By almost every measure it's an amazing year here at Indian Country Today and IndiJ Public Media. We set an annual budget estimating bringing in $200,000 from individuals. We thought it was a stretch goal and wondered if it was even possible.
We had no idea. This year we are going to exceed that $200,000 — and by a lot. The final tally will be in the 300s.
Our November fundraising month was a good example of “the why.”
Our goal for the 40th anniversary was a rounded, $40,000. A few days ago we were worried about reaching even that. On the night of our video fundraiser we raised about $4,000 — only 10 percent of the goal. But day by day (and with a last minute push) we made our goal.
Once again we will exceed our target by a few thousand dollars. We call it our “November sweeps” and there were 880 donors giving an average of $35.60. And for the year our online totals exceeded $200,000 from some 6,425 donors averaging $32. (This doesn’t include mail where a reader will go to the post office, get a money order, and mail us love.)
This year 36 percent of our donations are recurring donations.
I am so grateful for ICT’s audience. It’s inspiring.
ICT producers and reporters have produced some great thank yous. They are fun.
This might be a good time to think about the big picture. IndiJ Public Media is our nonprofit corporation and the publisher of ICT. Our next year’s budget exceeds our wildest imagination (especially considering where we started a couple of years ago).
Yet there is so much more we want to do. We’d like more reporters, spread out across Indigenous lands. We‘d like more producers and cameras reporting for our daily broadcast. We have a lot of work ahead. We’d love the newscast to be aired nationwide. So that no matter where you live, you can watch the ICT newscast. Every day. Bringing you real-time information about Indigenous communities.
So we keep at it. The whole idea of fundraising is now a critical part of our mission. We picked the public media route because we wanted to keep our content free. So we wondered, would people support that idea? The answer is a loud and affirming "yes."
Thank you so much.
Mark Trahant, editor
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