Why I Support ELi

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 8:03 am
Bobby Mavrogordato

The folks who run ELi asked me to tell you about why I support ELi, and I’m happy to do that. I’m one of ELi’s many volunteer citizen-reporters. I’ve written for ELi on local issues from my area of expertise as a medical professional. I’m a nurse at Sparrow Hospital. My wife is a professor at MSU’s College of Education, and we live in the Glencairn neighborhood.

ELi has brought so much good to East Lansing in terms of helping people stay informed and connected. In many ways, I see ELi like I do the weatherman or my physician: local people who show me what's going on and what's around the corner. Do I need to brace myself for an ice storm? A cold stethoscope? A huge frat party or council election? These are experts who bring a level of detail and relevance unmatched by the likes of Al Roker, Dr. Oz and even the Lansing State Journal.

ELi is about me. It's about you. It's about us—the schools, neighborhoods, people, quirks, elected officials, and businesses that make up our community. 

Last I checked, Al Roker and Dr. Oz are doing just fine. But ELi's very existence is threatened without our support.

The irony is that we don’t even need to reach that much more to keep ELi going. At, say, $8 per month -- less than the cost of most copays! -- we just need about 100 more people to step up.

Accomplishing that goal would ensure that ELi can continue to provide high-quality, hyper-local, nonpartisan news for East Lansing that is more accurate than your weather forecast, delivered by a team of mostly volunteers. Accomplishing that goal would be like hearing your doctor giving you a clean bill of health, or hearing that the sun will come out in January.

ELi runs a tight ship, but it is still a ship. The website is larger and more complicated than it looks to the average person, who won’t know what it takes to run a website like this. ELi has to pay for server space and for tech managers to keep our website secure and glitch-free. (Believe it or not, it takes real maintenance, including back-ups and security upgrades to stop malware bots and unscrupulous Russians from trying to use our website to attack other sites or for other malicious purposes. Just ask the DNC.)

ELi also needs to pay its managing editor, Ann Nichols, and some of our reporters to keep everything working. And we have to pay accountants to appropriately manage our payroll and tax forms.

It would only take about $48,000 to keep ELi at full strength for 2017. But to do that, not counting lump sum donations people have made, we need about $3,000 per month committed by donors. Right now we’re at $2,179 per month from 159 donors, including me.

There are two easy ways for you to join me in becoming a committed monthly supporter and helping us keep ELi going through 2017:

  1. Send a check for the year total of your pledge, payable to East Lansing Info, PO Box 115, East Lansing, MI 48826. If you’re going to do this, let us know by writing to fundraise@eastlansinginfo.org so it can be noted that it’s coming in.
  2. Use a major credit card to make an automated monthly donation via PayPal: http://www.eastlansinginfo.org/content/become-monthly-financial-supporter-paypal

East Lansing Info is a nonprofit public service organization recognized by the IRS under 501c3 so donations are tax deductible in the year in which they are made.

Do it now, please? 

ELi is close to reaching its goal! And if it does, I can promise you that ELi will continue to bring you news and information of the people, by the people, and for the people of East Lansing. 

How's that for a healthy prognosis or sunny forecast? 



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