Dear Leader Readers,
Each year, I ask you to consider supporting local journalism through our annual Voluntary Pay Program. This letter is not an easy one to write – it’s hard to ask people for money, especially around the holidays. Our readers have shown an incredible loyalty to The Leader, and your annual support allows us to continue doing something many community newspapers in this country have not been able to sustain.
If you’re new to the community or have never seen my letter before, each year we hold something of a fundraiser that helps us continue operations at The Leader. We have thousands upon thousands of readers who receive our newspaper free each week, and since 2012 (the first year of this program) we have found readers in our community want to support honest, fair, factual news.
That’s all our Voluntary Pay Program is. It doesn’t matter if you can give $1 or $100, getting support from our readers continues to help fund local journalism. In the past, people have asked us how much they should give, and we do offer suggested amounts of $52 ($1 per week) or $26 (50 cents per week). The amount you send isn’t nearly as important as knowing that our work at The Leader is important to the neighborhoods we serve.
As I mention every year, any money you can contribute goes directly to two things: First, we give our carriers a holiday bonus, which helps their families tremendously. Second, we use the rest of the money – every single penny – to invest in local content. I don’t take any of this money home, and we don’t use it to buy new computers. Instead, we are able to pay content contributors who help us tell your stories.
These days, there’s a lot of distrust in the entire news business. No matter which side of the fence you lean, most of today’s news has devolved into screaming matches for the angriest voices. At The Leader, our entire purpose is to be that last bastion for real, local and purposeful news. We write about you, your children, your employers and your businesses. We care about our community, no matter which political party you endorse.
For the past seven years, you have been so wonderful to The Leader. You have supported us through this program, and you have supported us by sending stories, asking questions and visiting businesses that spend marketing dollars with us. For those who are willing and able to help this year, I want to personally thank you. For those who can’t, we’ll continue to do the best job we can at covering our neighborhoods.
If you’d like to contribute, we’ve included an addressed envelope with today’s paper, or you can visit the “Support” page on our website at https://theleadernews.com/donation/