An appeal from Anthony Noel
Contributing writer and founder
UPDATE: OCTOBER 28, 12 NOON: Since announcing the Guardian Angel campaign yesterday afternoon, four more sets of wings have been reserved, bringing to 88 the number of Angels still needed by December 31 if the Guardian is to survive! Thanks to our newest Angels, and please: If you value what we do, imagine life in Greenville without us. Then commit $12 per month to keeping great journalism coming. We need and sincerely appreciate your support.
It’s hard to believe nearly three years has passed since the Greenville Guardian posted its first story, introducing a bold experiment to remove the false boundaries of what journalism in Greenville had become, and explore what it might instead be. We’ve worked to demonstrate the power of in-depth, uncompromising reporting, showing how it holds officials accountable.
Our dogged dedication to bringing you stories others in Greenville won’t – coupled with provocative analysis, opinion, columns, and culture reporting on everything from politics to policy to performance to photography to garden fungi – has garnered the Guardian a loyal and growing readership.
These 32 months have comprised the Guardian’s “beta testing” period. Throughout, several farsighted donors (you know who you are, and we thank you!) have helped defray some fundamental costs. Our contributing writers and editor have given generously of their time and talents. I’ve covered the Guardian’s site costs, incorporation fees, and the IRS fee for our successful application for 501(c)4 status. The result is our gift to you: A fully structured, reader-tested, non-profit new media project for all of Greenville.
The testing is over. We’ve proved our point. Now, it is up you, the Guardian’s readers, to decide: Does the Guardian survive and grow, or become a footnote in Eastern Carolina’s journey to wherever profit-driven interests tell us “forward” happens to be?
We knew we were rolling the dice from the beginning. We wondered: Once people are reminded what actual journalism looks like, will they help pay for it, despite having gotten it for free?
The time has come to find out, the time where what the Guardian does – what only the Guardian can do, since it serves no one but its readers – must be paid for, if it is to continue.
You’ve probably noticed our diminished output of new content in recent weeks. Editor Lisa Ellison dissected it better than I ever could in a recent email:
It’s unlikely we’ll get good writers to volunteer their time, but I also find it unsettling that we would expect them to. People should be paid for what they do, and it makes it worse for all writers when people are writing for free. People who are producing a truly valuable thing need to be compensated.
She’s right. No matter how completely they embrace their mission, people can only give it so much without knowing it has value. If the Guardian is to take its next steps, it will be because YOU value our work and make it possible.
So today we’re launching a fund drive which, if successful, assures the Guardian’s presence for another year, with new content every week. And we’re not asking all that much to make it happen: 100 Angels is all it takes.
That’s right, a hundred earthbound angels – we’re calling them (what else?) “Guardian Angels” – who will commit $12 per month, will ensure an annual base operating budget of $14,400, enabling us to pay the people who fill these pages and meet the technical costs of bringing them to you. (See the full breakdown here.)
Already, a few of our “seed donors” have stepped up – indeed, this campaign was their idea! To each of them, again: You know who you are, we appreciate your vote of confidence, and your wings are on the way!
But to fully fund the Guardian through 2015 will require that $12 monthly commitment from
92 88 more Angels. Will you be one of them?
(Wait – what’d he say? “Wings”???)
Oh, right. You’ll soon see them on cars around town, and every Angel gets a pair:
Please spread the word: As 2014 closes, the Guardian will either fly or fall. Help us fly – on your wings! Support great journalism in Greenville by supporting the Guardian at $12 per month for one year. Simply click here, and BE SURE to check the “Make This Recurring (Monthly)” box.
Will you share this appeal with a friend? Thank you so much for your support.