Four Alt-Weeklies Aim to Raise 4.7 Million for Non-Profits

Alt-weeklies’ annual “Give!” campaigns are in full swing and four papers — Colorado Springs Independent, INDY Week, Monterey County Weekly, and Willamette Week — have set out a goal to raise $4.7 million by December 31.

Portland’s Willamette Week has been running its campaign since 2004 and has raised $7.3 million since then. This year, publisher Richard Meeker told the Portland Business Journal that his paper will attempt to raise $2.7 million from 10,000 donors:

The math is simple: A $2.7 million showing this year will push its 10-year haul to a cool $10 million.
It’s ambitious, but doable, Meeker claims. The multimedia campaign makes it easy to target dollars to your favorite cause, be it animals, arts, community, education, social action, wellness, the environment or youth.

Colorado Springs Independent associate publisher/general manager Carrie Simison-Bitz says she is “nervously optimistic” about raising $1 million through the paper’s Indy Give! program this year, noting that in the wake of two major fires and the floods which followed, donor fatigue could be an issue.

Monterey County Weekly — which started the alt-weekly “Give!” tradition back in 2000 in the form of a community fund — kicked off its 2013 campaign yesterday by announcing $100,000 in matching funds. CEO Bradley Zeve says the paper’s goal is to raise $925,000 by the time the campaign ends at midnight on December 31.

In Durham, N.C., INDY Week will run its first full campaign this year. The paper held a Gala on Tuesday night to kick off its Give! Guide, and has set a goal of raising $56,000 in its first year.

While the dollar amounts vary, the overall mission of these campaigns remains the same: To encourage readers to give back and get involved with local non-profits, with a special focus on creating a culture of philanthropy among people ages 35 and younger, who will then be more likely to give as they get older.


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