Hong Kong Free Press Transparency Report: See our income, spending from the past year

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Hong Kong Free Press Transparency Report: See our income, spending from the past year

As Hong Kong’s most transparent news outlet, HKFP is externally audited annually, sharing all of our accounts online. With have no shareholders, and we do not answer to any business tycoon, mainland conglomerate or media mogul. HKFP is run by journalists and is a non-profit – we are answerable only to ourselves and our readers, and our newsroom relies on small donations from almost 1,000 readers.

In 2023, costs rose as we completed our expansion, whilst income fell amid waning interest in Hong Kong news and a population exodus. We invite our readers and supporters to examine our income and spending over the past year, as we look to return to sustainability in 2024. Check out our full Annual Report here.

HKFP income 2016-2023

Our finalised, externally audited income up to 2022, and our predicted income for 2023:

Income 2023* 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Direct contributions HK$3,618,236.94 HK$3,587,606 HK$4,497,890 HK$6,357,972 HK$6,056,859 HK$2,463,408 HK$1,769,760 HK$1,063,125
Ads & content sales HK$233,699.46 HK$418,957 HK$143,695 HK$110,247 HK$271,066 HK$136,084 HK$328,759 HK$92,276
Events HK$0 HK$0 HK$0 HK$0 HK$263,361 HK$24,390 HK$0 HK$8,352
Bank interest, insurance claim, exchange gain TBC HK$6,516 HK$3,945 HK$10 HK$226 HK$21 HK$1 HK$12
Gov’t Covid subsidy HK$0 HK$96,000 HK$0 HK$216,000 HK$0 HK$0 HK$0 HK$0
Total: HK$3,844,936.40 HK$4,109,079 HK$4,645,530 HK$6,697,010 HK$6,591,512 HK$2,623,903 HK$2,098,520 HK$1,163,765
*2023 predicted, not yet audited

How is HKFP funded? Current revenue streams:

💰 Reader supported: 94% of HKFP’s income comes directly from our readers, assuring our press freedom and independence.

💰Direct contributions: includes one-off & monthly Patron contributions by cheque/transfer, cash, PayPal & Stripe credit/debit card (inc. Apple Pay & Google Pay), PayMe, Octopus, CoinDragon, Tap & Go, as well as merch sales profit & shopping referral links.

💰Ads and content sales: includes ad income from display ads; Apple News & Facebook ads, Google/YouTube ads, directly purchased rate card ads & content sales [from media outlets, institutions and syndication partners LexisNexis, Opera News, Moody’s, NewsBank, ProQuest, Dow Jones Factiva & Nordot etc…]

⚠️ HKFP is predicted to make a record loss of HK$1.4m in 2023. Although we are able to reinvest our previous surplus, we will need to return to sustainability and halt the fall in HKFP Patrons in 2024.

Help safeguard press freedom & keep HKFP free for all readers by supporting our team

  • ♻️ Surplus recycled: As a non-profit, with no shareholders, investors or umbrella company overseeing it, any surplus is recycled back into the HKFP newsroom for future use.
  • 🔒 Future security: As of 2021, HKFP LTD is obliged to retain a HK$1.5m legal defence fund in light of new challenges to press freedom, in addition to an emergency fund of HK$1m.
  • 💡Efficiency: HKFP is run as efficiently and prudently as possible, in order to maximise the impact of our donors’ generosity. We make savings by partnering with other media outlets, using free software/tools and making full use of teamwork and automation.
  • 📝To view our full audits, click here.

HKFP spending 2016-2023

Finalised expenditure for our latest audited year, 2022, & our predicted 2023 spending:

Expenditure 2023* 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Full-time staff payroll HK$4,072,093 HK$3,624,759 HK$1,952,853 HK$1.599m HK$1.606m HK$1.49m HK$1.340m HK$1.035m
Mandatory Provident Fund (pensions) HK$151,150 HK$137,960 HK$76,662 HK$72,221 HK$68,123 HK$69,234 HK$66,180 HK$50,942
Web & software, newswire, commission HK$213,998 HK$227,068 HK$138,532 HK$132,269 HK$129,543 HK$58,693 HK$33,083
Office, sundry, recruitment/training, telecom HK$380,306 HK$447,234 HK$273,244 HK$109,289 HK$164,256 HK$110,414 HK$57,565 HK$25,801
Meals/drinks for volunteers/staff/sources HK$41,540 HK$20,506 HK$25,178 HK$18,324 HK$29,686 HK$14,028 HK$17,106 HK$25,531
Legal, professional, registration, audit HK$2,239 HK$114,143 HK$37,365 HK$96,505 HK$12,340 HK$7,385 HK$45,231 HK$10,845
Travel & insurance HK$153,427 HK$174,445 HK$67,513 HK$72,391 HK$50,615 HK$78,067 HK$8,169 HK$8,267
Stationery, merch, postage, printing HK$65,233 HK$44,240 HK$207,392 HK$208,544 HK$42,311 HK$11,827 HK$686 HK$17,124
Bank charges, penalties & exchange losses HK$1,533 HK$2,155 HK$4,232 HK$13,752 HK$4,240 HK$1,705 HK$1,170 HK$2,218
Freelancer payments & gear HK$152,779 HK$246,454 HK$936,072 HK$595,693 HK$289,387 HK$64,400 HK$34,090 HK$0
Tax TBC TBC HK$59,518 HK$408,496 HK$509,211 HK$29,816 HK$13,343 HK$0
Advertising HK$38,127 HK$37,527 HK$78,745 HK$6,914 HK$36,597 HK$34,371 HK$10,261 HK$0
Membership, research/polls, repairs & other HK$11,600 HK$2,778 HK$5,060 HK$118,800
Total: HK$5,284,025 HK$5,079,269 HK$3.74m HK$3.04m HK$2.89m* HK$2.04m HK$1.65m HK$1.20m

Team HKFP 2023
Executive Editor Mercedes Hutton, Reporter Irene Chan, Photojournalist Kyle Lam, Senior Reporter Kelly Ho, Editor-in-chief Tom Grundy, Reporter James Lee, Reporter Hans Tse, Social Media & Production Editor Shan Chan and Reporter Hillary Leung, and Pixel the dog.

💼 Investing in people: HKFP competes with international media when it comes to staff pay and conditions. We are proud to set – or exceed – industry standards in order to foster talent and retain staff in an increasingly tough environment. 80% of HKFP’s spending goes towards staff remuneration and pensions. When you support HKFP, you can be assured that your contribution is going directly towards local journalists – not to shareholders or a profit-making conglomerate.

Staff benefits include: ✓ Clear payscale and annual appraisal. ✓ Up to 23 days annual leave. ✓ 4 months maternity, 3 months paternity leave. ✓ Healthcare, dental and physio coverage. ✓ Mental health support options. ✓ Secure laptop and phone. ✓ Monthly travel allowance. ✓ Hong Kong Journalists Association membership. ✓ Remote working benefits.

HKFP Patrons in 2023:

HKFP relies on a membership model. Small amounts of income from a large pool of Patrons help support our team, sustain our operations, and guarantee our newsroom’s independence and longevity. Our monthly income as of January 2024:

  • 895 – Number of monthly Patrons.
  • HK$182,551 – Monthly income from Patrons (before fees.)
  • HK$203 – Average monthly Patron contribution.
  • ⚠️ Our number of patrons declined by 8% in 2023, whilst the average monthly contribution rose by 5%.
  • 💰66% of monthly contributors donate via credit/debit card (Stripe,) whilst the rest use PayPal.
  • 📝 Figures exclude those who contribute by cheque/bank transfer.
  • 💡 HKFP Patrons are given priority and/or free entry to HKFP events, merch and our Annual Report, and help keep the site free-to-access for those who cannot afford to contribute.

Support HKFP’s newsroom in 2024

contribute to hkfp methods

Donate online via card or PayPal:
One-off or monthly contributions can be made with your Visa, Mastercard, or Apple Pay/Google Pay via Stripe on our website: support.hongkongfp.com.

Donate by cheque
Cheques of amounts up to HK$50,000 may be made payable to Hong Kong Free Press Limited and posted – along with your full name and address to: HKFP, The Hive Kennedy Town, 6/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield Road, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong. [Contributionare confidential – a paper-trail is required for our internal accountancy records.]

Donate via HSBC PayMe, Pay & Go or Octopus
Scan our QR code to make an HSBC PayMe, Octopus or Pay & Go digital payment. Please include your full name and email address so we may accept your contribution.

Donate by transfer/FPS
For bank transfers, please email a screenshot or phone photo of the receipt/confirmation to donations@hongkongfp.com, after you have made arrangements. Supporters may also set up a regular standing order/direct debit with a form from your bank: HSBC, Standard Chartered, or Hang Seng.

Faster Payment Service (FPS):

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Our local HSBC account details:

  • Account name: Hong Kong Free Press Limited. Account no: 817887532-838
  • Bank name: HSBC Hong Kong. Bank address: 1 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong.
  • Bank code: 004. Branch number: 817. SWIFT address: HSBCHKHHHKH

Contributions are confidential – a paper-trail is required for our internal accountancy records.

Donate spare coins
Hoarding a jar of coins? Donate spare change at Coin Dragon machines around the city.

Donate gear or sponsor our operations
We welcome contributions of new computer or audio-visual equipment. We also welcome sponsorship of our ongoing operational costs – please get in touch if you can support us.

Buy HKFP merchandise
Show your support for press freedom with HKFP merchandise.

Advertise with us
Support us and promote your business or cause at the same time. Request our rate card and consider our affordable range of digital marketing solutions.

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HKFP is powered Patrons – our community of monthly donors.

Almost 1,000 HKFP Patrons make HKFP possible. Each contributes an average of around HK$200/month to support our award-winning original reporting, keeping the city’s only independent English-language outlet free-to-access for all. Why join us?

  1. 🔎 Transparent & efficient: As a non-profit, we are externally audited each year, publishing our income/outgoings annually, as the city’s most transparent news outlet.
  2. 🔒 Accurate & accountable: Our reporting is governed by a strict Ethics Code. We are 100% independent, and not answerable to any tycoon, mainland owners or shareholders. Check out our latest Annual Report, and help support press freedom.
  3. 💰 It’s fast, secure & easy: We accept most payment methods – cancel anytime, and receive a free tote bag and pen if you contribute HK$150/month or more.
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Maximum contribution: HK$50,000. For larger contributions of up to HK$100,000, please contact us so we may discuss enhanced Know Your Client checks.

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