this currently works out to just under San Francisco’s minimum wage of $10.24 per hour.
We understand that a free resource like our archive at Foundsf.org is easy to take for granted. And we don’t want to guilt-trip our users, or put a paywall in front of it and make everyone who comes looking for San Francisco history pay. But we think there are enough enthusiastic supporters like you who understand the drama facing independent media and independent historians and see the work we’re doing as a vital public good worthy of steady support.
History is (or should be) the air we breathe, the water we drink, the nourishment that keeps us connected to our lives where we are. It's a public utility! But no one pays for it like they do their electricity bills or water bills. Won't you join us in sustaining this vital public asset?
Chris Carlsson & LisaRuth Elliott
co-directors, Shaping San Francisco