Hong Kong Free Press Transparency Report 2018

We are proud to be Hong Kong’s most transparent news outlet and, as a non-profit company, HKFP is externally audited every year. Be assured that, when you donate to HKFP, every cent is put to careful use and goes directly towards frontline journalism and original reporting. Download a copy of our latest Annual Report.


Income for our latest audited year – 1/1/2018 to 31/12/2018 – was as follows:

Income 2018 2017 2016
All donations HK$2,463,408 HK$1,769,760 HK$1,063,125
Ads & content sales HK$136,084 HK$328,759 HK$92,276
Events HK$24,390 HK$0 HK$8,352
Bank interest HK$21 HK$1 HK$12
Total: HK$2,623,903 HK$2,098,520 HK$1,163,765

hkfp transparency report

Our 2018-2020 revenue streams:

All donations: includes one-off & monthly Patron contributions by cheque/transfer, cash PayPal & card, as well as merch sales profit & shopping referral links. HKFP also retains 1.97 Bitcoin, as of 2020.

Ads & content sales: includes income from Google/YouTube display ads; Apple News & Facebook ads, directly purchased rate card ads & content sales [from media outlets, institutions and Dow Jones Factiva/Nordot re-syndication].

hkfp transparency report

HKFP Patrons: HKFP has shifted towards a membership model. Small amounts of income from a large pool of Patrons helps support our team, sustain our operations with more security, and guarantees our independence. Our monthly income as of January 2020:

hkfp transparency report

  • The number of HKFP Patrons rose by 539% in 2019, and our monthly income from Patrons rose by 358%.
  • Patrons are overwhelmingly from Hong Kong, though we also have backers in the US, UK, Australia and China.
  • In addition to the above, we receive at least HK$10,000 [US$1,276] per month from donors who contribute via cheque, transfer or by coin donation via CoinDragon.
  • Patrons are given priority and/or free entry to HKFP events, merchandise and a hard copy of our Annual Report. We aim to surpass 1,000 patrons in 2020.

hkfp team

Expenditure for our latest audited year – 1/1/2018 to 31/12/2018 – was as follows:

  • 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 wherever possible and making full use of teamwork and automation to save on labour costs.
  • During 2018, we employed 4-5 full-time staff members and several freelancers.
Expenditure 2018 2017 2016
Full-time staff payroll HK$1,499,071 HK$1,340,230 HK$1,035,523
Mandatory Provident Fund (pensions) HK$69,234 HK$66,180 HK$50,942
Website, newswire text/photo, software HK$129,543 HK$58,693 HK$33,083
Office, sundry, recruitment/training, telecom HK$110,414 HK$57,565 HK$25,801
Meals/drinks for volunteers & staff HK$14,028 HK$17,106 HK$25,531
Legal, professional, registration, audit fees HK$7,385 HK$45,231 HK$10,845
Travel & insurance HK$78,067 HK$8,169 HK$8,267
Stationery/merch, postage, printing HK$11,827 HK$686 HK$17,124
Bank charges & exchange losses HK$1,705 HK$1,170 HK$2,218
Freelancer payments & gear HK$64,400 HK$34,090 HK$0
Tax HK$29,816 HK$13,343 HK$0
Advertising HK$34,371 HK$10,261 HK$0
Total: HK$2,049,861 HK$1,652,724 HK$1,209,334

hkfp transparency report

  • As a non-profit, with no shareholders or investors, HKFP’s surplus was recycled back into the company in 2019.
  • 73% of all spending goes directly towards supporting our hard-working full-time news team.

In 2019, HKFP went through a legal examination to be recognised as the equivalent of a US charity. Hong Kong law does not allow media outlets to register as tax-exempt charities, thus HKFP is a limited by guarantee company – a non-profit, answerable to readers not shareholders.

NGOsource Equivalency Determination on File

As of January, 2020, we are now certified by NGO Source. Whilst this does not mean we are tax-exempt, it can be of some assurance to donors and grant-making bodies that we meet the same standards of a US public charity in terms of our structure, accountability and governance.

Not-for-profit, run by journalists and completely independent, the HKFP team relies on readers to keep us going and to help safeguard press freedom. Learn more about our achievements in our latest Annual Report. Our Transparency Report shows how carefully we spend every cent.

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Donation Total: HK$250.00 One Time

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Make an instant one-off donation of any amount, or make a monthly commitment and become an HKFP Patron. HK$200 per month – the price of a weekly coffee – helps us achieve sustainability and safeguards our independence.


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