By Alice Dreger, Publisher
As the ELi reporting team works through another busy week of reporting with Managing Editor Julie Seraphinoff at our helm, today marks the official start of NewsMatch, the national philanthropic campaign that has helped to sustain ELi’s reporting for the last four years. ELi has been selected for NewMatch support again!
First off, how is East Lansing’s dedicated nonprofit news service doing?
I’m happy to tell you ELi is in pretty good financial shape right now thanks to our supporters and drastic cost-cutting measures taken when we had to take an unplanned four-month hiatus this summer.
Our current expenses are running at about $12,000/month, and we have about $52,000 in savings. That gives us a good safety cushion while we work on our annual campaign.
Remember that ELi is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which means your contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
What’s our goal?
Our budget projections show we will need $175,000 for the next year to report at the level our readers have come to expect. That includes everything – editing, reporting, administration, bookkeeping and accounting, tech, etc.
Based on experience, we have good reason to believe we can secure enough to ensure reporting for the next year. But to do that, we need everyone who gets the importance of this local investigative nonprofit news service to step up and help.
And now’s the perfect time to help, because it's NewsMatch time!
This year, the national news philanthropy booster NewsMatch has promised ELi and its sister organizations $15,000 each in matching funds, matching dollar-for-dollar contributions you make to ELi before Dec. 31.
And NewsMatch will provide us a $1,000 bonus if 100 new donors contribute to ELi before Dec. 31. If You’ve never given to ELi before, now is a great time to donate whatever you can to help us get that $1,000 bonus.
Doing well enough to help ELi at the $500 - $5,000 level?
Then you can help us obtain another big national bonus, this time from the Knight Foundation. The Knight Foundation wants to see us gather together local major donors to create a community match fund, to raise the level of match dollars we can offer.
If we can raise $20,000 in total local match funds before Dec. 31, the Knight Foundation will give ELi a challenge grant of $3,000. Those extra funds will enable so much additional reporting! And we already have $15,000 secured towards that $20,000 goal. We just need a few more major donors to help.
Do you value the investigative and watchdogging services ELi brings?
The folks who have stepped up to help are telling us how relieved they are that ELi did not die this year but came back to work for this community in such critical ways. Here’s what one reader wrote just yesterday along with making a $500 commitment to the Knight Foundation challenge:
“Glad ELi is back to publishing and I continue to be a regular and enthusiastic consumer of the content! ELi is a tremendous community resource and [I am] happy to continue our support.”
Able to help with a commitment to contribute $500 or more for the Knight Foundation challenge? Contact us and let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking to contribute a more modest amount?
That’s great, too! Here are all the ways you can give, and rest assured your contribution will be matched by NewsMatch, dollar for dollar.
Don’t wait hoping someone else will keep ELi’s news coming. Join the readers who have stepped up to help. Thank you!