Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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The message you sent
on Giving Tuesday

“We’re worth investing in”

LANSING, Ill. (November 28, 2023) – It was around 2 p.m. when I looked at my phone and saw the solid green progress bar. I refreshed my screen a couple times just to make sure, but yes, it was true — we had reached our Giving NEWSday goal.

In fact, we surpassed it.

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Screenshot at 3:45 p.m. on Giving NEWSday.

Our goal was $5,000 because that was the grant amount we had received as a matching gift. By 4 p.m. the total you gave was $5,496. I thought people might see that amount on the progress bar and decide not to give any more. But throughout the evening, gifts kept arriving. I was at Thornton Fractional Center covering the District 215 School Board meeting, but to be honest, I was distracted by each new gift notification that arrived in my email.

By 9:30 p.m. the total you gave was $6,321.

It is 10:50 p.m. as I’m writing this, and the total you gave is now $6,741. You gave $1,741 more than what I thought was a bold goal.

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Screenshot at 10:37 p.m. on Giving NEWSday.

This community came through.

What you did

On the face of it, what you did is pretty straightforward. Including the matching gift, you raised $11,741 for this community newspaper. That’s enough to cover the cost of 83 original articles, locally written, edited, published, and delivered. That’s enough to cover a year of business expenses. It’s enough to hire the part-time staff person we desperately need.

As I said during a Facebook Live video this morning, there are costs involved with providing a free newspaper. We are careful to run this business as efficiently as possible, and we keep our costs low, but we still have to pay expenses in order to provide this free newspaper. The money you gave on Giving NEWSday helps cover those costs.

Thank you.

What you really did

But the significance of your giving goes beyond the dollars. You sent a message today.

You see, the $5,000 matching gift came from funders outside of Lansing. These funders are organizations that believe in local news, and they want to support it, so they make grants available. But even though these are large funders, their resources are not unlimited. They have to choose carefully who will receive a grant. It’s an investment, and they want to see a return. They want to know they’re not wasting their money.

Your response to this matching gift today sent a message. You let these large funders know that our community is worth investing in.

You let them know that we are not looking for a handout. We need some help, but we want to do our share too.

That’s such an important message to send.

What I’m going to do

You might remember that The Lansing Journal was chosen to participate in a Sustainability Lab this fall. Through that lab I learned about the important role foundations and grants are going to play in The Lansing Journal’s future. I learned about what funders are looking for and what I need to tell them — not just about The Lansing Journal, but also about Lansing.

I’ve been in regular contact with a couple of foundations for several months. They are interested in our community, and they invited me to keep in touch about what we are doing here.

Tomorrow I’m going to send these funders an email. I’m going to tell them what you did on Giving Tuesday. I’m going to tell them about all the people who gave so that we could get the matching gift, and then kept giving even after the match was met.

Lansing Journal readers are worth investing in. Lansing is worth investing in. That’s the message you sent today. Now I’m going to make sure that message gets delivered.

giving news

P.S. Even more gifts came in after I published this. The final Giving NEWSday 2023 total was $7,980, matched by $5,000, resulting in a $12,980 investment in local news delivered by The Lansing Journal. Thank you!

Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.

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