British newspaper The Guardian has long had a unique funding model. There’s advertising and cover price sales, of course, but it is also heavily underwritten by the Scott Trust, essentially there to ensure the survival of a liberal media voice. The paper has been pushing an agenda of open and free journalism (so no paywalls) for years, but that is not paying all the bills – so it has turned to its readers with a new proposal. It will give readers access to Guardian Membership (currently in beta) for upwards of £60 a month and, while all its main news and arts coverage will remain free to anyone online, these members will have access to exclusive content and events in a new London venue. Depending on how much (if at all) they pay, the readers will be classed as a “friend” (free), a “partner” (£15 a month) or a “patron” (£60 a month). It’s not music-related but it shows an interesting attempt to focus a community around ensuring the longevity of something they feel has value. In music, crowdfunding tends to be around specific moments like an album, but this shows the possibilities of applying that model to something much grander, ongoing and less tangible – namely an ideal or a philosophy. Would you pay a regular fee to keep the idea of your favourite artist or label going long into the future?