Number 542 November 19, 2013

It's been six days since I announced the Fall 2013 Nygaard Notes Pledge Drive. So that means that it's time for...


A number of you have sent in your Pledges, and I thank you very, very much!

As for those of you who have NOT YET PLEDGED your support for the Nygaard Notes Project, I am appealing to you, in this special super-short issue of Nygaard Notes, to please please PLEASE send in your Pledge today!

Repeat: Please Please PLEASE send in your Pledge of support today!

Or tomorrow, or something.

No, I mean TODAY, because it's so easy to forget, or procrastinate, or just lose track of this email. How much easier to pull out an envelope right now and address it to

Nygaard Notes
P.O. Box 6103
Minneapolis, MN 55406

All you would have to do then—which would take about 37 seconds—would be to put a check in it, made out to Nygaard Notes, in the amount of your choosing, and mail it in.

1. It's easy.
2. It's the right thing to do.
3. It's really important to the project that you support it in a financial way.
4. It makes a statement that you support independent, empowering journalism and activism.

See below for more thoughts and ideas on the how and why. To make a Pledge, that is.

Thank you!


"Quote" of the Week: "I'm sure you are not compensated enough"

This week's "Quote" of the Week is, like this entire issue, short and sweet. It was sent in by a Nygaard Notes supporter along with her Pledge renewal. She said:

"I wish it could be more! I'm sure you are not compensated enough for the work you put into the newsletter."

OK. Now it's your turn.


Pledging: How Much?

Nygaard Notes
P.O. Box 6103
Minneapolis, MN 55406

Here's one way to Make a Pledge to Nygaard Notes: Make out a check to "Nygaard Notes" and send it to the address above.

Here's another way to make a Pledge:

Go to the Nygaard Notes website at , look for "Donate to Nygaard Notes," and click on the button that says "Donate Online." Then you'll pay via PayPal.

(If you care about such things, 100% of Pledges made by check go to support Nygaard Notes. When you Pledge electronically via PayPal, they take 3-4 percent of your Pledge as a fee.)

When you make your Pledge, you can let me know if you would prefer an acknowledgment in paper form, via the U.S. Mail, or via email. I enjoy sending thank-you cards, but I don't want to needlessly clutter up your mailbox. So either way is fine.

How Much to Pledge?

Any Pledge amount is welcome! Still, if you're wondering how much to Pledge, here are three ways to decide:

Method #1: The Standard Pay Per Issue

The familiar way of pledging, or subscribing, is to attempt to determine what each issue is "worth." How ridiculous! Who can assign a dollar value to ideas? But, if you insist, here's what you need to know:

Each year I seem to put out somewhere between 20 and 30 issues of Nygaard Notes. Sometimes more or, if many of them are double-sized issues, then maybe fewer. If each issue is worth a dollar to you, then maybe you would send me $25. Fifty cents each? Then it's $12.50. Maybe each issue is worth $5.00 to you. Then you would send in $125. And so on.

Method #2: Income/Wealth Calculation

A second way to think about what amount to pledge is to relate your contribution to your own income or wealth. Are you willing to devote one or two hour's worth of your wages each year to supporting Nygaard Notes? Then send me that amount. If you make minimum wage, I am more than happy to accept $7.25 or $14.50 for your annual subscription donation. Maybe the minimum wage in your state is different than the federal minimum, which is the number I used. Go with that.

The average cashier earns about $9.00 per hour (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). So the cashiers among you could send in one or two hours' worth of pay, which would be $9.00 or $18.00. If you're a mechanic, the hourly rate is about 20 buck/hour, so a $20 or $40 Pledge would work. If you're a podiatrist, then we jump up to $56 per hour. You get the idea. (If you're curious to know what people in YOUR job classification earn, check out the BLS website: )

Moving away from income to wealth (that is, looking at what you HAVE instead of what you EARN), you could send one-tenth of 1% of your net worth. Since the median net worth for all households in the United States is now something like $75,000, you could use this number and send in $75.00 as your Pledge. (For help in figuring out your own wealth, the median household income, etc., see Nygaard Notes #138, "Wealth in the United States.")

My favorite method of calculating a Pledge is the method technically referred to as "Whatever." That is, you can just send whatever you think is right. And it will be right. It all helps!

Once you've sent in whatever you like, I will record it in my system. Then, after a year goes by I will contact you and ask you to renew your Pledge. (Most people do renew, but you don't have to.) I will even send a pre-addressed and stamped envelope, which my friends in the fundraising business tell me is a good idea.

Thank you for supporting Nygaard Notes!


Support Nygaard Notes – For Free!

If you don't think that you can make a Pledge right now, consider supporting Nygaard Notes by TELLING YOUR FRIENDS, CO-WORKERS, AND COLLEAGUES about this newsletter. Tell them, in your own words, how their lives will be just a tiny bit better if they sign up to receive this newsletter called Nygaard Notes. Don't forget to mention that it's FREE, and remind them that it's not always true that "you get what you pay for." Sometimes you get a well-written, entertaining, empowering newsletter without paying anything. They might not believe it, so you'll have to challenge them to subscribe and see for themselves.



Help the Victims of Typhoon Yolanda

Either before or after sending your Pledge to support Nygaard Notes, please consider making a donation to help the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). There are many organizations that are doing urgently-needed work in the face of unimaginable suffering in the Philippines.

I donated to the World Food Programme of the United Nations last week (when I meant to include this plea with Part I of the Pledge Drive, but forgot). It's easy, and the WFP is on the ground providing high-energy biscuits to people who are literally in danger of starving to death. All you need is a credit card, then click on this link – – and they'll tell you what to do.

The WFP is certainly not the only option for making a contribution. The Christian Science Monitor has a list of eleven different agencies that are accepting donations. I don't personally know enough to say which are the best ones, but you can go and look for yourself by clicking here –

And, of course, the long-term response is for us all to do whatever we can to push our government, and others, to take serious steps to mitigate human-induced climate change, which is the driving force behind the increasing volatility and severity of the weather we've been seeing in recent years, including typhoons, droughts, and floods. More on this in future issues of Nygaard Notes.