By Alice Dreger, Publisher and Executive Director
The final count isn’t in – there are checks we know are still making their way to ELi’s post office box – but we can announce today a great start to the New Year for East Lansing Info:
Our supporters have raised over $136,000 in donations and annual commitments through our Annual Campaign for ELi.
This figure includes $40,000 in matching funds provided by individual supporters and $19,000 from NewsMatch, the national philanthropic campaign to support nonprofit news operations like ours.
Thanks to those who gave generously, including in the last hours of the campaign on New Year’s Eve, we have been able to obtain every match dollar made available to ELi.
The current calculation for the campaign total is $136,889. This includes a $3,000 grant from the Knight Foundation being awarded to ELi because we obtained over $20,000 in local matching commitments.
With this total, the Annual Campaign has raised over 78% of what we anticipate will be ELi’s total budget for 2023 ($175,000). That is wonderful. It means we can focus our efforts on doing what we came to do – reporting the news for you – rather than on constant fundraising.
If you gave to the campaign or would like to give in person, please mark your calendar to join the ELi team at Fieldhouse for a special “Thank you, donors!” party on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m.
Our Donor Relations Manager Al Hargrave Jackson is planning some fun activities for the joyful gathering on Jan. 25, including a silent auction. (Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you’d like to donate something for the auction.)
My thanks go out to Al for handling so much work on this campaign that we would not otherwise have gotten done. Al did such a great job reaching out and keeping a sense of humor about the challenges.
My special thanks also go to Jodi Spicer, our General Manager, who does an incredible job keeping track of hundreds of donations (about 600 this year) that arrive at least six different ways. It is no exaggeration to say I do not know how ELi could run without Jodi. (By the way, if you donated to ELi in 2023, in January, Jodi will be sending you an acknowledgement letter for all your 2023 donations added together, in case you need it for tax purposes.)
I am also grateful to our Tech Managers Morgan Lees and Lisa Lees for keeping our systems operational through a few buggy moments in the campaign, and to Cait Palmiter, our designer, for creating images that moved our donors to take action.
Big thanks also go out to our fantastic Managing Editor Julie Seraphinoff who kept the reporting operations going steadily while I had to turn the bulk of my attention to fundraising. Julie is also responsible for the high quality of reporting you’re seeing at ELi, the quality that motivates this community to support this work.
Finally, our largest thanks go to you, our reader-donors, who make this work possible. As I wrote to many of you who attached incredibly kind and supportive notes to your donations, you sustain us not only through your financial support but your moral support, too. I can’t count how many of you have stopped me outside City Hall, in the grocery store, or on the Northern Tier Trail to say thanks for the work this team does. It means so much to us.
Here’s to another strong year of local news reporting for East Lansing. Thank you!
Didn’t get around to donating and still want to help ELi bring the news? We’re happy to have your support! Just click here.