DO YOU MIND HOW THIS WEBSITE MAKES MONEY?
A message from this website’s founder, Tanya de Grunwald…
Graduate Fog’s principles are important to us – but keeping this website going is becoming increasingly demanding and it needs to make some money! My question is, do you mind how?
On Friday, questions were raised about how this website is funded – and to what lengths Graduate Fog’s users expect us to go to when following our principles, in particular when it comes to working with sponsors or advertisers who use unpaid interns, or who promote unpaid internships for others.
As you may be aware, all the work I have put into this website since its launch in April 2010 has been completely unpaid. I have done it because I have a weird obsession with graduate unemployment and all the issues surrounding it. But I have also been up-front from the start that I do hope to make money from this website one day, because I think what we have built – that’s me and you, the users – is really exciting. And as much as I love this subject, I simply can’t keep investing all this time without getting something back.
I am not yet sure how that is going to work – but I hope it will not be long before I can start making some proper money from sponsorship. I also think the job board will work, when I have the time (and money) to invest on scaling it up.
So far, I have been happy to promise that I will not work with sponsors (or recruiters) who use unpaid interns. Despite the fact that Graduate Fog is becoming increasingly demanding to run (as it becomes more successful, and we run big campaigns like Pay Your Interns) I am still happy to keep that promise, and have no plans to change it. Unpaid internships are one of Graduate Fog’s core issues, and it is important to me that anybody who wishes to put their brand in front of you, the users, shares our values*.
However, I am also a realist – and, as we all know, the spread of unpaid internships is completely out of control. As a result, it is extremely difficult for me to find sponsors and advertisers who are completely ‘clean’ when it comes to this issue. So I need to ask you how important it is to you that I only accept money from those who are whiter-than-white, or if there is any room for shades of grey.
Please tell me how you would feel about me accepting sponsorship money or job ads from:
– Employers which have used unpaid interns in the past, but don’t anymore
– Job boards which advertised unpaid internships in the past, but don’t anymore
– Job boards which don’t use unpaid interns themselves but do advertise them for others
– Job boards which advertise unpaid internships in the private sector (illegal) but do advertise those in the charity sector (legal)
– Or perhaps you don’t care who advertises on Graduate Fog, as long as their money helps to keep the website going?
Also, should there be a lower limit for salaries for jobs on the Graduate Fog job board – or is anything above the National Minimum Wage okay?
This is your opportunity to tell me what you think so that I can continue to run Graduate Fog in line with our core values. Please take it – or forever hold your peace!
Thanks for supporting the site,
*Before I accept a job ad or a banner ad, I will always ask the company to tell me whether they use unpaid interns. If they say they do not, I will go ahead and work with them. I hope you understand that I cannot personally verify whether they are telling the truth or not. But if you know spot an ad on here for someone you know uses unpaid interns, please tell me and I will reassess the situation.