Support The Oil Drum

In 2007, The Oil Drum staff incorporated a parent non-profit organization called the Institute for the Study of Energy and Our Future (ISEOF). We feel that working under the aegis of a non-profit organization sends a clear message that our sole motivation is to give the public an unbiased view of the energy landscape. This distinguishes us from for-profit enterprises whose perspectives may be subject to a conflict of interest.

You may notice that the advertisements in the left sidebar we taken down last fall. This was done so that ISEOF could comply with the requirement that U.S. non-profits be primarily supported by contributions from the public.

To that end, readers are invited to support The Oil Drum by contributing to ISEOF via the PayPal "donate" button in the left sidebar. Below is a partial list of the expenses that reader contributions will cover:

  • Advertising The Oil Drum to potential readers through various media
  • Publicizing ISEOF/TOD research in the media
  • Web server lease and maintenance
  • Access to commercial databases for research purposes
  • Travel to conferences to report on proceedings and present research
  • Legal fees associated with obtaining and maintaining non-profit status

Keep in mind that The Oil Drum staff are completely volunteer. In other words, no staff member receives any monetary compensation for the work they do for The Oil Drum.

We understand that this is a tough time for many of you financially. If you can't give a monetary donation, you can still support us by continuing to leave insightful comments and telling your friends about us.

Please note that ISEOF's application for tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) public charity is currently pending before the Internal Revenue Service. While we expect the application to be approved, in the event that it is denied, donations may not be tax deductible.

I don't do Pay Pal contributions - Do you have a snail mail/check alternative?


There is a snail mail alternative that is actually preferred for larger donations (since Paypal takes a percentage off the top).

Institute for the Study of Energy and Our Future
P.O. Box 270762
Fort Collins, CO 80527-0762
contact at iseof dot org

If you forget this address, you can look it up at the web site for Institute for the Study of Energy and the Future which is

I added this info to the donate page as well.

SuperG, I welcome this.

I've requested to make a modest donation at least twice without response.

In June I'll receive a nice tax rebate and will make my donation than

Thanks for TOD.

There are several ways websites can be funded:

1. Ad revenue
2. Subscriptions
3. Contributions from a few big donors
4. Contributions from a broad range of donors

Getting money from only a few donors can exert pressure on content, as can relying on ad revenue. Getting funds from subscriptions would make the material we publish less accessible. For these reasons, getting funds from a broad range of donors is probably best.

We rely a lot on donations of people's time, particularly for writing posts. In many ways, this is the biggest way the site is funded. But if we do have contributions, it gives us more options when we need to purchase services, or pay for expenses.

It would be useful if you could indicate the amount of money you need to continue or grow (continual growth:-), e.g. USD 10k per month.

Also there might be qualified people who could help, e.g. provide legal services? but then again what's that saying about lawyers, they're not listening if you're not paying!

With respect to budget, there is sort of a chicken-egg issue. The Oil Drum can get along on a shoestring amount, or can pay for outside services of various kinds, such as for upgrading the web site, and for ordering publications (or databases) of various kinds that would normally be outside our price range. With adequate funds, we might even be able to pay for meetings of Oil Drum staff to get together to meet each other in person, and share ideas that way. We could also send someone to observe industry meeting that might be helpful to report on, and we could do press releases or even newspaper announcements.

Without having gone the contribution route before, we didn't have much idea what to expect, so it was difficult to have any idea of how much to plan for. I would expect that in the next few months, there will be a plan put together, to make these things clearer.

Enjoying and appreciating your articles, I also would like to contribute.

I already publicized your work on my blog on energy and climate change but given your needs I am considering adding a banner of your website in my sidebar. Do you have any ?

Keep up the good work and good luck in those difficult times !

I know I have just copied the image from on top of the page, and used it. This is the link.

Thanks SuperG and TOD staff for asking for our contribution.

While nothing is quite as universal as cash, has there been any thought about other services that those of us without the funds might be able to offer to help keep things moving? In the spirit of ELP, (perhaps without most of the 'L' part), are there needs that can be met to help keep your financial requirement minimal?

Bob Fiske (Cinematographer/Visual Effects.. 'frequently between movies')

Sometimes we don't even realize what might be possible. I know that there was a lot of interest at one point of getting some information out on YouTube videos or something similar. If you have some ideas along this line, let us know. I am don't think we are up to full length movies.

Thanks Gail.

I know (seem to recall) Leanan has a background in graphics/anim as well, but I would be happy to participate in helping to create messages that get this out there. A big part of my reason for being here and engaging is to chew on and listen for what kinds of messages and points of view have a chance of being airable to a greater audience.

My particular set of skills might be fairly common in this crowd, visual arts and video having exploded the way they have.. but I know that the range of other abilities has to be extremely broad.

I was just wondering if users might be able to put details into their profile with skills that they would be able to offer.. or perhaps a bulletin board area where possible projects could assemble such resources.

There is such a collection of intelligent and clearly committed people.. I keep wondering how one could get even just a little bit from many- to research, write, push big projects into being.. of course one of these contributions then would be to coordinate such an effort. But there's so many good people here, with this amazing set of tools for connecting around the world (for the time being)

Just spitballing..


You are right. We have an amazing collection of people here. People are very generous with their time and talents. If we could just figure out a way to harness it all!

If folks have specific ideas, send us an e-mail. We may not have time for everything, but we can at least look at them.

I am happy to contribute. I think the effort here is important to me and the entire planet. Really. The information I've garnered from the great minds that contribute here (and the others) more than make up for any contribution you might ask for. Good luck and god speed.

I think you should start charging us $0.01 per comment posted. It might make us think twice about hitting the "save" button. Add an additional $0.01 for posts over 500 words. I'm only half joking.

Clarification - I was only joking in the post I put here earlier in the day. There's no such domain name as (or at least there wasn't a minute ago). Of course in reality I greatly value this site and the expert contributors and commenters from whom I have learnt so much.