SND joins effort to save

UPDATE: The campaign tipped to more than $3,000 on Sunday!

The good folks at The Sun Journal, after six years of amazing help, have been forced to pull support for because of their own financial issues.

We need help.

The Society for News Design has begun an effort to assist NPD founder Tim Frank in keeping the site afloat. We hope you can help.

We need to buy servers to keep the site up and running. That will cost us at least $2,500. We can use more, though.

Unfortunately, we may not complete the programming for the ground-up redesign before we lose our server space. We need to keep the thousands of news pages that are uploaded. Losing all this would be tragic for the news design community, so we have launched a campaign at The Point. We are appealing directly to you because the Society does not have the surplus in its budget to fund this effort without additional help.

Please consider donating today.

Here’s why we are still asking for help beyond the initial $2,500:

  • The server space we asked for with the $2,500 was the least we thought we could get away with and still be operational. More space could be purchased with any extra money. We know we will need more space as more pages are uploaded.

  • The maintenance and hosting of the site were not figured into the $2,500, either. If we collect more, we could also put the extra toward that cost.

  • We may have to “buy” the name from the folks in Maine, so if they want some money for that, well, we will be able to offer it. (Eds: Read the comments and tell us whether you believe any of the donations should be used for this purpose.)

A donation, even as small as $10, will make a difference.

Some members have asked why we need to appeal directly for this effort (and not just fund it), so we think you should know that this was an unexpected expense for which the Society was not prepared. That’s why we are making this unique plea.

The Society’s overall funding has been impacted by the downturn in the economy as news organizations cut back on their support to SND, members themselves face hardship as jobs go away, and our investments suffer because of the decline in the markets.

As a non-profit, the Society always counts on members to help fund important initiatives. We see keeping this amazing portfolio site alive as an excellent service to the entire design community.

NPD founder Tim Frank has always been a part of the Society, a member of SND’s decision-making group, and we have long been of help to in an advisory way. This is the first time, though, that we needed to put our money where our mouth is. Now we need the money.

And to see the outpouring since this fledgling effort launched on Friday night, you do understand the importance of a thriving NPD. It’s been humbling to see so many of you jump in through the viral efforts on Twitter and Facebook. We cannot thank you enough.

We hope more of you will see the value in helping NPD.

Your donation will help keep NPD alive.

Matt Mansfield is the vice president of the Society for News Design and an associate professor for Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Matt has used since it launched six years ago, and hired dozens of visual journalists because he first “met” them on NPD.

About Matt Mansfield

is a Partner at MG Strategy+ Design.


This was a really amazing effort and I want to thank Matt, Steve and others who got this thing rolling and put their impressive networking skills to such powerful use.

I was more than happy to donate, but I do have one concern. The original appeal at The Point, which most of us read when making a decision to donate, stated that the money would be used to buy servers. I think it’s very important that the money is used strictly for that purpose.

Specifically, I don’t believe the money should be used to “buy” the name from the folks in Maine. I know that’s not the purpose I donated money for and I’m guessing others may feel the same way.

If the Sun Journal wants to shut the site down, that’s their choice. But personally, I don’t want to donate money so that they can make a profit from it.

Again, I applaud the cause and would love to see more people participate. I love the effort to save NPD. I just felt I needed to speak up about this distinction on how the money already donated gets used.

I think that’s a really fair distinction, Paul. We can earmark all this money for servers and space.

We hope that the folks at the Sun Journal will not want any money for the url, but I wanted to include that this was a possibility so I was being totally transparent.

What do others think? If the Sun Journal wants to keep the url, we could certainly still move all the files to new servers and change to a new name so we are not in the position of having to purchase the url.

But, as I said, we hope that the Sun Journal will just give up the name and we can buy the space, keep moving, and continue the plans Tim has for revamping the site.

Interested to hear what others think.

And thanks again to everyone who donated. You rock.

Thanks Matt. I didn’t intend my comments negatively. The Sun Journal hosted the site for many years, maybe some kind of compensation is fair. But there’s enough of a distinction there that it would have influenced my donation.
I would personally be fine with going with a new name and rebuilding the site. I’m curious to hear how others feel about it though!

I personally hope we can migrate the site and keep moving along with Tim’s and others’ plans for updating the site. I fear it would be confusing to many to change the name of the site and “start over.” Hopefully the good folks at the Sun Journal will see the greater good in letting us keep moving. They’ve been great corporate hosts for such a long time now, they deserve praise for that. I just can’t see the value in auctioning off the brand name. If for whatever reason we can’t retain the name I would have no problem setting things up under a new name—I mean after all, we still depend on Poynter’s Romenesko even though mean Mr. Singleton’s lawyers made him change the name from “MediaNews,” right?

And once again, I have to say, what an impressive response from the design community. Congrats and thanks to you all!

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