The New Internationalist magazine is launching the biggest community share by a media organisation to date.
The worker co-operative – which was set up 44 years ago, making it one of the oldest in the country – aims to raise £500,000 to transform the business and return it to surplus within three years.
The magazine is using Crowdfunder to sell its shares online. Shares have a nominal value of £1 each with a minimum investment of £50 and a maximum of £100,000. The offer opens on 1 March and will end on 6 April.
The New Internationalist is currently published by the not-for-profit New Internationalist Publications Limited, a worker co-op registered as a company.
The members of the trust are employees who produce the magazine and the advisory trustees. Once the co-op changes its legal structure from a company to a co-operative society, investors who buy shares will become member owners.
Shareholders will become co-owners of the New Internationalist with voting rights over the publisher’s charter that enshrines its editorial policy. Any changes to the charter will need the approval of 75% of the worker members and 75% of investors to agree to them.
Regardless of how much each person invests, they will have only one vote. Shareholders will also be invited to join the Common Council, an on-going forum for engaging with editors.
The award-winning magazine brings in over £500,000 a year in subscriptions. The share offer will help fund a redesign, relaunch and marketing, as well as increased multimedia content.
The new digital changes are expected to double the traffic on the New Internationalist’s website, currently 1.8m visitors per year.
The magazine is also looking to develop its website infrastructure, trial new web-subscription models and develop new online revenue streams. Funding will also go towards staffing, systems and marketing to expand and grow the customer base for its online Ethical Shop.
In addition, the co-op plans to use share-offer investment to expand its publishing programme and launch a new imprint of books as well as expand its existing events programme.
- Find out more about the share offer at factsandheart.org