AniFem Fundraiser Drive: Podcast Transcripts, Round 2 – Fight!

By: Anime Feminist September 18, 20200 Comments
Team Rocket stand in a boxing ring, Jessie and James wearing boxing gloves and sports gear. They have their arms around each other triumphantly. Meowth is in the foreground, smiling wide and holding a fighter's bell.

In the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing the remainder of the transcripts paid for by our Indiegogo fundraiser. This is very exciting, because it means all the fundraiser goals have been achieved! Huzzah!

But it’s also a little intimidating, because it means we now have to address something we’ve been putting off for the last six months: We still have a 50-episode podcast backlog that needs transcripts in addition to future podcasts that will need transcripts, and we currently have no way to afford them.

Is now the best time for a fundraising drive? Frankly, no. As a progressive website, we’re all too aware that asking our audience for money in 2020 comes across as a bit insensitive. It’s why we held off on this post for as long as we did (we’d initially planned to have a big transcript push over the summer, and decided against it). However, as a progressive website, it’s also our responsibility to make our content accessible to as many readers as possible—and that means we can’t put podcast transcripts on the backburner anymore.

So! With those dueling concerns in mind, we’ve decided to launch an Extremely Chill Fundraiser to help meet the needs of our AniFam in 2020. This drive comes in two parts: one to cover future transcripts, and another to cover the transcript backlog (episodes 76-125).

Team Rocket wearing sunglasses and bowties, smiling in front of microphones

TL;DR: Just gimme the fundraiser goals and links!

You got it, boss!

  1. For the ongoing transcripts (episodes 126 and on), we’ve updated our Patreon goals to include the costs of biweekly podcasts. This brings our “break even” goal up to $2,220 a month. We’ll go into detail below, and as always, our Patreon page contains a breakdown as well:
  2. For the transcript backlog (episodes 76-125), we’ve launched a Ko-fi to help us collect one-time payments from our backers. To pay our transcribers and editors a fair rate for 50 episodes, we need a total of $4,000. You can keep reading for the breakdown of that number, or check out the Ko-fi:

And now, because we strive to be transparent here at AniFem, the nitty-gritty details below.

Part One: Future Transcripts (Priority)

Since we already have a Patreon to cover monthly expenses, we’ve simply added the costs of the transcripts to our “Break Even” amount.

Team Rocket floats on a log, looking nervous but hopeful. Jessie flashes a thumbs-up and says "Team Rocket membership's open, you know."

How much do we need?

We’ve upped our Patreon goal from $2,000 to $2,220—an extra $220, broken down as follows:

  • Transcript: $70/episode – About $1/minute, the average rate for audio transcripts.
  • Quality Check: $10/episode – We didn’t build a QC rate into our first fundraiser, which was a big oversight on our part, and one we intend to remedy from now on. Dee and Vrai edited the first 75 transcripts pro bono because it needed to be done, but that doesn’t mean it was fair to ask that of them. Going forward, our editors will get paid for their time as well.
  • Podcasts per Month: Between 2 and 3 (some months have more weekends than others). We calculated our funds at “2.5 a month” to give us a small buffer so we can pay a little extra for episodes that run long.
  • Payment and Patreon Fees: 10% of total

To cover the transcripts and give us a little bit of an extra cushion for things like taxes and surprise costs, we’re shooting for 50 more patrons to sign up at $5 a month—but every dollar helps, so if you can only swing $1 a month, please do so! We say it all the time, but it really does add up!

When do we need it?

We’re aiming to hit our goal by October 11, when episode 126 drops (and just in time for our fourth anniversary!). That way, we could have a transcript for episode 126 up by the next week, with the plan to transition into a “podcast, transcript, podcast, transcript” publication schedule for Sundays going forward.

At the very latest, we need to reach $2,220 by the end of October, otherwise we’ll have to assume we’re not going to make that goal and adjust our plans accordingly.

What happens if we don’t meet our goal?

An upside-down Wobbuffet holds an empty coin purse, looking concerned. A depressed Meowth is in the background behind him.

Technically, we have four options if we don’t meet our Patreon goal:

  1. Stop transcribing podcasts.
  2. Ask for volunteer transcribers instead of hiring paid ones.
  3. Pay for transcripts through alternate revenue sources (advertisements, affiliate links, etc.).
  4. Pay for transcripts by cutting other content (realistically speaking, this probably means losing the Links posts).

But let’s be real: Option 1 and 2 aren’t actual options. We couldn’t in good conscience call ourselves an intersectional feminist website if we abandoned accessibility or exploited our workers.

We’re not especially keen on Option 3, but if we’re going to compromise on any of our founding principles, then “plug some corporations so we can pay our workers and do right by all our community members” feels like the most ethical choice, all things considered. (And, to be perfectly honest, if AniFem wants to keep growing, at some point we’re going to have to make this compromise.)

Option 3 will also take some time and include a learning curve as we research and reach out to advertisers and affiliates. In the meantime, we may have no choice but to fall back on Option 4, otherwise we’ll just be back here again in six months asking you to help us fund another batch of backlogged podcast transcripts.

That said, we’re pretty confident we won’t need to worry about cutting content just yet. The AniFem community has grown a lot over the past couple years, and the fact that our Patreon numbers haven’t grown to match probably speaks more to our reluctance to advertise than a lack of interest or support. Our founder, Amelia, was our fundraising wizard in the past, and the rest of us are still growing into the role. We’re shy about asking, but we also have faith in our community to answer.

We know not everyone can afford to pitch in, especially right now—but if you can, please subscribe to our Patreon for $1 or more each month to help us provide transcripts for all our future podcasts. And remember: if you can swing $5 a month, you get access to our AniFem Discord, where you can geek out with like-minded fans about anime, manga, games, and more! We’d love to have you join the AniFam!

Part Two: The Transcript Backlog

Question: What’s the lowest-pressure way to fund a big project?

Answer: Build a Ko-fi account! Which we did, at

Jessie and James in cafe uniforms. James kneels in front of Jessie, holding out a tray with two coffee cups, while she pours coffee into one of them.

How much do we need?

As of publishing this, we have 124 Chatty AF episodes and 75 transcripts funded. We’re building a small buffer and hoping to cover Episodes 76-125 with our Ko-fi fund.

For 50 episodes, we need $4,000, broken down as follows:

  • Transcript: $70/episode – About $1/minute, the average rate for audio transcripts.
  • Quality Check: $10/episode – We didn’t build a QC rate into our first fundraiser, which was a big oversight on our part, and one we intend to remedy this time around. Dee and Vrai edited the first 75 transcripts pro bono because it needed to be done, but that doesn’t mean it was fair to ask that of them. Going forward, our editors will get paid for their time as well.

When do we need it?

The good news is, because Ko-fi doesn’t have a time limit and we obviously won’t be able to roll out all the transcripts at once, we can pay as we go and chip away at the backlog over several months. So, if you want to help out but can’t afford to pitch in right away, no worries—you can always pop in later and help then.

That said, fundraiser drives tend to lose steam over time, so if you can help out now, please do so! The first two weeks will give us a real good idea of how quickly we’ll be able to hit our goals and the kind of pace we’ll be able to maintain on backlog transcripts. We’ve been publishing 1-2 backlog transcripts per week and we’d like to maintain that if possible—but it all depends on how the fundraising efforts go.

What happens if we don’t meet our goal?

Again, we can keep the Ko-fi active for as long as we want, so we’re confident we’ll eventually hit our goal. But the longer it takes, the longer folks won’t have access to those transcripts—and the longer you’ll have to put up with us relentlessly plugging the Ko-fi on social media. The horror! So, again, if you can chip in sooner rather than later, it would be a huge help.

Questions, Concerns?

Team Rocket's Jesse in a disguise holding a clipboard

Let us know in the comments or reach out to us via our Contact form! We can’t promise we’ll act on all feedback, but we do promise to always listen and take it into consideration.

Thanks as always for your support, AniFam!

We Need Your Help!

We’re dedicated to paying our contributors and staff members fairly for their work—but we can’t do it alone.

You can become a patron for as little as $1 a month, and every single penny goes to the people and services that keep Anime Feminist running. Please help us pay more people to make great content!

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