by Melanie Jongsma, Publisher
LANSING, Ill. (December 14, 2022) – Asking for money is hard work, but I’m willing to do it. Why? Because I believe the work done by our team of local journalists is excellent and worthwhile — and I believe you would miss us if we stopped showing up in your email each morning.
So throughout the year I put on my fundraising hat and do the hard work of asking for money. It’s my job to raise the funds we need to keep reporting, publishing, and delivering local news to you.
Here are five things you might not know about asking for money:
1. I don’t mind asking for money.
Most people don’t really like to ask for money. But I don’t mind asking because I know that we provide a valuable service that is worth paying for: Local news. Verified information. Diverse topics. Delivered daily. Some people pay hundreds of dollars for this kind of service. So I don’t mind asking our readers to pitch in. In fact, here’s an opportunity right now:
I don’t mind asking for money because I believe in the mission of The Lansing Journal, and I love sharing that mission with others.
2. Still, sometimes, asking for money is hard.
I know that our readers come from a variety of backgrounds, and you represent a range of economic situations. So, on the one hand, I don’t want to offend people by asking too often or asking for more than you can give. On the other hand, I don’t want to endanger the future of this newspaper by not asking for enough. Finding that balance is a little stressful.
I’m grateful for people who give more than I dare to ask for. I’m also grateful for people who let me know they can’t give right now but are not offended that I asked.
3. Your notes make a big difference.
It is so affirming to hear from readers and to learn about the different reasons you value this local newspaper:
I’m very glad to see and hear about all the new establishments coming into our area and am grateful for a local news source dedicated to bringing all this information to us.
I’ve enjoyed The Lansing Journal for a long time. …Your Journal once brought us to a Beverly Theater Show, which we really enjoyed. I enjoy reading the historical articles and often share the facts with my folks. I also enjoy your excitement for Lansing’s future. Some of my generation that have moved south have said to me, “Oh you still live in Lansing? Wow! How’s it going there?” I feel that your stories diminish that closed mindset. I support you and your work.
Always love your photos accompanying the weather reports.
Thank you for showing a sample Lansing election ballot in the daily news feed last week. My hubby and I voted Saturday, and it was nice to know what was on the ballot. We appreciate your work and all the stories we read.
I am glad that our community has a local paper, and I hope that The Lansing Journal continues!
Thank you for taking the time to write those notes. They are very encouraging to me and to our team of reporters.
4. Speaking of our reporters — they volunteer a lot of their time.
Most of our reporters are freelancers, and The Lansing Journal pays them a flat rate per story. Whether a story requires 3 hours or 30 hours of work, they do it for the same flat fee. That means, on a time-consuming story, our reporters end up volunteering a lot of their hours. They do it because they are committed professionals and because they love this community.
Paying our hardworking reporters is a top priority for The Lansing Journal. The gifts you give go directly into the journalism we do. So I ask for help. I ask for money.
5. Givers are in the minority.
Did you know that about 83% of Lansing Journal subscribers have never contributed to this newspaper?
Of course, some people can’t afford to pay for local news. And I want to be sensitive to that.
But if you can afford to help — we need you.
If this newspaper has helped you in some way: Will you support The Lansing Journal today?
Take a cue from this faithful reader:
I support financially the Lansing Journal and have since the beginning because I appreciate having a local paper, and all of the work put into the Lansing community. And also, it is soooo easy and convenient to financially support The Lansing Journal.
She’s right! Here’s that “easy and convenient” giving form again:
Thank you, friends, for providing the support this newspaper needs,
P.S. If everyone in the 83% gave even a small gift, I could take a break from asking for money. And if 100 of you signed up as monthly givers, I would feel downright confident in our future. So I want to make an extra, final appeal for monthly givers — that’s a huge need for us. Monthly gifts provide sustainability. Sustainability allows us to plan and prepare the coverage our community deserves. So if you are able, will you keep that checkbox checked and make your gift a monthly gift?
Choose any amount that works for you: