Why Outside Is Launching a Contribution Model
Outside's digital journalism has never been more relevant or essential, but giving it away for free is no longer sustainable. Here's why we're asking for your support—and how you can contribute today.
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Today we are launching a contribution program to support Outside Online. Since our website debuted in 1995, Outside Online has grown from a bare-bones operation that relied heavily on our print content into a daily news source that publishes more than 200 web exclusives each month. Throughout that time, we’ve kept our online journalism free, committing the original sin of digital publishing by masking the true cost of our work. All good journalism—not just the work we ask readers to pay for in print—is expensive. We feel strongly that the stories we produce at Outside Online are distinct and valuable, a vital service our online readers should be willing to pay for. Simply put: giving it away without asking for anything in return is no longer sustainable—especially in the current economic environment.
Outside’s distinct voice in digital journalism has never been more relevant or essential. In recent years, we’ve reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health and kept readers informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our stories have provided important, research-based service about everything from the value of sunscreen to the importance of stretching. And most recently, Outside Online’s rigorous coverage of breaking news has helped spark debates about issues of inclusion in the outdoor world and who feels safe doing the activities we love. And that’s just the website. We work hard to inform, engage, and inspire you on every platform, including our eight email newsletters, vibrant presence on social media, and the weekly Outside Podcast. If we’ve learned anything from our current times, it’s that nature is a necessity—and Outside Online’s award-winning coverage can help you access it.
Please consider supporting all of our digital platforms—and the journalists who bring them to life—by making a financial contribution that will help ensure they continue for years to come.
How Can I Make a Contribution to Outside Online?
Please click here to support our work. We can’t thank you enough.
Perhaps you might be wondering: Is my contribution tax-deductible? No—Outside Online is not a nonprofit, so this is not a charitable donation. But while we can’t promise tax savings, we can guarantee that your money will go toward quality, objective reporting and literary writing about the outdoors—and ensure the next generation will have something to inspire them to get out into nature.
Still not convinced? Here are some specific examples of the kind of work you’ll be supporting:
- One-of-a-kind long-form storytelling. We know that readers like you are drowning under a steady drip of bad news. We also know that the stories we’ve spent more than 40 years publishing—chronicles of triumph and adventure, tales of heroism and survival, dispatches from exotic locales—can provide a welcome and vital diversion. Recent stories like this and this are not only extremely popular, they’re also expensive to produce, and your financial contribution helps pay for the writers, editors, fact-checkers, designers, and photographers who all play a part in making them worthy of your time.
- Indispensable how-to explainers. Let’s face it, many outdoor sports can be intimidating and riddled with barriers to entry. We aim to cater to adventurers of all levels, from first-timers looking to get started with running or climbing to veteran participants looking for advice on how to gain an edge on the competition or take their training to the next level.
- Gear reviews you can trust. Hunting for the best tent for your next camping trip? Looking for tips on converting your truck into a full-time adventure rig? Wondering what all the fuss is about over e-bikes or fat bikes or gravel bikes? We’ve got you covered. Outside tests every product we endorse, which means sending hundreds of samples each year to a team of reviewers to use and abuse before determining what makes the cut. That’s one reason our long-form reviews and two annual Buyer’s Guides are the most trusted in the industry.
- Award-winning illustrations, photography, and videos. Long reads are great, but sometimes there’s no better way to get inspired than through a jaw-dropping image or truly exceptional video.