Although Hong Kong Free Press did not meet its HK$2m Fringebacker crowdfunding target during last year’s 2016 Funding Drive, HKFP is pleased to announce that the vast majority of donors “opted-in” to allow us to use their contributions as intended. Fringebacker confirmed last week that HK$509,456 worth of donations have been unlocked. Below is a letter to contributors from HKFP’s editor-in-chief.

The team and I wish to send out a big thank you to donors for their kind support, and for “opting in” to allow us to keep your contributions.

In total, we were able to unlock HK$509,456 during the November/December funding drive. As other income streams, such as advertising and monthly donations, begin to grow, we are confident of remaining secure throughout 2016. Whilst we may not be able to expand as much as we had hoped, we are still investing our limited resources into original reporting (such as this story published yesterday, explainersfeatures and more). We are also about to launch special sections to showcase our close coverage of hot topics such as the missing bookseller controversy, with smartphone apps and email news shots in the pipeline.

After Chinese New Year, we will focus on building a sustainable non-profit platform by employing a business development expert, for whom we have found a sponsor.

During this round of funding alone, over 500 people donated over half a million dollars. This form of grassroots fundraising guarantees our independence at an important time for the city. We are not answerable to any shareholders or business magnate – only to ourselves and our readers. Click here for more details about our funding.

Some questioned whether we would make it into the new year, so I am personally humbled that all of you have appreciated what we have been trying to do and have stepped up to support us in safeguarding press freedom. Thank you once again from all of the team.

– Tom Grundy, editor-in-chief, Hong Kong Free Press.

Hong Kong Free Press

Hong Kong Free Press is a new, non-profit, English-language news source seeking to unite critical voices on local and national affairs. Free of charge and completely independent, HKFP arrives amid rising concerns over declining press freedom in Hong Kong and during an important time in the city’s constitutional development.