An Extraordinary ‘Challenge’ From a Travel Insider Reader

I received an amazing email from a Travel Insider today, and can’t think of anything to add to what he says, except to thank him (and hopefully you too) for this extraordinary offer.

He writes :


Just when I think you’ve run out of surprises, you come up with another gem.  It seems that not only are you unparalleled in your ability to expose airline shenanigans, and brilliant in your abilities to find and review new travel/tech gadgets for our consideration, but now you tell us that you are also a quiet hero, saving lives inbetween courses at dinner, and, more than ‘just’ this, encouraging us to get the skills to do the same.  Thank you.

What will you come up with next?  I can’t start to guess, but I definitely want to find out, and hope you’ll stick around to keep doing what you do.  As you know, I’ve been a contributor to your annual fundraisers for some years now, and my sense has been that the last couple of years have brought you disappointing responses.  I can’t singlehandedly support your excellent efforts, but I think I’ve come up with an idea – also taken from PBS style fundraising – that might be appropriate.

Accordingly, I issue a challenge to all your readers.  I will match all contributions they send in, dollar for dollar, between now and next Friday, 2 December (up to $2500 in total).  I think it appropriate, while we are giving thanks for much else in our lives today, and getting started on buying gifts for the Christmas/New Year’s season, to include you in our thoughts.

Please pass this on to your readers.  I hope that, with their help, I can send you the full $2500 on 3 December.

I understand his challenge is open to all, both present supporters and those who have yet to support The Travel Insider.  It is a great way of helping out twice as much, and at only half the cost to yourself.

So if you can rise to his challenge, please would you click this link to participate and add your support in any amount for him to match :

Many thanks – to him, of course, and to you too.

5 thoughts on “An Extraordinary ‘Challenge’ From a Travel Insider Reader”

  1. Those individuals and organizations which seek funds from the public are, in my opinion, obligated to share their financial reports – ideally audited financial statements – to support their requests for public support. I am happy to help support excellent service, but I feel the necessity for the support should be documented.

  2. Dick

    I completely agree with you, if you’re talking about tax exempt charities.

    But I’m not a tax exempt charity. The Travel Insider is my livelihood, and supporting David has yet to earn any special tax-free status. I never pretend that the money contributors send in goes anywhere other than to pay variously for the above the line costs of running the site, and the below the line income I must receive in return for the 40++ hours a week I spend on this, my full time job.

    And, at the risk of splitting hairs, I’m not asking for public money. I’m asking for private money – for voluntary contributions from individuals. The ‘quid pro quo’ is clear and apparent to all – the ongoing series of articles that I generate, several times every week. That is not something that needs to be audited, and not something that even lends itself to audit, because the results are clearly apparent.

    Besides which, the cost of auditing my accounts would greatly exceed the total revenue I receive from reader contributions.

    But you’ll have to either trust me on that. Or, ahem, you could pay for the cost of an audit. But why not instead just simply send in a few dollars, happy in the knowledge that it goes directly into my pocket, (and without paying a professional fundraiser a large share), and without needing confirmation from an auditor’s report. 🙂

    Bottom line – you – and everyone else – are free to contribute or not. You can’t get fairer than that, with or without an audit.

  3. Public vs. Private: When I am told that an event is “free and open to the public” – what does that mean?
    Should the phrase be “free and open to the private sector”?

    Regarding your fund raising – check out Joe Brancatelli and “Joe Sent Me” – he is not 501c3 either but handles things quite differently.

  4. Wow! That is a pretty outrageous request. Not sure what this is really all about, however, I would like to throw my 2-cents in the pot.

    I have been following David’s newsletter from the beginning. Thank you Joe Brancatelli! I see this forum as no different than the radio station I listen to here in Austin, KNCT-FM. It is a non-commercial radio station. They do a couple of fund raisers per year asking listeners to contribute to help keep it on the air. Both individuals and business can contribute. For businesses that give a minimum amount they can receive an on-air 15 second thank you for supporting KNCT that amounts to a bit of a commercial for the business. (Does this make their claim of non-commercial a lie? I don’t think so in that they are not actively “selling” commercial spots on their radio programs).

    I subscribe to several magazines and pay for the privilege of this very specific reading material to be delivered to my home on a monthly basis. When I send my check in to these publications I don’t expect to see their budget for how they used my subscription funds. I just expect to get my magazine every month at about the same time. If I decide that the content is no longer to my liking I do not renew my subscription.

    David, is willing to share this valuable information with each of us on a weekly basis (except a couple of times per year when it isn’t really feasible for him with his travels – gee I guess the guy deserves a vacation now and then) WITHOUT asking us to pay him PRIOR to his sharing this information. It is quite obvious that he is a small business owner who, in an extremely tricky economy, is trying to create a balance between value and cost for those of us who see value in what he provides.

    How he chooses to utilize the funds he receives from us is between him, his accountant and the IRS!
    As subscribers we are entitled to a weekly newsletter. That’s it!! I don’t recall entering into any legal agreement with David that would entitle me to be privy to how he chooses to run his business. AND, if David did choose to share this information what would the rest of us do with this? Judge him on whether he had lunch at Jack-in-the Box versus McDonald’s??? (I hope you eat better than either of these places would feed you).

    If Joe Brancatelli wants to share his personal financial information with his subscribers then good for Joe. I still like to believe that we live in America where some things are nobody’s business but our own.

  5. Pingback: Weekly Roundup Friday 2 December 2011 » The Travel Insider

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