ELi's Sustainability Campaign Nears Deadline

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Sunday, January 28, 2018, 7:48 am
Alice Dreger, Publisher, and Ann Nichols, Managing Editor

ELi has now raised donations and commitments totaling just over $58,000 for 2018. Below, we bring you a new video about what’s going on, and we tell you how you can help even if you’ve already donated...but especially if you’ve never donated.

In a nutshell, this is it: A core group of EXISTING donors are now stepping up to provide matching funds for NEW donors. We have a $6,000 match campaign commitment! So far, $1,286 has come in from new donors during the match. We've included that amount plus the amount matched ($1,286) in the current total.

Read more below after you watch this quick video about what’s going on:

Never donated to ELi? Do it now and your contribution will be doubled. You can help us double your donation by:

  • sending a check payable to ELi to PO Box 115, East Lansing, MI 48826-0115. If you’re going to do this, drop a note to fundraise@eastlansinginfo.org so we can note it in our running goal total.
  • making a one-time credit card contribution by clicking here.
  • signing up to make an automatic monthly contribution ($5, $10, $30, whatever works for you) with a credit card by clicking here. If you choose this option, the match will be equal to your one-year commitment; so, if you pledge $10 a month, we’ll get a $120 match.
  • signing up to make a monthly contribution by check. If you want to do this, drop a note to fundraise@eastlansinginfo.org so we can note it in our running goal total.

Already a donor and want to donate more? Consider boosting up the amount you’re committed to monthly on PayPal or adding a lump-sum contribution to help us get to the goal.

Just click here to donate.

Why do a “Sustainability" campaign? Last year we ran our first Sustainability Campaign, and because our readers came through for us on our goal for 2017, it meant a dramatically different year for us. Instead of constantly having to stop to fundraise, we have been able to dedicate our efforts to our core mission throughout 2017.

Good thing, too—because what a year it has turned out to be for East Lansing. The School Bond millage, the Council campaign, the income tax ballot proposal, the Park District and Center City District redevelopment deals, the farmers’ market lawsuit, proposed changes in marijuana laws, zoning, and on and on. Phew.

In 2017, we were the only investigative news organization consistently covering these stories for East Lansing. We were also the only organization consistently covering School Board and City Council.

Some other news organizations dipped in here and there—often relying our work, which is okay with us if it means they get the facts right—but we were the only news organization working this hard to dig deep for the people of East Lansing.

That’s going to be true in 2018, too, if we make it to our goal.

You know what else? We don’t just cover the “big” stories you’ll see at some other local news sites. We work hard to provide you so much East Lansing news about which you’d never otherwise know—in 2017, news about changes in ELPS leadership and plans for the new elementary schools; news about changes in ELPD leadership and local policing policies and tactics; news about BWL, including the franchise fee, the tree-cutting controversy, the change in our governmental representation; news about laws passed by Council that may affect your rights and your wallet.

Throughout 2017, we answered reader questions about actions by Planning Commission, cutting down of trees in public parks, the income tax proposal, tax increment financing, our public library’s status, campaign finance, the Aquatic Center’s finances, and so much more. We used the Freedom of Information Act to get data and documents otherwise not made public. We showed you our sources and took your questions to government officials to get answers.

We expect you saw the difference our 2017 Sustainability Campaign made. The depth, breath, and quality of ELi’s reporting all increased. Our readership expanded significantly.

And that is part of the reason our costs are up—because our reader numbers and our readers’ expectations are up, too. For 2018, we will need adequate funds to pay editors and reporters, technical managers and accountants. We need more funds in part because Facebook is charging us more to push news out to our users who access our material that way (which is the majority of our readers—so we have no choice). In 2018, we will also need to do a major upgrade our website’s software to keep our site stable, secure, and accessible. Maintaining our searchable archives takes money.

That’s why we need to raise a financial commitment of $100,000 by January 31, 2018. This means we need lump-sum contributions and monthly “subscription” donation commitments that will add up to $100,000 for 2018.

In 2018, if we can continue this public service through adequate financial support, then we can keep bringing the kind of deep local news sought by the people who live, work, and play in this city. We can also provide another Summer Youth Journalism Program and provide more in-depth training for local people interested in providing public service news with us.

We won’t waste your money and we won’t waste your time. We’ll just do the public service you want us to do: bringing local, accurate, nonpartisan, timely news that matters.

Join over six hundred of your neighbors in contributing. Click here to help.



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