Arts, Culture, and Humanities

SUNLIGHT PRESS

A Literary Journal for New and Established Voices

MERION STA, PA

Mission

Our mission as a digital literary journal is to provide a home to new and established voices. We welcome creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, reviews, photography, and artist reflections on their craft. Our goal is to offer our audience of writers and readers a forum for literary and creative thought, apart from the rapid-fire daily news and commentary.

Ruling Year

2018

Co-Founder and Co-Editor

Sally Elizabeth Burrell

Co-Founder and Co-Editor

Rudri Bhatt Patel

Main Address

PO Box 161

MERION STA, PA 19066 USA

Keywords

Digital Literary Publishing

EIN

82-3309294

 Number

8532393352

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Media, Communications Organizations (A30)

Printing, Publishing (A33)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

In January 2017 the two of us (co-founders and editors) launched The Sunlight Press, a digital literary journal, to welcome the voices of emerging and established artists. We wanted to create a close and supportive literary community and moreover, we wanted to pay our contributors. We have done so from the beginning. Too often, writers and artists can't find paying markets. We invested our own funds in small honorariums and in a website, and ultimately in March 2018, The Sunlight Press became a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit journal. This allowed us to fundraise and offer a tax deduction to donors. In 2018 we were thrilled to secure $2,710.00 from donors, used exclusively for honorariums. We raised an additional $2,670.00 from donors in 2019. Our hope is to continue raising funds so that we can remain a paying market and attract quality work. Time and time again, writers and artists say how grateful they are to be published and paid.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Literary Writing and Photography

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Our goal is first and foremost, to stay in business as a digital literary journal. When we launched in 2017, we had no idea if we'd get submissions, or if writers would find us. They did. Now we find ourselves struggling to keep up with the work submitted each month. Each week as editors, we cull through dozens of short stories, essays, poems, Artists on Craft essays, and photographs. We personally acknowledge every artist within 24 hours and contact artists about the status of their work within two months. Reviewing every submission requires the work of the two of us, a volunteer poetry editor, and several volunteer readers. Secondly, our stated goal from the start has been to pay for the work we accept and publish. We love the greater literary community we've gotten to know and the smaller one we've formed at Sunlight. We've met awesome artists from all over the world, and have published writers and artists from across the U.S., as well as from Japan, India, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Africa. As we continue our fourth year at The Sunlight Press and our third year as a nonprofit journal, we hope to gain new readership and to solicit/receive donations to pay our artists and to fund writing and photography contests. A longer term goal is to fund scholarships for high school students planning to study literary/visual arts in college, or for college graduates seeking careers in the creative arts. As our About Us page states: We want to hear the ways people turn toward light and hope, whether it is through the arts, culture, spirituality, or humor, and also how they respond to the darkness and navigate unknown spaces.

Our strategies include the two of us continuing to invest our own funds in the website and in honorariums for artists. We'd like to gradually reduce our own investment and increase the investment of our readers and donors. We know this is the only way to sustain our core mission: paying for the work we publish. While we are dedicated to financial support for the arts, we cannot do this alone. We need help. We know people support the arts by visiting museums and galleries, attending book readings by authors, buying original art, and donating to arts organizations they love and trust. Art brings joy and connection, but can't exist without financial support. We always tell our contributors every donation helps and every dollar goes directly toward honorariums for artists. Because our staff is small and all-volunteer, we've not had time to research and find available grants yet for literary art journals. Though we now qualify for grant funding as a nonprofit organization, we don't have the resources to identify this funding. One strategy would be to offer a summer stipend to a college intern or other volunteer who could identify and apply for grants for The Sunlight Press.

As mentioned above, unfortunately at this time we do not have the time or resources to devote to significant fundraising efforts, be it through online campaigns or identifying grant funding. We'd like to do more of both and hope with additional time and volunteers, we can. If we continue going strong, we'd also like to hire a very part-time literary assistant as well as interns to help with these tasks and with social media. This would free us up as editors to devote time to reviewing and editing submissions. In the immediate future we plan to seek more volunteers to help with our site - reviewing submissions, helping with social media, and perhaps applying for grant funding. This fall we will again seek donations through our subscriber base at MailChimp and through personal appeals via email and letters.

The best way to measure our progress is fourfold: 1. Submissions continue at a rapid pace. Word about our work and our publication is spreading. Our readership and the number of artists we publish is growing steadily. 2. Our email subscriber list also is growing and now stands at over 330 subscribers who receive our twice weekly (sometimes more often) posts. 3. Our website views since we launched have surpassed 136,000. Each year since 2017 our web views have grown, as well as our Twitter and Instagram following, and our Facebook friends. 4. Our first fundraising campaign in fall 2018 was a success. After becoming a nonprofit in March 2018, we made our first concerted effort to fundraise that fall. We wrote a letter in September to all email subscribers (via MailChimp), seeking donations. Then in November, we personally wrote family, friends and contacts and asked for their support for The Sunlight Press. On Giving Tuesday, also in November, we wrote subscribers again. All told, these efforts resulted in $2,710.00 in donations, specifically earmarked for payments to our published writers and artists. We surpassed our fundraising goal of $2,000.00 in donations for 2018. We were thrilled!

As stated above, our biggest accomplishment was launching our website and digital literary journal in January 2017 and attracting submissions and readers. We are proud to be going strong in 2020, continuing to offer a diverse and provocative array of stories and essays, poems and photographs. We love hearing from readers about work that resonates. The Sunlight Press continues to be an ad-free journal with no pay wall that attracts award-winning writers and artists, as well as many new voices never published. We publish twice weekly on Mondays and Wednesdays, and occasionally post more often when we run a full week of essays, short stories, or poetry, for example. Since launching, we've not stopped publishing (other than for a two-week holiday break each December). We love what we are doing here and look forward to 1) offering more writing contests with cash awards; 2) nominating more of our published work for Pushcart, Best of the Net, and other literary prizes; and 3) reviewing submissions from American writers and artists, as well as those from all across the world. Our short-term goals are working hard to raise funds to pay our contributors and offering our readers the quality work they've come to enjoy and expect. We set high standards for ourselves as editors, and for the work we accept. We hope this keeps readers coming back and lays the groundwork for greater financial support from donors.

External Reviews

Financials

SUNLIGHT PRESS

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable