ELi Provides Update on Sustainability Campaign

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Friday, November 16, 2018, 6:24 am
Alice Dreger, Publisher

East Lansing Info (ELi), East Lansing’s only dedicated, independent, nonprofit news organization, is trying to raise funds to continue work throughout 2019. Our sustainability campaign began on November 1, and as of now, we have raised a little over one-quarter of what we need to raise.

That’s pretty good! But we are going to need a lot of new and returning donors to step up to make it.

Because of a matching grant we have right now, a donation of $100 gets us $200!

A commitment of only $10 per month by you, made by credit card or automatic bank “bill pay,” puts us $240 closer to the goal. That’s because a new $10 per month will be matched at the annual rate, so a commitment of $120 for the year by you gets us a $120 match.

Best of all, if we draw 100 new monthly donors – people who have not made monthly commitments before, or whose prior monthly commitment has lapsed for whatever reason – we will get a $1,000 bonus grant!

Ready to take action? Great! Click here.

How much do we have in matching funds?

Before the campaign ever began, ELi pulled together $40,000 in matching funds. That’s because we need to raise $80,000 to ensure sustainability for 2019.

ELi’s $40,000 in matching funds include a $25,000 grant from the national NewsMatch campaign, which provides nonprofit newsrooms like us funding from such groups as the MacArthur Foundation and the Knight Foundation. The remaining $15,000 has been committed by 29 local supporters of ELi!

As of this publication, ELi has raised $20,080, including $10,040 plus an equal amount from the match.

Here’s a video I recorded yesterday explaining what ELi’s team does for the community. Below that, you’ll find answers to readers’ questions about our campaign.

Why is the total on your NewsMatch page lower than your real current total?

It’s because some donors are using other means to donate, which is totally fine! Click here to see all the options for donation.

So, if I donate by check, NewsMatch will match that?

Yes! We will provide NewsMatch proof of all donations after the campaign ends. They’re okay with all forms of donation except cash. The great thing about donating by check is that we pay no overhead charge, like we do with credit cards. Click here to see how to donate by check.

I can afford to give you more if I break it down to a monthly donation. Will that be matched?

Yes! For all new monthly donors, NewsMatch will give us a donation equal to your annual commitment. So, if you can sign up for $20/month, NewsMatch will provide us $240. That put us $480 closer to the goal!

This is a GREAT way to help us. If we obtain new monthly commitments from 100 people, NewsMatch is going to give us a $1,000 bonus! Click here to see how to sign up for a monthly donation by credit card or auto-pay.

How does ELi spend donated money?

We provide regular “transparency updates” to our readers so they can see where the money they donate goes. Click here to see our most recent quarterly report. You can also read reports on ELi’s expenses and activities for January, February, March, April, May, and June 2018.

You can see we operate on really very little money because we take seriously being a public service that is about producing good works on an efficient budget.

Are my donations tax deductible?

If you are able to tax deduct donations to recognized charities on your taxes, your donations to ELi are tax deductible! We are a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, which means the IRS recognizes us as a charitable organization.

In addition to any receipt you obtain from the system through which you donate (GiveGab, PayPal, etc.), in January 2019 ELi will provide you a receipt showing the total of all of your donations in 2018 to make managing your taxes easier.

How much of my donation will be matched?

Up to $1,000 per individual will be matched through December 31. (So, a partnered couple can each donate $1,000 and obtain for us a $2,000 match.) If you run a local business and donate through your business, NewsMatch allows us to match that up to $1,000. Click here to see how to make a donation.

Of course, we’d be very grateful if you can and will give more than $1,000 – but whatever amount you give helps us get closer to sustainability for 2019.

I am an existing monthly donor. Will my automatic monthly donations be matched?

Thank you for having been a steady supporter to ELi! You have helped us make it through this year, and we so appreciate you for that.

Rest assured that your automatic donations for November 2018 and for December 2018 will each be doubled by NewsMatch. So if you were already signed up from before this campaign to donate $50/month, NewsMatch will be giving us $50 for your November donation and $50 for your December donation without you taking any further action. (Only new monthly donors are matched at the annual pledged amount.)

We’d love it if you’d consider an extra donation during this period, which would also be doubled. Click here to see how to make a one-time donation.

Got another question?

Contact us!


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