Because we think local news and information matters, and lots of people have told us they want the SE1 website to keep going. Now's your chance to help that happen.
Before we launched the membership scheme in autumn 2016, the biggest single income stream was advertising, mostly powered by the Google AdSense service.
We also earn money through restaurant bookings and hotel bookings.
For a while, the website's income more or less matched the costs.
But costs have gone up and revenue has gone down, so we're barely earning enough to cover web hosting and office expenses, let alone the cost of producing our content.
The SE1 website is published by Bankside Press Ltd. Its shareholders and directors are James Hatts, Leigh Hatts and Marion Marples.
As a family, we've been running the website for the past 20 years.
We hope our 20-year track record of local publishing speaks for itself. This isn't an unproven start-up - we've been delivering our core product of high quality local news for nearly two decades.
We need your help if the website is to keep going. We want to keep on breaking stories about the Garden Bridge, about planning and regeneration and what Lambeth and Southwark councils are up to. We also want to provide more audio and video coverage of local events.
Members don't get any special privileges when it comes to our news reporting or forum moderation decisions.
No. All our articles will remain free to read.
Our exclusive material for members will be a printed newsletter.
We took a number of factors into consideration.
We looked at the price of local newspapers. If you bought every issue of the South London Press and the Southwark News, it would cost you £5.60 a month. Our basic subscription level is £5.
We looked at the price of a cup of coffee. A flat white costs £3 in Tate Modern. On that basis, our monthly subscription is cheaper than two cups of coffee.
We looked at the prices set by other publishers for similar schemes. The Waltham Forest Echo charges £5 a month for its membership scheme. The Guardian's 'supporter' tier of membership is also a fiver a month.
Yes. You can cancel your subscription at any time by logging in to Paypal and no further payments will be taken.
Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations, you have the right to cancel in the first 14 days and receive a refund. Just get in touch if you need to take up that option.
We are going to run the membership scheme on a three month trial through the months of September, October and November. When December arrives we'll review the situation.
If things have gone well, we'll carry on into 2017.
If we can't see a path to putting the website on a sustainable footing, we'll wind things up at the end of the year.
A crowdfunding appeal works best when there's a new project to be launched. We're not launching anything new and shiny just at the moment - what we need is steady long-term help to meet ongoing costs.
Yes. Watch this space for new advertising opportunities on the website and in our range of email newsletters.
We're aware that is not as easy as it ought to be to place an advert on our website. We're working on it.
Please get in touch - we'd be delighted to hear from you.
Definitely. Why not request some of our promotional postcards to distribute to your colleagues or neighbours?
Please send us an email or give us a call and we'll do our best to assist.