First, I’d like to say thank you.
Last week, I shared an update on the state of FanGraphs in light of baseball’s COVID-19-related delays and asked for your help in sustaining the site through this pandemic. The response we saw was incredible. We had the most new Membership signups we’ve had since launching the program in 2016, with 4,618 new Members. We’re so grateful for the baseball community and the kindness and resolve it so often shows. Thank you to all of our existing members and to everyone who became a Member, bought merchandise, helped get the word out on social media, or offered words of encouragement.
Many of you have also asked for an update on our progress, and here it is: the support you’ve shown the site gives us some breathing room, but not as much as is needed. Our yearly expenses include employee salaries and benefits, contributor pay, stats contracts, and server costs. And even though we continue to roll out new site features and publish new content, our daily traffic is still down 60-70%, sometimes more, affecting our ad revenue.
As I said last week, we realize that for many, now is not the best time to ask for help. Many are facing uncertainty. We’re uncertain if baseball will return this season. We don’t know what the advertising market will look like if it does. In order to weather that uncertainty, and to hopefully continue to grow in the future, we need 4% of our users to become Members. That translates to roughly 40,000 Members total. We’re 34.9% of the way there with 13,970 Members currently. We don’t need to close that 26,030-member gap overnight, but if we make our goal, it will help to ensure the site’s future.
Here are some ways to support FanGraphs, including some new ones inspired by the comments we received last week:
Become a Member
You can become a Member or an Ad-Free Member. You’ll see all the same great content and have access to all the tools. The Ad-Free Members enjoy the site with faster loading times and no ads. It is the best way to experience FanGraphs.
Donate to FanGraphs (New!)
Last week, many existing members asked us how they could support the site above and beyond their Membership and buying merchandise. We now have a simple donation form where you can donate to FanGraphs to help us out. Please note that donations to FanGraphs are not tax-deductible. For the purposes of this year’s Membership goal, we will treat every $30 donated as one new Membership towards that goal.
Gift a Membership (New!)
Many of you have asked for a way to gift Memberships to other readers, and now it’s here! You can send a coupon code for one year of FanGraphs Ad-Free Membership to anyone you like. The code never expires, and no credit card or other form of payment is required when the recipient signs up.
A Note On Merchandise
If you have purchased merchandise recently, we have experienced some shipping delays but expect to be able to ship out all current orders shortly. We are also exploring our options in terms of stocking new merchandise. We hope to have an update on that soon and appreciate your patience.
Again, to everyone who has already become a member, thank you so much. To people who are still thinking about it, please become one! And to those who cannot become members right now, please continue to visit the site, participate in the chats, and stick around. It makes a difference, too. Every FanGraphs Membership, donation, or t-shirt purchased goes directly to paying employees and contributors and to covering the stats and server costs that keep the lights on.
Even without baseball, we’re still working to bring you the best baseball site possible. Just yesterday, we launched a new stat aggregation feature on our player pages, and we’re still publishing baseball analysis and fantasy content daily. We’re free because we believe in this community and the joy baseball can bring in good times and bad.
Keep safe, and thank you for supporting our little corner of the Internet during these difficult times.
David Appelman is the creator of FanGraphs.