Readers push Berkeleyside beyond investment goal; new $1M target in sight

The success so far of Berkeleyside’s direct public offering proves that Berkeleyans believe in the importance of local journalism — and the city lives up to its pioneering reputation. Photo: Alyosha Efros

When Berkeleyside launched a Direct Public Offering, we knew we were asking our readers to do something unprecedented: invest in a news site to enable it to develop its pioneering efforts in award-winning, independent local journalism. No other news organization had done a DPO.

But our readers responded — enthusiastically.

Our original goal was to raise $800,000 for Berkeleyside, and we’ve just passed that threshold — thanks to 252 readers who became investors!

This makes the Berkeleyside team more convinced than ever that our readers understand and appreciate the importance of high-quality reporting and holding power to account in their community.

We now have two more months of authorization from the state’s Department of Business Oversight to close our Direct Public Offering, so we’ve set ourselves a goal we could never have imagined at the outset: $1 million.*

Berkeleyside has reached its initial goal of raising $800,000 through reader investment. Now, we need a new thermometer as we reach for a new target: $1 million

We believe we can get there with the support of people like you — who read Berkeleyside regularly and value how well it keeps you informed, on a daily basis, about what’s happening in Berkeley and beyond.

We’ve already realized some of the fruits of the investment capital we have raised so far: we redesigned our site and made it mobile-friendly, we hired an additional reporter, focused on education, and we’ve invested in our ad sales (ad revenues were up over 40% in 2017!) and in the marketing of our Uncharted Ideas Festival (we had our highest-ever number of festivalgoers in 2017).

And we plan to do so much more:

  • Provide you with ambitious enterprise and investigative journalism, tackling some of the most pressing issues in our city
  • Improve the diversity of our coverage and our staff
  • Add more ways for people to get the best from Berkeleyside, including podcasts, data journalism and video storytelling
  • Expand our coverage in areas such as business and startups

We continue to get national recognition for the innovation of our DPO, including in an article published this week by The Poynter Institute, a leading voice on journalism.

If we reach $1 million, we will have proved to the world that Berkeley, pioneering as ever, has shown that there is a model to sustain local journalism. A model that is grounded in the community the news site serves 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Will you come on board as an investor and help us meet our new goal? Can you think of a friend or colleague who might invest? If you are already an investor, would you consider increasing your investment? Visit for details and to sign up. Email or call Frances Dinkelspiel at or 510-984-2366 if you have questions.

* For the detail-oriented: Our original permit from the state in 2016 was for $800,000. On that permit, we raised just over $500,000. When we re-applied in March 2017, we sought authorization for a further $500,000 – giving us the chance to raise in total that seven-figure goal.

This is not an offer to sell any securities. Offers to sell are made only pursuant to authorized offering materials. The offering is limited to California residents that meet certain suitability requirements. You must verify that you are a California resident in order to receive the authorized offering materials, and you must verify that you meet the suitability requirements in order to subscribe for the securities.