The LINGUIST List is an academic and nonprofit organization, run by professors and linguistics students, and supported primarily by your donations. To fund the students who run our website, edit the mailing list, and work on our infrastructure projects, we have an annual Fund Drive.
You're familiar with the basic idea of a Fund Drive-- It's a charity telethon hosted by a B-list celebrity. It's the big banner across the top of Wikipedia. Here at LINGUIST List, we try to put the Fun in Fund Drive (we hear you groaning, but bear with us). We hope you'll enjoy the amusements we've devised for you, and we hope you'll take the time to donate.
Q: What is my money used for?
It's used to fund students. These students edit and distribute your announcements to the listserv and site, assist in the development of new services for subscribers, and help maintain the day-to-day operations of the LINGUIST List.
Q: Don't you guys get tons of money from grants?
It depends. Some years, the LINGUIST List is able to rely more heavily on grant project funding. However, this is not one of those years. Most of our current grant projects are winding down, so they no longer support as many students as in the past.
Q: Aren't you supported by your host university?
Our home university provides a space for the LINGUIST List to operate, and support for 2 students. But we still have to pay the bills (including, but not limited to: computers, software, postage, printing and copying), programmer salaries, and the rest of the student payroll.
Q: Does it really take $75,000 a year to run LINGUIST List?
Oh goodness, yes. It takes much more than that. As you know, the money donated during Fund Drive is used only to fund the students who edit the mailing list and website. Let's go through the numbers:
During any given semester, we employ between 10 and 20 graduate assistants (although this semester, there are 9, and we're relying more heavily on volunteers than we ever have). To fund one graduate assistant for one semester costs roughly $8500. So during any given year, taking an average of 13 GAs, it takes more than $200,000 to fund our graduate assistants.
While GAs are the majority of our staff, this calculation doesn't even cover the handful of other people who make LINGUIST List possible, like our programmers and managers, and it doesn't cover basic office supplies like staplers or printer paper. The money we raise during Fund Drive doesn't cover all of our expenses, but it's a crucial piece of our funding equation.
Q: Where else does your funding come from?
In the past, some of our funding has come from grants; these funds allow us to undertake digital infrastructure projects that support the discipline of linguistics, and sometimes these grants fund students. But as noted above, this year our grant projects are ending.
About 30% of our funding comes from the jobs and publication announcements we post.
A teeny tiny part (<1%) comes from our Amazon store and advertisements on the site. We make, on average, about $400 per month from both of these combined. This isn't enough to support one student for one semester. We plan to use these funds to upgrade student computers periodically since the university does not provide new computers.
The rest comes from you, our generous supporters. Your donations are crucial to our continued work; without you, we can't do what we do.
To visit the Amazon Store, click on one of the following referral links to the store in the country that best suits you:
We work hard to ensure that linguists everywhere have access to important information about the field, and we hope it's useful to you. We strive to keep you informed about conferences, linguistic jobs, publications, academic programs, and much more. And all of our resources are provided completely free to our readers and the public.
We'll never charge you to access the information we provide, but it costs us a lot to provide it.
We also take pride in the fact that this is all done by people who are linguists like you: even our financial coordinator has a linguistics degree. We have a unique ability to understand the needs of academic linguists, and a mission--nay, a passion--to support the discipline. LINGUIST List is by linguists, for linguists, supported by linguists.
If you've ever benefited from our work, please consider making a donation to help us keep doing it.