Contributoria, the crowdfunding campaign that asked donors for points, instead of money, to help fund independent journalism is closing down, the company announced Friday.
Contributoria is a division of the Guardian Media Group, which owns the British newspaper, The Guardian. Contributoria launched in January 2014, was initially funded as a winner of the News Innovation Contest from the International Press Institute and sponsored by Google.
The folding of Contributoria comes five months after Spot.US died, which was a first in crowdfunded journalism in the United States.
Julie Schwietert Collazo, who published five long-form stories thanks to Contributoria, said she was not surprised by today’s announcement.
“Contributors’ staff had a pattern of not addressing concerns of writers and were not transparent in their management,” she said. (Schwietert Collazo has also contributed to AllDigitocracy.)
Contributoria had enabled 800 stories to be published at the time of today’s announcement, according to an email sent to writers and donors Friday morning.
“Our aim was to support freelance journalism through peer review and crowdfunding, and we have enabled 800 pieces of peer-commissioned writing,” according to a more detailed posting on the company’s website. “It has been a fantastic experience for everyone involved and we have learned a lot from this project. We are very proud of what we have achieved, but the team decided that the September issue was the right moment for us to close and become an archive. We’re turning the site into an archive because we’re very conscious about making sure writers’ works are preserved and that you are able to use this work in future endeavors.”