With $10,000 Grant Expiring, Help Keep the Strike Tracker Going

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$6,182 / $10,000

Last year, Payday Report received a short-term, one-year COVID-related $10,000 grant that helped us expand our strike-tracking capabilities. However, this grant has recently expired.

With this grant, we expanded our work and staff capacity, and dramatically pushed our abilities to publish a newsletter, on average, three times a week. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020, we have also tracked over 1,500 strikes. In addition, in 2020 alone, we published 142 stories and newsletters.

Our grantors were very happy with our work and were even willing to recommend us for future funding.

You can see why.

We’ve had a massive impact on how the media has covered the growing strike wave. Major publications in the U.S., like NPR, and foreign publications like The Economist and The Sydney Morning Herald, have cited Payday Report’s strike numbers. In addition, many academics and researchers have used the Strike Tracker for their work. 

Film director Boots Riley, who directed “Sorry to Bother You,” praised us on the podcast “Bad Faith” for our work tracking the strike wave. 

“You could count on one hand the number of outlets, whether they’re mainstream or radical that pushed this fact,” Riley said of our work tracking more than 1,300 strikes since the beginning of the pandemic. 

In the past year, our work on everything —  from the Amazon union drive in Alabama to minor league baseball unionization to uncovering sexual misconduct in the NewsGuild — has been praised and cited by various publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, ProPublica, The New Yorker, and others. 

Our work on CNN’s W. Kamau Bell’s special “Where Do We Even Start with White Supremacy?” even garnered an Emmy nomination. 

In the past year and a half, we have also doubled our recurring donor base from 300 recurring donors in February of 2020 to 615 recurring donors in September of 2021. Thank you to all those who joined in to support us!

We’ve made enormous progress as you can tell. 

But our short-term, one-year grant…it expired. 

Losing a $10,000 grant is going to make things tough for us. So, this Labor Day week, we’re preparing to raise $10,000 directly from our readers to make up for the expired grant. 

We want to raise $10,000 by the end of November to replace the money and continue pushing our work. 

In addition, we’re seeking money from foundations and institutions to expand our labor reporting capacities even more. 

Last year, we brought in $97,000, with approximately 85% of our donations coming from readers. Given that our funding model is sustainable and reader-based, we are a good investment for any foundation. However, we are based in Pittsburgh and aren’t very connected to the world of foundations. 

If you can assist us in seeking grants, let us know and email [email protected]

In the interim, we want to keep raising money and building a solid publication. We hope you’ll support us in our mission. We’ve always been a scrappy, reader-driven publication, and that’s enabled us to get the stories that no one else gets. 

So, please donate today to help us keep the strike tracker going as the retail worker rebellion heats up. 

And the best way to help us is to sign up as one of our 615 recurring donors today. 

Thanks again for the support that keeps us going – Donate Today!

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One Time Donation

Love & Solidarity,


About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

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