Budgeting & fundraising

You can get an idea of the costs you face by asking friends or organisations who have done a similar project, but you might need to go into more detail for larger projects requiring ongoing funding, such as magazines, newsletters or series of factsheets.

Direct costs

How much will it cost to print? Look at:

  •  Format – the size and shape of your publication, the number of pages, paper type, ink type, number of colours, binding, covers (if any)
  • Print run – how many copies will you print?
  • Distribution – a big question, often overlooked. What method will you use? How much will it cost?
  • One-off costs – for example: computer equipment, design of template 

Other costs

  •  Human resources – how much staff time will be spent on the project? How will this be accounted for? Will any outside contributors need to be paid (graphic designer, illustrators, cartoonists etc.)?
  • Travel, copyright, other expenses - will there be any other costs you need to consider in advance?

Seeking funds

Publications can serve as fundraising tools. You may decide to sell your publication; space could also be set aside in it for ads from supporters or from local businesses, even from your printer. You can ask individual supporters for donations.

Ways of cutting costs

  • Don't print, do an e-book instead (but only if it reaches your audience)
  • Use more affordable paper
  • Stick to black & white or one-colour priniting; replace colour photos with grey scale, or with simple graphics
  • Get several quotes for paper or printing
  • Reduce the frequency - print fewer issues per year 
  • Reduce the weight - save on paper and mailing costs 
  • Reduce the number of issues distributed
  • Reduce the size by cutting articles /pages or even by reducing font-sizes (be careful to maintain good layout and readability)


Small-scale ads are a great way to fund publications while providing a service to the small businesses in your community. Make sure you set an ad-rate sheet and stick to it. One thing people often forget is that maintaining an ad business takes time and labour. Each business that buys an ad must provide you with a copy of the graphic for their ad, and you will have to send them a copy of your publication when it is done, to show them that that the ad has run. Do not take on doing layout for advertisers unless they pay you for this service.