Andrew Sullivan says he is unlikely to make his 900K target. Granted its a distinct market, and his costs are different, but still, it gave me pause.
So I thought, instead of looking for enough subscription/support to launch and run for a year, I look for one issue. Ireland is a small market, readers here haven’t the familiarity with annual subscriptions that Americans do from years of consuming print that way.
So instead of setting a very high target for a crowdsourcing appeal, set a target for a single issue. Once that target is reached, commission stories, and hand out the keyrings, tshirts, special print editions, and other gifts selected as rewards for supporters. Then start over again, funding the next issue in the same way.
With luck, each issue builds momentum, until there are sufficient funds to plan several issues in advance, or increase the number of stories per edition. The downside of course is that fund come slowly, effort is wasted on continual fundraising, and interest wanes as issues peter out intermittently.
Not to mention things like building a database to track subscribers who sign up for several editions in advance, and the data protection headaches that involves.