Thanks to Our Donors, ELi Achieves Sustainability for 2020!

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Tuesday, December 31, 2019, 8:15 pm
Alice Dreger, Publisher

Jodi Spicer, our part-time office manager extraordinaire, has masterfully handled our very complicated data needs during our 2020 Sustainability Campaign. She just told me by phone that, when I suggested to her months ago that we go for $125,000 this year — over 50 percent more than we raised a year ago — she was wondering if I’d lost my mind.

Well, ELi supporters, we just achieved it. Together, we raised our budget for 2020.

All the fundraising experts suggest we should lie to you at a moment like this. Well, maybe not lie as much as not be entirely transparent.

There are, after all, a few hours left before our midnight deadline. And we still have people sending in money to help us get to the goal. Experts say we should shut up, let you panic, and watch the money roll in.

But at ELi, we believe in transparency and honesty, so we’re telling you now. We did it, thanks to you!

This is amazing. It means we are going to be able to be in full reporting mode throughout 2020 without having to wonder if we need to go on hiatus and fundraise to keep paying reporters. It means we can take on bigger projects than we otherwise could. It means we can weather storms and go into full reporting support mode if this community faces a major challenge.

It means we can pay so many people — people who love this community to bring you real news, meaningful news, news that creates an informed community.

I’m blissed out. To see my team obtain this level of support — well, it brings tears to my eyes. I am so grateful.

I am so grateful not just for the funding, but also for the beautiful words of support so many of you have shared over the course of the campaign. I could not possibly quote them all here, but this is a sampling from people who have donated:

“If half the people were engaged in reality half as much as you are, we would have an exponentially better world.”

“I’m sorry I cannot donate more but I'm on a fixed income. Thank you so much for all of the nonpartisan work that your paper achieves. I can't recall a single time in the last year when you took a position from one political side or the other, and that is not only refreshing in this day and age but completely rare. Keep up the great work!”

“Thank you for your excellent coverage of local issues. Your honest and insightful reporting demands accountability and fosters transparency. Keep up the good work!!”

“I have always appreciated all that Eli does in keeping our East Lansing residents abreast of what is happening.”

“THANKS SO MUCH for your reporting! East Lansing citizens have been so much better informed since ELi came to town. Keep up the excellent work!!”

From a tipster inside City Hall: “Without ELi, many things would go unnoticed, such as the wastewater treatment plant environmental problems or a city employee embezzling thousands of dollars. These are things that affect taxpayers who would otherwise go uninformed. ELi makes a positive impact on the community and we are incredibly lucky to have such a great organization. Thank you for all of your work this past year!”

“Shine a light on everything. It grows better that way.”

“Thank you for all of your hard work! It's appreciated!”

“You are the first news organization to which I have ever donated. I'm pleased to support your reporting.”

With a $1,000 anonymous bank check: “With gratitude for all you do, catching the big fry and the small fry alike.”

“While we don't live in East Lansing, we find Eli's commitment to community-sponsored news and government transparency to be refreshing. We hope it will spread across the region.”

“Thanks for being awesome.”

And that’s just a sampling of the love we have received over the past two months.

Thank YOU for being awesome!

Yes, if you want to give, you still can — you can at any time. Just click here. The matching funds are all gone now, but we will always make good use of every dollar you donate, I promise. You can see here how we spent your money in the first-half of 2019. I’ll show you soon (when the second-half ends) how the whole year looked, but we know that generally 85 percent of your donations go to pay local people to help bring local news.

For now, we’re going to go get a little rest. We love you, East Lansing, and we are proud to be your dedicated public service news organization. Happy New Year!


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