Tico Times ends campaign short of its $10,000 goal

The Tico Times fell short of its $10,000 fund-raising goal via an online donations Web site.

Some 104 persons pledged $8,016, It was unclear if that included a $500 donation made at the newspaper’s offices. The donation campaign, highly unusual for a for-profit business, ended at 1 a.m. Costa Rica time.

There were two $500 donations and even one of just $1.

The newspaper management said that the purposed of the donations was to keep the newspaper reporting news. The company, The Tico Times S.A., folded its print edition and said it would continue its online effort with the help of volunteers as it figured out how to make money.

Those who were asked to donate were not told on the site by publisher Dery Dyer that the company owes 17,667,370 colons to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social for social charges on past wages. That information was available on the Caja Web site. That amount is nearly $36,000. The Caja said on the Web site it was involved in a judicial process to collect the money.

The company actually owes about 10 percent more because the Caja does not list amounts owed to other institutions that are collected at the same time.

Some Tico Times readers said they did not contribute because they did not know exactly how the money would be spent or how a small amount, $10,000, could help the newspaper. By comparison, A.M. Costa Rica’s monthly budget is $10,000.

The newspaper suffered another blow last week when its Web page was not available for a time. The newspaper said there was a telephone problem.

The indiegogo.com Web site provides places for comments, and there were many laudatory contributions. Several thanked the 56-year-old newspaper for starting them in the business of journalism.

Under the terms of the Web Site, The Tico Times will receive the money collected but indiegogo.com takes a larger commission because the goal was not met.

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