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Adventure Uncovered
Published on 1st February 2016
4 min read

We’re asking the Adventure Uncovered community to help us do better, more impactful work by giving monthly financial contributions through Patreon. We explain why we’re asking, why we think you should support and how it will work.

Our journey so far

Adventure Uncovered’s mission is to help build a more inclusive, sustainable and impactful adventure culture.

We embarked on this in 2016, publishing adventure stories and journeys with a purpose. By 2017 we were organising live talks and outdoor impact events, and since 2018 have organised the only adventure film festival dedicated to films about social and environmental change. Building a unique concept that matches an appetite for change means the festival has flourished, and Adventure Uncovered has evolved into a broader space for critical but inspiring thinking and doing.

In March 2020 we launched our new approach to online publication: Editions. Editions are thematic collections of the best adventure storytelling - articles, long form features, interviews, photography, film and more - akin to a digital magazine. We also publish a regular stream of non-Edition pieces, and in 2021 will launch Trails: content series following specific adventure narratives through the year.

Together this work highlights issues, advocates for action and change and champions those leading the way - all crucial tasks if adventure, in its myriad forms, is to be a powerful force for good. But providing a space isn’t enough. That space must be truly sustainable and empower the people involved.

Enter Patreon

Until now Adventure Uncovered has been part business, part labour of love. We’ve done good work, built an audience and generated some revenue, but it has been slow and organic. No bad thing, but we haven’t yet paid ourselves or our contributors more than occasional, nominal amounts. This needs to change.

We are excited to announce that in 2021 it will change, through a range of revenue streams we will be transparently reporting on throughout the year. Patreon, a platform that will allow you to support us through recurring monthly payments, will be one of these streams. 

We now feel confident that our online content justifies requesting a little financial support from those of our readers who agree and can afford it. In 2020 we published 120 pieces read by tens of thousands and featuring hundreds of adventure thinkers and new voices on vital issues. 

2020 highlights include trail running environmentalist Rosie Watson’s post-Covid rallying cry, CEO Jen Gurecki on game-changing feminist snowsports company Coalition Snow, academic Maxwell Ayamba on racial inequality in outdoor participation, writer Jini Reddy on seeking the magical in Britain’s landscapes, artist Simon Faithfull on treating the earth as a sculpture and snowboarder and artist Meghann O’Brien on the relationship between snowboarding and her Indigenous heritage. 

We are proud of this work, but Patreon will help us do more and do better. This is why we are asking readers for support. Don’t worry: this is not a paywall, and anybody who isn’t able to contribute is still welcome to enjoy all our content for free. That said, we hope you will agree there is a strong case for supporting us...

 

Why support Adventure Uncovered through Patreon?

Our top financial priority, among many 2021 goals, is to pay contributors fairly. This is why, as we work towards wider financial sustainability and paying ourselves fairly, we are committing 100% of all Patreon revenue to paying Editions contributors. We won’t keep a penny. We will also contribute a further £150 to each Edition ourselves, and publish records of how we used the funds.

1. Democratise adventure storytelling.

By supporting us you will be ensuring each contributor to our monthly Editions is paid fairly and their work valued properly. This will create a sustainable, empowering environment better suited to our mission to amplify marginalised voices - and not only publish those who can afford to work voluntarily.

2. Fund more compelling stories.

Paying contributors more will allow us to cover more stories, attract a wider range of voices and pour more energy into our pieces. We may eventually be able to invest in original investigations or develop our editorial team - decisions that will be guided by you. In any case your support will make our storytelling stronger, more impactful and more widely read.

3. Increase our impact.

Fairer, better publishing has an impact in itself. But paying Editions contributors will also reduce the amount of content we need to produce internally, freeing up capacity to work on other projects designed to make Adventure Uncovered more inclusive, sustainable and impactful.

4. Get rewarded.

We want to reward you for helping the adventure community. So, depending on your level of support, you will receive a host of benefits - things like extra content, early tickets, partner discounts, strategic input and co-created content. This makes supporting us worth every penny and more. The full range of rewards is on our Patreon page.

How will Patreon actually work?

Transparency is vital to us, so we explain this in full at the bottom of this page. If you’re interested in supporting us, the process is simple:

  1. Choose a tier. Go to Patreon and choose to support us through one of four monthly membership tiers: £2, £5, £10 or £25 per month.
  2. Get rewarded. Enjoy the host of rewards that come with your tier.
  3. Enjoy the fruits of your support. Enjoy early access to all of our Editions, packed with the vital adventure stories and voices that you have directly funded.

Our Patreon is live! 

To support simply head over and select your support tier. Be sure to read all about the rewards before deciding. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop us a line at [email protected]

'We are committing 100% of all Patreon revenue to paying Editions contributors. We won’t keep a penny.'

Adventure Uncovered

What kind of stories will your support help us publish in 2021?

All our stories - articles, interviews, photography, films, lists and all -  show how adventure intersects with the vital social and environmental issues of our day. Beyond this, our stories aim to amplify lesser heard voices and perspectives. As was the case in 2020, each of our 2021 Editions will approach adventure through a specific theme: 

Adventure Organising (March)
Our March Edition will exhibit adventure organisations of different shapes and sizes contributing to real social and environmental change, seeking the secrets to their success. To help build a better world, we must learn from our leading lights.

Backyard Celebration (May)
In May we plan to celebrate local adventure: the people finding brilliant ways to explore their patch. Adventure need not be big or far flung. The most creative, inspiring and sustainable escapades often play out close to home, and we want to prove that.

The Non Adventurers (July)
Many of the most valuable perspectives on adventure don’t come from adventurers, or even people into adventure sports, but thinkers from other spheres: activists, artists, workers, normal people. As a community we must be open to these perspectives, and this Edition intends to show why.

The Real Risk Takers (September)
Much adventure involves voluntary physical risk. But for many it involves more deep-rooted danger. In September we will highlight people adventuring in the face of potentially grave social and political consequences, out of survival as much as leisure. These are the real risk takers.  

You Decide! (November)
We will decide the theme of our November Edition through a vote upon the publication of our July Edition. We’ll draw up a shortlist, including themes proposed by supporters, and our Patreon supporters will vote on which theme we run with!

 

A full explanation of how we will use your money

This section offers full detail as to exactly how we will use your money. For an ongoing breakdown of precisely how we have been spending Patreon revenue, you can keep track on our website.

Firstly, it is unlikely Patreon revenue will allow us to pay all contributors sufficiently fair fees. We are therefore committing to paying all contributors with original content in Editions only - our flagship content. This will mostly mean written articles but could include other mediums. It will not include interviewees. Ultimately we aim to pay all contributors.

We will publish an Edition every two months, on the first Thursday of the month. We collect most Patreon revenue on the 1st of each month, although if you join midway through a month you will be charged immediately for that month (what Patreon calls ‘charge upfront’) and then on the 1st of every month thereafter. Monthly payments allow us to tell contributors how much we can pay them in advance.

For each Edition we are committing £150 of non-Patreon funding. We will then add 100% of two months of Patreon revenue (after paying Patreon fees) to this £150. The budget for each Edition will therefore be £150 + two months of Patreon revenue.

We will calculate the budget for a given Edition using all Patreon payments received between the day of the publication of the Edition two Editions prior and the day before the publication of the prior Edition. This table should make it clearer:

Edition

Budget

March 4th: Adventure Organising

£150

May 6th: Backyard Celebration

£150 + Patreon revenue from Patreon launch on 9th Feb to March 3rd 

July 1st: The Non Adventurers

£150 + Patreon revenue from March 4th to May 5th

September 2nd: The Real Risk Takers

£150 + Patreon revenue from May 6th to June 30th

November 4th: Patreons decide!

£150 + Patreon revenue from July 2nd to Sept 1st

This means we will know how much we will pay contributors two months before publication. We will pay on the morning of publication. It does mean that for our March Edition our budget will be limited to the £150 we are committing.

We will calculate the fee for each contributor by dividing the total budget for that Edition by the number of contributors (collaborative pieces will count as one contributor). We will pay the same for every piece, regardless of experience or word count. We value all contributors equally, and a flat rate is easier to manage to boot. 

We will, however, initially cap the amount we pay each contributor at £150. This means we may not use the entire budget for an Edition, in which case we will roll the remainder over. We will only publish more than four paid contributors per Edition providing we can guarantee them at least £100 each. 

This £150 cap is not because we don’t think the pieces are not worth more! Rather, we feel £150 is a reasonable, if humble, amount, and think it would be fairer and better suited to our mission to publish more contributors at £150 than fewer at a higher fee. At least initially …

Indeed, if we reach our goal of £300 in Patreon revenue per month we would be able to pay five contributors £150 each: £150 + £300 +£300 = £750 per Edition. If we are lucky enough to reach this point, we plan to consult you on how to invest money beyond it. Increase the cap? Pay more contributors at £150? Hire an editorial assistant? You will decide when the time arrives.

Finally, none of this is fixed forever. These terms will evolve with Adventure Uncovered, and with feedback received if a better approach becomes apparent. We welcome any feedback at [email protected]

'Adventurers who spend their time close to nature have for too long been poorly informed about the challenges facing the spaces and places they cherish. It's great to see Adventure Uncovered covering important topics with a bold, fresh voice.'

Andy Middleton Chief Exploration Officer, TYF Adventure