2020 Financial Report

2020 was a year of big changes — a rollercoaster ride. For Are We Europe, the most fundamental shift was the becoming of a membership-driven organization. It wasn’t an easy year for us, and we can imagine the same goes for you too.

Nevertheless, you decided to support us with some of your hard-earned money. In return, we promise we will always be transparent towards you, our members. 


Here is a breakdown of exactly where our money goes. As a member, we want to give you this behind-the-scenes peek at what it takes to run a media platform like Are We Europe.

As you can see, most of our spending goes to the people behind Are We Europe. By salary, we mean the people who are part of our core team in Brussels: those that work on the daily operations.

Alongside this, we have our contributors, all part of the next generation of 500+ talented storytellers all over Europe that help make Are We Europe what it is. We are really proud that we have the opportunity to pay the most talented people more each year, as one of our main principles at Are We Europe is to help storytellers both financially and as a platform to build up their portfolios. This includes a variety of writers, illustrators, photographers, and creatives of different kinds. 

Under Magazine, this is everything it takes to produce and print a magazine, including the buying of articles, funding our individual photo series, and shipping. Office costs and rent accounts for the rent we pay, the (online) tools, software we use, from Creative Cloud to illustrating pens. For those of you that don’t know it: Are We Europe has a co-working space in Brussels named KANO (during covid we’re working from home, but if you’re ever in Brussels and Covid allows it to open, feel free to drop by!). KANO hosts our own office but also provides affordable working space to talented storytellers based in Brussels. We still pay our rent of course, and maintain the building. 

Next to our editorial line we have AWE studio which comes under Studio Projects. This is a storytelling studio that creates engaging multimedia projects, articles, and events like-minded organizations such as Bertelsmann Foundation. You may have come across some of these projects before, for instance our Mayday magazine in collaboration with BOZAR or animation videos for Bertelsmann who also supported our quarterly magazine for a long time. This isn’t too dissimilar from Stories and Content, which are single stories we have bought and financed throughout the year. 

Under Other come our Travel expenses, helping to fly creatives from Barcelona to Poland for instance, for our IDEOLOGIA LGBT project. It also includes finances we’ve spent on advertising to help get these voices out there. 


Here is a breakdown of exactly where our money goes. As a member, we want to give you this behind-the-scenes peek at what it takes to run a media platform like Are We Europe.

Our Revenue section is another look into how Are We Europe, and independent magazines are run, in general. The magazine itself comes under the division of sales across European bricks and mortar and online bookstores, as well as sales straight from areweeurope.com.  

We are largely dependent on grants and we are extremely grateful for this. Organizations like the Adessium Foundation and Stimuleringfonds voor de Journalistiek help us to not only exist but also grow as a company. This includes a number of projects like Summer of Solidarity which was funded by the European Cultural Foundation, for instance. As we do not take this for granted, we want to thank Adessium, Stimuleringfonds voor de Journalistiek, Solutions Journalism, European Cultural Foundation, and Hippocrene, for their support. 

Since we only started to evolve into a members-based organization halfway through the year, the share of membership revenue is still fairly small. Ending the year with a total of 239 members, our membership-based revenue for the next year will allow us to become less dependent on external financing – one of the many reasons we will be running a membership campaign in January 2021. Our members have been incredibly open about what they are and aren’t interested in seeing at Are We Europe – which is why we want to thank you, our members, for supporting us from the beginning and helping us shape the stories and projects you want to see. 

Our co-working space KANO has also been a great opportunity to rent out affordable desk space to other European creatives. We have placed events and workshops we were able to hold at KANO at the start of 2020 under “other”. 

Now that we’ve been as open and as honest as we can without bombarding you with figures, we’d love to hear your thoughts. We appreciate that you’ve come this far – reading numbers isn’t exactly a relaxing or casual pastime (for most!), but we want to keep membership as much of a two-way street as possible, to give you clarity about what we’re doing, and importantly, where your money is going. 

With that said, if you have any questions, thoughts, or ideas, we can continue to tailor what we offer quite rightly to you – the members of Are We Europe. 

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