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The other day I listened to a fundraiser for a local public radio station. It was the usual pitch, something that occurs every few months.

So ordinary.

I have been thinking about our November fundraising month and how extraordinary that is. The very idea of Indian Country Today as a public medium is only a couple of years old.

A few days ago I heard from a foundation that asked questions about our funding sources. They wanted specific information about all our revenue. I was able to tell them about the breadth of ICT’s audience support, more than 4,000 people who gave an average of less than $35. This is a real number that in aggregate equals and exceeds a grant from a major foundation. And it’s so heartwarming. 

Our goal is to earn 10 percent of our revenue from our audience. We are at about 9 percent now — a total tally that continues to grow as does our budget.

November is the month we picked to celebrate our 40th anniversary. Last week Team ICT produced a wonderful hour-long broadcast gala. (If you haven’t seen it … it’s a testimonial to what we do. Worth watching.)

Related stories:
ICT at 40: 'We reported like Indians, from the ground up'
Indian Country Today aims to raise $40,000 for 40th Anniversary

Text “ICT40th” to 501-55 to help us meet our goal to raise $40,000 for the future of Indigenous journalism. You can even follow our progress to make this goal here: https://support.indiancountrytoday.com/give/

The road ahead

I think it’s also worth saying that reader support is critical to our growth. Our main studio and newsroom is in Phoenix. We have reporters in Alaska and Washington, D.C. And reporters stationed in their homes in even more locations. And we’d like to be in more places, basically, a drive or short flight away from any news story.

We need your support to grow.

Then our “growth” is not just ordinary growth. It’s about covering the news and hiring more young people as reporters, producers, anchors, and business professionals to make up a full complement of what it takes to make up a modern media company.

Where are we going with all of this? My hope is that ICT and Native media in general be thought of one day as ordinary. People will look on their phone and expect the latest news presented in a comprehensive, intelligent form. And people will turn on their television and expect our stories, told by us. And to complete the circle, young people will watch those stories and think … “that’s what I want to do.”

We will remain extraordinary by one day becoming routine and ordinary. And that will happen because of your support. Thank you for your so many contributions to ICT. I’m grateful.

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