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MinnPost editor hijacks BrauBlog to make a plea for micro-sponsors

Have you noticed that BrauBlog has never been interrupted by a message asking you for donations?

Until today.

I'm Joel Kramer, CEO and Editor of, and I have a proposition for you: Become a micro-sponsor of BrauBlog.

And if you do it now — or in the next 90 days — your micro-sponsorship will trigger a matching donation.

Here's why: 

MinnPost is a national leader in building a new economic model for high-quality local journalism on the Internet. This is not easy to do. Our traffic is growing dramatically — we've tripled our page views in one year — but revenues from sponsors, advertisers, and our nearly 1,300 members currently cover only about 60% of our very lean spending.

One of the ideas floating around for financing journalism is "community-funding" — getting lots of people to donate small amounts to support a writer, a beat, or a specific story project they are interested in.

So we've decided to try this concept out with BrauBlog, since it's our most popular feature on MinnPost, other than the home page itself. This is an experiment. If it works, we'll brag about it all over the country, and pay some of our bills, too.

Here's how:

Want to be a LowBrau?  It will cost you only $10. Just click on the LowBrau button (located in the upper right side of this page), and pay online.

Willing to step up and be a HighBrau? Click on that button, and pay $25.

If you are already a member of MinnPost, you are welcome — encouraged — to do this too.

LowBraus and HighBraus will get an automated thank-you, and a warm feeling that you're doing something about the future of journalism besides just wringing your hands or shaking your head.

You'll also trigger a matching gift to MinnPost from the Harnisch Foundation in New York, up to a total of $10,000. Ruth Ann Harnisch explains why a person with no Minnesota connections is excited about this experiment.

What you will NOT get is public recognition. LowBraus and HighBraus will remain anonymous, because David Brauer does not want to know which individuals are supporting him. Something about Caesar's wife. And maybe you don't want your employer to know you're supporting him. If you want to brag to your friends that you're a LowBrau or a HighBrau, feel free. You can even brag to me. But please don't tell Brauer. (And don't try to sneak through a comment identifying yourself as a Brau donor.)

By the way, I should add that Brauer finds the terms HighBrau and LowBrau embarrassing, but as I used to tell my kids until they fled the nest, "It's my job to embarrass you. How am I doing?"

In keeping with our commitment to transparency, we will report in this space how many LowBraus and HighBraus have signed up and how much money we've raised. That could either be exhilarating or embarrassing. No guts, no glory.

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Comments (21)

If the editor of City Pages joins the fun, that be a HoffBrau. If I donated, a Moffbrau.

If a conservative reader tossed cash in, they would be Brau beaten.

Very clever fundraising tool!

Can my beer-drinking sons-in-law be Lowenbraus?

And if an opthamologist or optometrist contributed, they would be an EyeBrau.

Mr. Kramer:

Your cute naming of this interesting idea was not embarrassing. What it has spawned, on the other hand, is.

This would be a good way to bring Britt Robson's closely followed basketball writing under the MinnPost umbrella too.

Don't taze me, Brau!

what a great idea. And you have my permission to occasionally hijack my favorite columns to remind me that we if we don't care enough to pay, it could all go away. Besides, these comments are hilarious - especially you, Mr. Swift. What on earth would you do if you didn't have David Brauer to kick around any more?

Donations are flowing in; thanks all. A reminder: Don't try to post a comment that reveals you're a donor. Brauer reads these comments.

My web brauser - er, browser - points to your site nearly every day.

Ha! Loved it, Aaron.

Just don't call it a BrauMance.

Brau-vo! An innovative model. Kudos for your guts. Wishing you glory!

Would you by any chance consider a donation to STOP Steve Perry's incessantly morbid economics "analysis?"

Tom Swift writes
"If a conservative reader tossed cash in, they would be Brau beaten."

That is the best thing I've seen you write. Bravo.

highbraus or lowbraus, we all browse (braus?).

Have you thought about contacting Buick? If there's a Buick Studio for WCCO Radio, surely there can be a Buick something for MinnPost.

Ladies - consider this:
You can continue to get your Brau facts
at a price that’s less than a Brau wax.

A lovely lady reader would be a Brau-Frau.

I notice that, oddly, there are no provisions for Middle Brau.

I'd consider it if you disabled the control-freak comment moderation this site has enabled.

I've been asked if you get both a HighBrau AND a LowBrau, are you then a UniBrau?

Perhaps wordplay is the way to raise money.