As a social enterprise ourselves, Pioneers Post has clear social aims and ploughs profits back to support our community of socially progressive readers.
We believe that doing good is simply good business, and that we all profit when profits also serve the needs of people and planet.
Through our journalism, our community, our partnerships and networks, we want to inspire, nourish, support, promote and connect the community of social entrepreneurs, impact investors, leaders and innovators across public, private and civil society sectors so that we can all ‘do good business, better’.
We seek a world where profit and purpose are balanced in a new equilibrium – the ‘impact economy’ – that delivers and builds positive, purposeful and sustainable solutions for people and planet.
To provide solutions, knowledge, guidance, argument, encouragement and good humour to the pioneers dedicated to building the impact economy, through independent, honest, intelligent and insightful journalism, in good times and bad.
Aims and values
We aim to…
Be the essential, independent source of news and insight for pioneers across the impact economy
Help the world do good business, better
Connect, share, celebrate and scrutinise
Educate, explain and collaborate
We do this by…
- Producing and sharing wide range of news, views, knowledge and opportunities in social enterprise, impact investing and mission-driven business
- Exploring and explaining new ideas and practices focused around positive, sustainable solutions for people and planet
- Maintaining an independent, challenging voice that is unafraid to scrutinise, investigate or ‘speak truth to power’ across government, business and civil society
- Both championing and questioning the legitimacy and impact of social enterprise and impact investing at global, national and local levels
- Exploring what makes impact investing and social entrepreneurship work and why it sometimes goes wrong
- Being solutions-led in our journalism, focusing on responses to problems, how effectively they work and why
- Understanding and profiling the people behind social innovation and what motivates them (both the ‘big names’ and people on the frontline)
- Showcasing and celebrating great examples of social entrepreneurship across charity, public and commercial sectors through case studies and awards
- Being a critical link and connector in a community of impact with shared values and interests, especially if for those operating in different geographies, sectors or silos
- Using our specialist knowledge and experience around both “solutions-based” journalism and impact, in order to help social entrepreneurs become more effective storytellers and communicators
- Educating both aspiring and experienced journalists in the “mainstreaming” of impact investing, social enterprise, mission-driven business and the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Collaborating with partners and networks who share our aims and values, co-creating content, events and training programmes
- Approaching our subject matter with honesty, pragmatism, good humour and with a sense of fun
We aim to create a positive impact from the stories we generate, the solutions we share, our independent but collaborative approach and how we finance our journalism whilst sharing our resources as widely as possible. We also aim to share our knowledge and skills in ‘impact storytelling’ skills with both social entrepreneurs and other media professionals, particularly young journalists.
Although we can reference the number of people who share our stories, engage in our networks, come to events or join our training programmes, we want to understand better how we can prove and improve our impact, and we are currently working with advisors to explore how we can measure and manage our impact more effectively.
Below, we explain our impact under the following headings:
- The daily publication of news, views, features, interviews, podcasts and videos on our website, amplified through social media and our weekly e-newsletter, has an inate positive impact in itself, through the knowledge that is shared.
- Our website now reaches 200,000 unique visitors per year and our audience is growing fast (it has almost doubled in two years). We have more than 30,000 followers through various social media channels, and a database of more 10,000 weekly e-newsletter recipients.
- We are an advocate of ‘Solutions Journalism’, which we believe offers a more positive way for journalists to report on the world’s key challenges. Solutions journalism focuses in-depth on a response to a problem and how that response works in meaningful detail, and seeks to provide insight that others can use.
Open: As a social enterprise, it is our intention to share the content we create and the learnings we collect as widely as possible. We do this by sharing all the news and partner-based content that we produce as ‘open source’ (free to view) - this stays free and open forever. In addition, we produce more in-depth content (eg practical, how-to-do-it features and interviews with leaders, etc) – this is normally offered openly for 1 month, after which it goes into our ‘Impact Library’, which sits behind a paywall. In this way it can be shared widely but still provide an important resource for subscribers if they want to research a particular topic later.
Fair and sustainable: To maintain sustainability as a social enterprise, we need to bring in revenue. Some of this is from partnerships, training and events, but some is also from subscriptions. What we ask subscribers is slightly unusual, however, in that it is not simply transactional (ie you pay us to access stories that will help you increase your knowledge and understanding of social enterprise). Instead, we have a ‘Freemium’ model as follows:
a) Like many websites that are free to view, we nevertheless ask people to consider subscribing in order to maintain and fund our free and open journalism, supporting the value we create for them and for the social enterprise sector/impact economy.
b) Like many other media platforms, we also have a ‘paywall’, behind which subscribers can view additional content – we call this area our ‘Impact Library’. We are building this Impact Library as a key resource for the impact economy.
c) In addition, we also run what we call a ‘Robin Hood’ policy with our subscriptions. This means, in essence, that we charge less to the poor and more to the rich (basing subscription costs on turnover).
Independent: As an independent social enterprise, we aim to maintain an authentic, neutral, journalistic standpoint through which we are able to speak truth to power and hold people and organisations to account.
Collaborative: Being independent does not mean we cannot also be collaborative and constructive. This is demonstrated in all of our partnerships and in our commitment to ’solutions journalism’. We value collaboration with others because we think it adds value, depth, access and authenticity to our work. However, we always maintain editorial independence and will never publish something if we do not believe it passes our editorial standards (guided by both our editorial code and by the principles of solutions journalism).
- The production of live and digital events (from big conferences to seminars and webinars) either ourselves or with partners, where we can bring social entrepreneurs together to learn from each other and from experts. This includes ongoing programmes such as our SE100 and WISE100 networks and the associated awards and events around them.
- Operating as ‘media partners’ for major events where we support, market and amplify the learning from these events through our stories and platforms.
- Creating strategic partnerships with a range of organisations where we can support each other’s social aims.
- Often as part of partnerships or events, we run a range of training programmes for social entrepreneurs to help them be better communicators; we also run training programmes for journalists around ’solutions journalism and the impact economy’ (recent examples include training in Ethiopia, the Sudan, Greece/Cyprus/Croatia and our 18-month Young Storymakers programme involving young journalists from six different countries).