You did it! Thanks to our generous readers who donated to the PRT during our recent fundraising campaign, we raised $27,502, $20,000 of which will be matched by NewsMatch, a national organization that supports nonprofit newsrooms. These donations ensure the future of the PRT and will be used to help us continue to bring you the local news that you depend on us to deliver.
When we first learned about the NewsMatch campaign last summer, we were excited about the potential for raising much needed funding but had no idea how much there was to learn about running a successful campaign. Fortunately, the staff at NewsMatch patiently held our hands through a series of webinars and answered our many questions.
The fundraising team of PRT Board Members Donna Lee and Kathryn Schrag and assistant editor Aisha Sander worked so hard preparing for the campaign and, once it was underway in November, sending out emails and letters to potential donors. Aisha and Cynie Murray, our bookkeeper, have tracked the donations and kept everything in order, no small task. I could not be prouder of this group and am amazed at what they have accomplished. Not only did we exceed our goal of raising $15,000, but we are now eligible for two bonuses from Newsmatch, one for gaining more than 100 new donors and one for having more donors in 2019 than we did in 2018. We now have 151 new donors and 260 total donors, a 57% increase over the last year.
Along with donations, several donors wrote us notes. From our founder Walter Andrew’s daughter Sarah: “Thank you for keeping this paper going! My father must be so proud of all that you have done to keep the paper going!” Other donors wrote “Thank you for continuing to provide a local perspective and news of current events. This paper is one of the things I treasure about living in this community. Keep up the good work,” “The PRT is getting better and better! Thank you!” “Favorite columnist: Cassina Farley,” Made in honor of the columnist Martin Levowitz and board member Kathryn Schrag,” and my personal favorite, “Since your paper is no longer TOO liberal, we will be donating.”
Thank you for kicking off 2020 in the best way possible. We are excited about the coming months, our fantastic writers, collaborating with the U of A journalism students, the addition of more staff and seeing what’s next for our little corner of the world. Thank you for your investment in the future of the Patagonia Regional Times, because local news matters.