Frequently Asked Questions

What does MASTHEAD stand for?

Media Alumni Seeking to Highlight Equity and Diversity

What is the purpose of MASTHEAD?

MASTHEAD seeks to advocate for diverse, anti-racist and equitable student media at the University of Alabama. The organization provides financial resources and professional mentorship to current student journalists in order to promote a more inclusive environment. To learn more you can view the organization’s full mission statement and an introductory letter from one of MASTHEAD’s founding members.

How do I donate?

You may donate using a credit card, Venmo or PayPal here. When you donate, you’ll be asked if you attended the University of Alabama–this is for our records only, and it is not a requirement to donate or engage with us. You will also be asked to cover a small convenience fee paid to Givebutter, our donation processing platform, and will be prompted to tip Givebutter. The latter is not required. Once you have donated, Givebutter will automatically issue a donation receipt to you via email. Please note when using Venmo on mobile: You must temporarily “link” your Venmo app to our givebutter.com/masthead2020 web page. This may require an additional step, which is as simple as refreshing the page once you’ve selected Venmo and returned to the donation page from the Venmo app.

How much should I donate?

MASTHEAD has set an initial goal of raising $10,000 in the Fall 2020 Semester, and any amount that will help us reach that goal is appreciated. In the future, we want to fund impactful student journalism on an ongoing basis for multiple years. Setting up a recurring donation–monthly, quarterly, or semiannually–is the best way you can help ensure MASTHEAD is able to achieve its mission.

Is MASTHEAD part of the University of Alabama?

MASTHEAD is an independent non-profit corporation registered in the state of Alabama as of September 2020. It is seeking federal tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. MASTHEAD operates independently of the University with its own board of directors and bank account. However, we have developed relationships with University personnel, including Office of Student Media Director Jessie Jones. We look forward to continuing to define the contours of our relationship with the University as MASTHEAD evolves.

Who is on the MASTHEAD board?

The MASTHEAD board of directors includes stakeholders from the following three categories:

Six University of Alabama alumni who were once involved in student media: Victor Luckerson, Ashanka Kumari, Will Tucker, Jasmine Cannon, Abbey Crain and Joseph Bryant

Two student media leaders who serve as non-voting ex-officio members: Tionna Taite (Nineteen Fifty-Six Editor-in-Chief) and Rebecca Griesbach (The Crimson White Editor-in-Chief)

A UA faculty or staff member. This person has not yet been appointed but will be by the end of the Fall 2020 Semester.

Read more about MASTHEAD’s board here.

How was the MASTHEAD board selected?

MASTHEAD grew organically over the summer from some initial conversations between Victor, Rebecca, Tionna, and the current editorial board of The Crimson White. Victor then reached out to several former student leaders seeking their insight and varied expertise. This group has come together on a provisional basis to get MASTHEAD off the ground, with plans to appoint a board through a broader voting process in 2021.

If I donate to MASTHEAD, where does the money go?

MASTHEAD donations are processed using Givebutter, a free fundraising platform that has provided infrastructure for bailout funds nationwide this year. The money is held in a bank account controlled by the board of directors. The money is transferred from the organization’s bank account to the Student Media Gift Fund, a donation fund at the University of Alabama controlled directly by the Office of Student Media. In some cases, money may also be used to directly fund students’ travel or conference registration expenses. A small portion of donations will be used to pay for MASTHEAD’s operational expenses, such as web hosting and non-profit registration fees.

What’s the difference between donating to MASTHEAD and donating to the Student Media Gift Fund?

MASTHEAD is developing a memorandum of understanding with the Office of Student Media to ensure that the money we raise is used for specific initiatives tied to improving equity and diversity. The initiatives are being developed in conjunction with current student media leaders. For example, our initial MOU will state that MASTHEAD donations must be used to fund the race and identity desk at The Crimson White, which editors have already budgeted at a cost of $720 per month for staff salaries.

What initiatives will MASTHEAD fund?

In Fall 2020, MASTHEAD aims to raise $10,000 to fund the race and identity desk at The Crimson White and travel opportunities to attend journalism and entrepreneurship conferences for student editors at Nineteen Fifty-Six. Both organizations have additional initiatives that fit into MASTHEAD’s mission that we will help with as funding allows. Other uses of MASTHEAD funds may include:

– Additional opportunities for travel to conferences for Crimson White staffers
– A print edition of Nineteen Fifty-Six
– Funds to organize on-campus events or invite guest speakers for both Nineteen Fifty-Six and The Crimson White
– Scholarships for student journalists

Who decides how MASTHEAD’s future funds are allocated?

The MASTHEAD board of directors holds a monthly meeting which will be used to determine funding priorities, in conjunction with the student media leaders who serve on the board.

Are members of MASTHEAD’s board being paid?

No, MASTHEAD is an entirely volunteer effort.

How can I help MASTHEAD’s mission beyond donating?

MASTHEAD is organizing a mentorship program with student journalists of color and we’re still looking for mentors. We could use help developing our organization’s website and graphics for social media. And we could use help with some of the legal and clerical work involved with managing an ever-expanding list of donors and potential donors. If you’d like to help please review our list of current needs or email us at uamasthead@gmail.com.