by Melanie Jongsma, Managing Editor
LANSING, Ill. (January 31, 2020) – As I mentioned last week, I set some goals this January for The Lansing Journal. January is my birthday month, and I used that as an opportunity to increase support—financial support as well as subscriber support—so that this community newspaper can achieve financial sustainability and serve our community long after I’m gone.
There are a lot of different adjectives I could use to describe your response—generous, heartwarming, encouraging, humbling. The Lansing Journal is in much better condition now, thanks to the support of the community it serves. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Let me share some of the numbers with you. These results were last updated at 4:45pm January 31:
- Original goal of monthly supporters: 53
- Original goal of monthly contributions: $159 (53 supporters at $3/month)
- Original goal annual value: $1,908 ($159/month x 12 months)
- New monthly supporters who signed up this January: 34
- Additional supporters who made a one-time gift in January: 17
- Total new supporters in January: 51
- Ongoing monthly value of contributions from the 34 new supporters: $271 each month
- Total January value of the 51 supporters (monthly and one-time givers): $2,336
Those dollar amounts are wonderful, because those dollars pay for web hosting and email delivery so that we can distribute local news every day. These supporters have secured the future of our daily digital edition of The Lansing Journal.
These dollars will also help pay for printing and mailing the monthly print edition, which costs about $2,794 each month. Advertising dollars are the main source of revenue for the print edition, but most of our advertisers decide month by month whether they will run an ad, so it’s difficult to rely on a specific income amount. Having dozens of monthly supporters gives us some cushion during months when ad revenue is low.
So today—the last day of January, and the last day of my Lansing Journal Birthday Fundraising Drive—I am here to say thank you.
Thank you for understanding why The Lansing Journal is so important to our community.
Thank you for stepping up to support it.
Thank you for not only “putting up with” my asks throughout the month, but for generously responding.
Some encouraging words
In addition to the financial response, I also received a number of cards, emails, Facebook messages, and other words of encouragement. I didn’t ask for permission to share these, so I won’t include any names, but I’d like you to hear from your fellow community members:
“We enjoy reading our daily Journal email subscription, and we enjoy reading the Journal when it comes out in paper form. We are hoping this donation will give you a little cushion to work off of and give you a little time to write again. 🙂 Thanks for all you do for Lansing!”
The Lansing Journal is a great local paper. You do a wonderful job of reporting in a fair, accurate, and timely fashion! You make Lansing proud! Thanks!!!
“BTW, I love The Lansing Journal; it is sophisticated, a very appealing look/touch as well as presenting a voice of diversity. Its approach is intelligent and offers varied perspectives of the people within the village.”
“I am happy to support The Lansing Journal. Thank you for all your hard work! Keep it up!”
“Happy to help! I love waking up and seeing the Lansing Journal email in my inbox every morning 🙂 “
“We support and enjoy what you do with the paper, and ‘bringing it back to life.'”
“I loved hearing [in the video] what makes the Lansing Journal unique. My first job 52 years ago was phoning residents in Lansing for personal stories to publish in the Lansing Journal. People loved being asked what was important to share, and I am thrilled to hear that this priority of keeping community together is still treasured.”
“I love the Journal. Thank you for spotlighting all of the things that other papers don’t.”
“Thank you so much for all of your hard work covering everything in our town! We never realized before you started the paper how much was going on right in our own back yard! You have truly brought our community together with your reporting.”
These words mean a lot to me, and I hope they encourage you as well. This is important work we—all of us, together—are doing.
Thank you for being a part of it.
Last-day-of-January ask for Support
Your financial support allows us to post news daily, distribute it digitally and in print, and pay our big-hearted reporters a small stipend:
Last-day-of-January ask to Subscribe
Your email subscription helps The Lansing Journal (1) attract more digital advertisers, and (2) qualify for business help from an organization that specializes in community newspapers.