It’s been nearly a year since we started this experiment called the California Sun. Now we're about to find out whether we can make it sustainable.

Creating the newsletter has been a pleasure. We’ve been thrilled to hear from readers who appreciate, as one put it, our “obsessively curious, artfully curated homage to this peculiarly beautiful state.”

But it isn’t free. Among other costs, there’s wire photography, email and publishing services, and a considerable amount of labor.

How to pay for that? We decided against paid subscriptions, which would turn a lot of casual readers away. Instead we’re turning to you. We’ve launched a membership plan that asks readers to support us voluntarily.

Here’s the bottom line:

To keep the Sun going, we need your help.

We’re suggesting $3 or $4 a month — the equivalent of a barber’s tip for 20 newsletters. But you can choose any level of support starting from $1. Every bit helps. We also have a one-time donation option.

The goal right now is simply viability, and our fingers are crossed that we can get there.

But we also have bigger ambitions for the Sun. Over time, we hope to build out a team that produces more original work in a state where newsrooms have been in decline.

These are fascinating times. We’re raring to bring them to you. But we can’t do it without your support.

So our impassioned plea: Help us keep the Sun rising. If you find value in what we do, please become a member today.

Mike McPhate
Founder & Writer
The California Sun

Have questions? Head over here.