Today, East Lansing Info launches its 2022 Sustainability Campaign with the largest matching fund in this local news operation’s history! We are so grateful for this incredible support as we officially start our campaign today.
ELi supporters have now pledged and contributed a total of $50,000 to match your contribution as ELi seeks to raise a total of $200,000 – the amount needed to keep ELi alive and bringing the news in 2022.
The $50,000 match fund total includes $10,000 from NewsMatch, a national philanthropic campaign to support high-quality nonprofit journalism, plus $40,000 from local ELi core donors.
You can donate right now and see your gift doubled with those matching dollars! If you sign up for a new monthly commitment, your annual commitment will be matched!
Just click this button to see all your donation options:
Why do we run a Sustainability Campaign?
This is the fundraising campaign in which we try to raise enough in fresh donations plus monthly donation commitments to ensure that we can make it through the next calendar year. We run our annual Sustainability Campaign from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 because that’s the period that coincides with NewsMatch.
These annual campaigns help provide a reasonably predictable budget for our organization and financial security during challenging times. If we attain success with our year-end Sustainability Campaign, it means we can spend the next year focused on bringing the news – our mission! – and not focused on fundraising.
How does ELi serve the local East Lansing community?
Since 2014, ELi, has been proud to serve as East Lansing’s truly dedicated, local, nonprofit, factual news service. ELi is the only news organization that brings you regular coverage of East Lansing’s City Council and School Board in addition to consistent investigative reporting here in East Lansing. We also work to bring good news of our people, our schools, our businesses, our art, and our parks and trails.
We are truly here for this community. We have answered more than 170 unique reader questions in 2021 alone through our Ask ELi to Investigate service!
In 2021, ELi has also expanded its reach through a partnership with MSU’s Impact 89FM to create a local news show and podcast. We’ve also reached out much more successfully this year with our new, monthly paper edition of ELi, including by reaching more senior citizens and those who are not able to access our news through the internet!
Why does ELi need $200,000 for 2022?
That’s slightly more than the sum it costs to run ELi annually based on current expenditures. We expect costs to go up slightly in the next year, so $200,000 is the number we’ve set as our goal.
We use your donated funds to pay our reporters, editors, photographers, and support staff for the work they do bringing you the news. About 90% of your donations goes to pay local people to bring the news.
The ELi team is actually underpaid for the work they do and the skills they have, but they believe in our community-based mission and in making sure East Lansing does not become a “news desert.” Your donations help support their passion to serve.
Donations also go to pay the local accounting firm that handles our payroll and nonprofit IRS filings, subscriptions to Zoom and Mailchimp, postage, reporting-related expenses like Freedom of Information Act fees, and hosting and maintaining our website.
Why does ELi depend on donors instead of grants and other funding?
ELi has applied for grants, but we typically have several factors working against us. Local granting agencies generally don’t want to touch local investigative news operations because we report on controversial topics. National philanthropic funding for news is being chiefly aimed at big news organizations and also local organizations that primarily serve communities that are less affluent than East Lansing.
While we would like to get more grants, we know we will likely keep thriving chiefly because of people like you. About 90% of ELi’s financial support comes from local readers like you.
And you know what? We like it that way! Relying on donations from readers keeps us literally accountable to our own community. During our last fiscal year, more than 700 unique donors supported ELi.
How can you help?
Thank you for helping Team ELi bring East Lansing the news!