Fund journalists directly

Fund your favorite writers

Beacon empowers writers by letting you fund their work directly. That means you, the reader, decide which writers and stories get published instead of advertisers.

Support journalism around the world

There are hundreds of projects on Beacon that you can fund directly. We’ve made it easy to browse and search for topics you’ll love. With Beacon, you can enable journalism all around the world.

Double your impact with matching funds

Beacon is the only crowdfunding platform to provide matching funds. For many projects, your pledge will be matched by Beacon — giving you even more impact.

Help me report on the North American deserts, and I’ll give you a story a week on the continent’s most intact, most threatened, and most biologically diverse ecosystems.

  • 26stories
  • $6,150raised
    so far
Back this work
* This project is live and producing stories.
At 50 backers Chris Clarke is producing journalism that creates impact.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • One original story a week, on threats facing the desert.

  • Exclusive interactions with me in BEACON discussion forums.

  • Access to every story, by every writer on BEACON.

  • My top-level backers will get a “Desert Defender” T-shirt in a size of their choice, courtesy of the folks at BEACON.

America’s deserts are under assault.

Long considered barren and empty, useless for anything but nuclear testing and toxic waste dumping, the arid lands of North America have long been spared the overwhelming development visited on places like the Great Plains’ grasslands and the West Coast’s old growth forests.

But the deserts aren’t barren. They’re not empty. The North American deserts have their own rich biological diversity, and a rich cultural history as well. North America’s deserts make up almost 800,000 square miles of largely intact habitat.


But because they’re seen as barren, our deserts are targeted for the kinds of developments that wouldn’t fly in more heavily populated areas, like landfills and sewage sludge dumps. And as our society confronts its contributions to climate change, the desert is increasingly offered up as a sacrifice so that people who live elsewhere can go “green” without rethinking their lifestyles.

The landscapes that are the soul of North America are being threatened.

With your help, I’ll report on those threats – and on the unique natural and cultural aspects of the desert that are so very worth preserving.

You? Add your name to the list →

Arun Ayyer

Michael Cooper

AE Siletz

Sonie Sampson

andrew christie

Alicia Springer Thomas

pat veesart

Sarah Christie

Brian Cluer

Ricardo Small

janet elaine ebaugh

Jim Andre

Janine Blaeloch

Terry R. Weiner

Eric Perlmutter

Nancy Gorrell

jeffrey steichmann

Bill Worzel

Jean Hehn-Bradley

Michael Denny

Sara Prigan

Socorro Gomez

Fauna Tomlinson

Judy Paulsen

Alex Parker

Robert Ellis

Elisa Lamont

Greta Anderson

Charlie Allen

Josh Gordon

Riki Eastmond

Lane McCoy

Dennis Reynolds

Jim Andre

Bob Bond

Florian Boyd

Marion Urban

David Lowe

Dipika S Kadaba

Serene Ong

Charles Jones

Veronica Bowers

Jim Dodson

Andrew MacKellar

wendy wilke

Meg Foley

Rob Mrowka

Laurie Jones Neighbors

Richard E Davis

Kim Whitney

Robert Vaughn

Elizabeth A. Nunn

Maggie Fusari

PZ Myers

David Becker

Leslie Sobel

Sherrie Wesberry

John Wall

Will Mattsson

Jill Giegerich

Wally Borgeson

Sonya shiffer

Jim Andre

Gloria Putnam

John Feeney

Jym Dyer

Kristjan Wager

Charles Hohn

Kenn Kaufman

Lorraine Salas

amanda bellerby

Marie Choi

Ryan Chriatensen

Heather Driscoll

John Hansen

Vance Dubberly

John Mitchell

Yaney MacIver

Rachel Shaw

Scott Sexton

Brent Kryda

Jane Tsong

Ann Wellington

Randy Lyman

Janine Blaeloch

Nathaniel Frein

Michael Dennt

Robert Greacen

Veronica Sullivan

John Stendahl

Pamela Richards

Gordon MacGinitie

Arvind Baddepudi

Donald Newell

Cecile Christensen

Robert Carr

Florian Weller

Sherri Andrews

Tiffany Arnold

Teri Macias

Plus 73 others who want to read stories about Defending the Desert
Chris Clarke hasn't posted an update yet
Note: All pledges are in USD. If you'd like to pledge at a level not listed here, you can make a custom pledge.

Chris Clarke BIOGRAPHY

I’ve been reporting on Western environmental issues since the late 1980s, at first for local grassroots environmental publications and then branching into the mainstream. My work has received an Utne Alternative Press Award, and a respectable showing in the Advocacy Journalism section of the 2013 Los Angeles Press Club Awards.

Aside from publications I’ve edited, including the award-winning Earth Island Journal, my work has appeared in Orion, Camas, Bay Nature, California Wild, the New Internationalist, and about thirty daily papers nationwide. I write about 500 pieces a year for Los Angeles’ KCET, the nation’s largest independent public television station.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is Beacon?

    Beacon is a platform for funding journalism. We've worked with hundreds of journalists and tens of thousands of readers to fund important stories from around the world.

  • How does Beacon work?

    Journalists create crowdfunding pages on Beacon, outlining a reporting project they have planned. You decide whether the project deserves funding by making a pledge.

  • How is my pledge used?

    Beacon pays out journalists directly. Journalists use your funding to cover the costs of reporting and producing a final story, which they'll share with you.

  • Where is the journalism published?

    Stories funded on Beacon have appeared in major publications like The Atlantic, the San Francisco Chronicle and TIME. We work with journalists to maximize the reach and impact of journalism you fund.

  • How is my pledge kept secure?

    We use Stripe to process and protect your billing information. Stripe meets or exceeds all industry standards for security and is used by major brands like Kickstarter and The Guardian.

  • When am I billed for my pledge?

    You're billed at the project deadline and only if the project successfully meets its goal. If a project is unsuccessful, you will not be charged.

Stories about Defending the Desert need to be told

Help Chris Clarke bring them to BEACON. At 50 backers, Chris Clarke can provide sustainable reporting on the topic you won't get anywhere else.

Back this work