Bureau Insiders - your questions answered

For more than a decade, TBIJ’s journalism has exposed injustice and sparked change.

In the past year alone our dogged, in-depth investigations have revealed how Qatar hacked the World Cup; uncovered rogue businessmen taking millions from ordinary taxpayers; and exposed useless child cancer drugs spreading across the globe.

Our reporting has prompted criminal investigations. We’ve driven changes in the law, transformed damaging business practices, and prompted much more real-world change. Through it all, we’ve empowered communities to tell their own stories.

But right now, we face a harsh reality: TBIJ will struggle to keep going in 2024 and beyond if we don’t find new funding. To keep exposing injustice and sparking change, we need more people to pay to support the work we do.

That’s why today we’ve launched TBIJ’s membership community, Bureau Insiders. Here’s everything you need to know.

TBIJ’s membership community.

Our Insiders donate to TBIJ every month because they believe investigative journalism is vital to keeping democracy alive. The money they contribute supports our investigations, helping us to expose injustice and spark change.

To secure more sustainable funding, and to involve our audience more deeply in our work.

TBIJ was founded in 2010 by pioneering journalist Elaine Potter, and got its start thanks to funding from the David & Elaine Potter Foundation. Since then, our work has been paid for primarily by philanthropic trusts and foundations around the world. In the past, 95% of our income has come from these grant-giving organisations, with about 5% coming from smaller individual donations.

But things are changing in a big way: Brexit has made the UK less attractive to foundations giving money from other parts of the world, and made it harder to access funds focused on supporting EU initiatives. Covid-19 led many organisations to reevaluate the projects they give cash to. Inflation and the cost of living crisis mean many foundations are giving less, while more organisations looking for investment has created a very competitive market.

All this means TBIJ is seeing a sizable drop in the amount of cash we get from trusts and foundations, and we now face a funding shortfall. It costs about £2.7m a year to run TBIJ. To keep going in 2024, we currently need to find £450,000. By expanding the pool of people who support TBIJ’s work, we hope to secure a more sustainable source of funding.

This will help TBIJ to not only survive but thrive. Our future plans include investigating even more subjects, in even more countries, and sharing findings with our audience in innovative, exciting ways that bring you into the very heart of our investigations.

You need to donate monthly to become a Bureau Insider, but how much you donate each month is up to you. We operate a “pay what you choose” model to keep Insiders accessible to everyone.

The average donation is £10 a month.

Rigorous, in-depth investigative journalism that drives real-world impact. Your contribution means we can keep doing work that exposes injustice and sparks change in 2024 and beyond.

Over the coming months, we will also be offering Insiders various ways to find out more about how our work gets done, such as Insiders events and newsletters. Watch this space.

If you’re already a regular TBIJ donor, thank you. Until now, about 5% of TBIJ’s income has come from small, individual donations like yours, so your support has been invaluable.

Bureau Insiders is an effort to expand the community of people who regularly contribute to TBIJ. Basically, we need more people like you.

As an existing monthly donor, you automatically become a Bureau Insider.

No. We want TBIJ’s work to have as much impact as possible, so our public interest journalism will always remain free to access on our website.

Your contribution helps us to produce investigations that benefit everyone.

Yes, you can. Just select the “donate once” button on our Support Us page. Thank you!

However, recurring contributions are vital to TBIJ’s financial sustainability. To join the Bureau Insiders community, you need to donate monthly.

TBIJ is the UK’s largest not-for-profit newsroom, so every single pound you give will be ploughed back into our newsroom to produce unique, independent journalism with real-world impact.

TBIJ’s budget covers salaries of the all staff who make our investigations possible, including reporters, editors, fact-checkers, impact producers, community organisers, fundraisers, audience specialists, and the operations and finance team who take care of them all. The budget also pays for office costs,; the IT, staff training, and travel needed for cutting-edge reporting; and legal costs when our journalism is challenged by the rich and powerful.

Each year we will report back to our Insiders on how TBIJ has spent its budget.

No problem. We understand that circumstances change. You can log in to your Insiders members area here to amend, pause, or cancel your membership at any time. If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected]