“Financing Open Access” at Cultural Anthropology gives a figure on production costs. Apparently it costs them $50,000 a year to run a polished fees-free open access journal in the form of Cultural Anthropology. I’m not sure if that $50k figure is a notional “if people were actually paid” or a more grounded “people are actually paid, now”. A Google site: search of /culanth.org/articles/ suggests around 1,000 articles and short notes since 1986, and a current production rate of approx. six articles per quarter, plus another half-dozen short notes. One of the best long-term options, according to the article, seems to be…

“Establishing an endowment. The experts with whom FoCA has consulted have unanimously advised that an endowment is, by far, the best way to stabilize Cultural Anthropology’s financial situation in the long term.”

At a guess a $1.5m endowment donation would presumably perform at around 5% income, or $75,000 per year. Meaning $50k income per year, plus a $25k buffer for re-investment / management fees / mismanagement insurance. $1.5m is ambitious, but a slow crowdfunder + some chunky legacies in wills might do it. Once it’s in, it’s there forever.