In the face of the catastrophic devastation that faces Texas and Louisiana after Hurricane Harvey, Texas Monthly announced last night that it plans to donate 100 percent of its new subscription proceeds (for the 24-hour period following the announcement) to relief efforts, closing at midnight Thursday night.
But now, after raising $7,500 (about 370 subscriptions), Taliaferro, editor-in-chief, tells Folio: they’re opening the time window for another week, and matching up to $20,000 in donations.
The monthly magazine, headquartered in downtown Austin, initially made the announcement on its website and social media accounts.
Taliaferro, who began his role late last year, says that the Texas Monthly team wanted to do something beyond covering the storm and its effects, so they made the decision to donate subscription proceeds to relief efforts.
“This isn’t abstract for us—we have had members of our family affected,” says Taliaferro. “These people aren’t just our readers, they are our neighbors and friends.”
He also notes that because the team considers itself the national magazine of Texas, in addition to Harvey being a national emergency, they felt it was imperative to help raise money for relief efforts. Thus, they looked to their main product, which is their magazine subscription, as the place to get started.
In addition to helping raise money for relief efforts through subscription proceeds, the Texas Monthly team has been actively reporting on Harvey and how it’s affecting Texans.
“We have the whole team deployed. We sent reporters to the coast, to Beaumont, to shelters in Dallas and Austin,” he says. “They’ve been on boats and in jacked up trucks. We have reporters and editors in Houston filing stories while trying to keep their homes dry.”
Taliaferro says the team is committed to telling people’s stories, going across the state at “a moment when the world needs to see and understand the scale of the devastation.”
“It’s also perhaps worth noting that what has been the most read work has been our guide to helping people,” he adds. “It’s been one of the most read stories we’ve ever done.”
The Texas Monthly team plans to donate money to organizations working in Texas that will have the greatest impact. Taliaferro says that the decision on where to donate the money will also arise after they calculate how much money they’ve raised.
“We are in discussions with several groups right now working in Houston and around the gulf coast region,” says Taliaferro. “Our priority is that the dollars go to real people to help with real problems, and there will almost surely be issues that pop up where dollars are urgently needed. We are watching that closely and hope to have a decision made once we have a firmer idea of how much money we are talking about.”
As a result of Harvey’s massive impact, the Texas Monthly team has decided to forgo its ideas for its former October issue, which goes to press next week. They plan to focus the issue primarily on Harvey and its effects.
In addition, Texas Monthly is going to match up to $20,000 in donations, and the proceeds will go to @FeedingTexas.
— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) August 31, 2017