ELi Fall Fundraiser

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Saturday, October 3, 2015, 12:00 am
Alice Dreger, Publisher and Board President

I need your help.

The ELi coffers are starting to run low. We knew this would happen right about now, because people in East Lansing tend not to donate to ELi until we run a dedicated fundraising campaign, and our last campaign was last spring.

We’re okay with that pattern. So long as people respond to our campaigns—which so far has worked out!—it’s all fine. Otherwise, especially for Managing Editor Ann Nichols and me, it means stress, a mounting sense of panic, and a concern that you don’t think the work our team is doing for you is worth supporting with a few dollars.

As I explained in my report on our first fiscal year, ELi had expenses of only about $26,000 in its first fiscal year. The great majority of that (86%) went to paying local humans for local work, and the great majority of that money (91%) stayed in the local economy.

Our projections indicate that all three of those numbers will go up in this, our second fiscal year. We will need more money—about $30,000 this fiscal year—because we have many more paid reporters doing many more stories. A greater percentage of our spending will go to paying humans, because our other expenses will be comparatively lower this year. And a greater percentage of the money will stay local, because we won’t have to pay the IRS a start-up application fee of $850 ever again.

If you can give us $25, or $50, or $100, I need you to do it now. If we can raise $10,000 this month, ELi will be set for about four months more and we can focus fully on doing the work you expect of us: high-quality, nonpartisan, non-editorial reporting exclusively focused on the concerns of East Lansing’s residents.

We think by the time those four months end, we’ll also have made progress towards securing grants. (We can and will go for some grants now that we have a solid product and a solid year of fiscal responsibility and fiscal efficiency to show.)

Look at what we’ve done for you in the last year! Ask yourself what it’s been worth to you, and whether you want to support the local people who work hard to bring you news of your government, your elections, your schools, your neighborhoods, your parks, your safety, your farmers market, your library, your arts, and your Red Cedar River watershed.

Join me as a donor to ELi right now. Show us you appreciate this public service and don’t want to lose it for want of what is a pretty small amount of money, all things considered. Donate right now by credit card or by check.

And do me one more favor: write to us and tell us why you’re donating. In your communication, tell us if we can use your name when we share your comments with our readers.

For now, here’s a comment from Cindy Sabin, one of our newest financial supporters:

I haven’t found a single thing I don’t like about your ‘paper’…. I like that you draw my attention to local happenings/issues of which I was unaware. I like the intelligent, balanced variety of articles about things large and small—from elections to nature-related topics. The formatting and the photography are beautiful. The recent article explaining about the ELInfo finances, how it got started, etc., was fascinating…. Everything is well written; it’s very refreshing to read material not written at the level of grade 5 and not written by someone with an axe to grind, whether political or commercial. Just good honest journalism.

Please join Cindy and me right now in supporting ELi financially.


ELi is a recognized 501c3 nonprofit corporation. This means that your contributions are tax deductible.


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