SCOOP FOUNDATION FOR PUBLIC INTEREST JOURNALISM
Annual Performance Report – 8 September 2015 – 30 September 2016
This is a report of the first year of the Scoop Foundation, aligning with the balance date for the Foundation of 30 September. A draft was originally published in August to coincide with the release of a new Foundation website – a good time to update our generous supporters on our first year of operations.
The report has been prepared in accordance with the Public Benefit Entity Simple Format Reporting, not-for–profit, standard as issued by the NZ Accounting Standards Board.
ENTITY INFORMATION – Who are we?
Legal Name of Entity – Scoop Foundation for Public Interest journalism
Type of Entity – Incorporated Society, applied for Registered Charity status
Physical Address – Level 3, 354 Lambton Quay, Wellington CBD 6142
Postal Address – PO Box 11501, Wellington. 6142
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Website – foundation.scoop.co.nz
A general summary of the Trust purposes (clause 3 of the Trust Deed): To support the publication of trustworthy, relevant, public interest information, freely accessible to all New Zealanders, so that they can participate in democratic processes.
The internet has opened up the options for wider provision of investigative information from a variety of sources. It is not the intention of the Trust to take particular stances or advocate actions, but to facilitate the publication of objective reports with accurate and new information covering different perspectives, and so provide the public with balanced information about issues under consideration in NZ civil society.
The full purposes of the Trust are as follows:
Clause 3 Purposes of the Trust
- To the extent that these are charitable purposes under the laws of New Zealand from time to time, the purposes of the trust are to:
- educate the public in New Zealand about the role and function of independent journalism in an open, democratic society;
- fund reporting and journalistic investigation which educates and informs the New Zealand public about:
- society, government, public institutions and officials; and
- private corporations, voluntary organisations and individuals that affect the public and the ability to participate in public decision making.
- provide education and public information about the journalistic culture in New Zealand based on fairness, accuracy and comprehensiveness;
- fund and assist publications and activities which support and promote the above purposes.
The Foundation was incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 on 8 September 2015. The Trust Board – presently with four trustees – is responsible for raising funds and managing the Trust for the purposes specified in the Trust Deed.
The Trust is the sole shareholder of Scoop Publishing Ltd. a subsidiary, wholly owned, not-for-profit, publishing company. The shares in the company were settled on the Trust on 16th September 2015. Scoop Publishing Limited is the publisher of the Scoop.co.nz website which is the primary asset of the Foundation. Founded in 1999 the website has a monthly readership of 500,000 users. The editor of Scoop.co.nz is Gordon Campbell.
The Company and its editorial policies are managed independently of the Trustees. All income earned by the publishing company must be used for the educational purposes of the Trust.
The trustees are:
- Margaret Thompson (chair)
- Jan Rivers ( appointed 23/3/16 )
- Jeremy Rose ( appointed 23/3/16 )
- Alastair Thompson
Main Source of Entity’s Cash and Resources
In its first 12 months of operations, September 2015 to now, the Foundation raised money direct from the public in the form of membership subscriptions – the bulk of which were obtained through campaigns conducted via the crowd-funding website PledgeMe.
The resources to conduct these campaigns were provided by the Scoop Publishing Company in the form of advertising, direct mail, social media and content marketing services. No money was paid to the Scoop Publishing Company for this assistance.
In its first year of operations the Foundation also relied on the Scoop Publishing Company to provide it with a place to meet, use of its Post Office box, clerical services and assistance with administration, including dispatching of crowdfunding rewards to PledgeMe donors.
Main Methods used to raise funds
PledgeMe Membership Drives
In the first year of the Foundation’s operations two fund-raising “membership drives” were conducted using the PledgeMe Fundraising platform.
- “Scoop is seeking 1000 Kiwis who care about the future of NZ news media“, in November 2015, 780 donations.
- “Journalism: A New Model “, in May and June 2016, 303 donations.
Direct Donations from Members
Entity’s Reliance on volunteers and donated goods and services
The Trust Deed (cl 29.1) states that No trustee may be paid for acting in that capacity despite any legal provision or rule to the contrary. There are now four trustees of the company and several volunteer helpers. The four trustees have not received any payments from the Trust.
As detailed earlier, Scoop Publishing Limited provides substantial donated services and assistance to run fundraising campaigns and support the fundraising efforts of the Trust Board.
SERVICE PERFORMANCE – What do we do?
Description and Quantification (as possible) of Scoop Foundation outputs
There are two primary objectives of the Trust.
First, the Trust promotes the provision of reputable information to the public, and will contribute to the education of those who wish to do this. We can provide mentoring and transparent quality standards, partner with journalism schools and students, foster standards in journalism, and spur innovation in areas such as data journalism and using technology to tell stories in new ways. The link to Scoop Publishing Ltd means we can offer practical, on the job training and mentoring for students.
In the first year of operation we:
- Appointed the independent Scoop Editorial Panel, at present the editorial staff of Scoop plus several editorial collaborators. The Panel advises the trust board and can fulfill a mentoring/supervision function for Foundation approved journalism project recipients.
- In November 2016 the Scoop Foundation held a members meeting at St Andrews on the Terrace to introduce members and supporters to the new foundation.
- co.nz hosted four interns for a combined period working with us of six months, including both editorial and business model skills.
- Working with Scoop.co.nz, the Foundation supported the Pacific Climate Change conference “Eye of the Storm” held in Wellington in February 2016, sponsoring the participation of an intern to provide copy.
Secondly, the Trust seeks funds to initiate projects that investigate and report on topics of interest to the general public, in particular topics that provide information to assist individuals to participate in our democratic processes. It is critical that the information gathered reaches the widest audience possible, and this is likely to be achieved in various ways, including publication in mainstream media outlets as well as the Scoop website.
In the first year of operation we have
- Made a grant to a journalist of $2500, to begin a series of investigative articles about mental health services in NZ;
- Hosted speech talk by Nicky Hager on the Panama Papers to some 200 attendees, along with celebrating the 17th anniversary of the newssite Scoop;
- Supported the Open Source Conference in August because of the close alignment between the public good objectives of the Open Source movement and the Foundation. Trustee, Jan Rivers, joined panel discussion on “Open Media: Supporting Journalism in an Open Society”
- On September 13th the Scoop Foundation hosted a very well attended Wellington Mayoral Forum to provide an opportunity to question candidates for the upcoming local body elections. The event was recorded and reported on Scoop.co.nz.
RESOURCES AND COMMITMENTS – what the entity owns and what it owes?
Schedule of Resources
The primary resource of the new Foundation is its publishing arm, Scoop Publishing Limited (SPL). SPL is an established publishing business which has published the well known Scoop.co.nz news service since June 1999. The company employs five full time and three part time staff and contractors – it operates out of an office in central Wellington and its tangible assets are office equipment and furniture, computer equipment and cameras. The company also has significant intangible assets including a readership of between 450,000 and 550,000 users each month, several hundred paying clients, a database of close to 1 million stories, images, videos and audio recordings and a bespoke software system which delivers its services.
The Foundation has over 1000 members and, expressions of interest from 120 people to become “contributors” of the foundation as volunteers.
Bank Accounts and Cash
As at 30 September 2016 the Foundation had $24,889.66 in its bank account.
Money owed to Entity
In the 11 months since incorporation the Scoop Foundation has lent Scoop Publishing Limited $42,710 to cover operational costs including rent, salaries and overheads. More than two thirds of these funds were provided to Scoop Publishing Limited in the final quarter of 2015.
Money payable by Entity
$2,495 to Margaret Thompson – who personally covered the fees of solicitors who assisted with drafting the Trust Deed paid by the Chair.
STATEMENT OF RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS – How funded and what does it cost?
Donations, fund raising and memberships
- Foundation income received via PledgeMe from 8 September 2015 to 30 September 2016 was $66,761.51
- Foundation income received direct from donors from 8 September 2015 to 30 September 2016 was $5,977.42
Receipts from providing goods or services
- Interest from Kiwibank account balances $116.24
Other operating receipts
Relating to public fundraising
- $2609.16 towards the cost of Crowd Funding Rewards
- $600 cost of Crowd Funding Party
Volunteers related payments
Grants and donations paid
- $2,500 paid as a grant towards a journalism project.
Other operating payments
- $42,710 Loan to Scoop Publishing Limited ($33,110 at the end of 2015)
- $38.35 Withholding Tax Paid (on Interest)
Operating surplus or deficit
- $24,397.76 SURPLUS
Receipts from sales – None
Repayments of borrowings – None
Purchase of resources – None
Repayment of borrowing – None
Bank Accounts at beginning of financial year $0
Bank accounts and cash at the end of financial year $24,889.66
Cheque account $72.84
Savings account $24,816.46
Total Bank accounts and cash at the end of the financial year $24,889.66
NOTES TO PERFORMANCE REPORT
All transactions are reported on a cash basis. The financial numbers provided are taken from the reconciliation of our bank accounts.
The Foundation is not registered for GST
The substantial, interest free loan to Scoop Publishing Ltd at the end of 2015 was made to assist the company to transition to a new business model, which is expected to become sustainable in 2016. No dividend to the Trust from the company was received in this first year.
Since this report was prepared, SPL has calculated the charges and procurement invoices it has provided for the Foundation in relation to the year ending 30 September. This will offset the loan, leaving a debt of $23,780 owed by SPL to the Foundation to be carried into the 2016/17 year.