Crosscut.com is part of an exciting new development in the rebooting of American journalism -- member-supported, local, online media in the public interest. I hope you will use this fall membership drive to become an annual member or to renew your membership. Just click here to go to our membership page (if you have trouble linking, it's www.crosscut/com/donate). Donations are tax exempt, as Crosscut Public Media is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit.
Membership in Crosscut has benefits to you, to the site, and to the community. As an annual member, you will be invited to free gatherings with fellow members, newsmakers, and Crosscut writers and staff. We have new-member coffees, parties (such as our office-warming party last year and our third-anniversary celebration), and discounted tickets and other promotions. These events are great networking chances, as well as ways for you to tell the editors and writers how to do better and where some good stories lie hidden.
There's a special way you can help this site this year, since your tax-exempt donation will go toward a required match of a $200,000 gift from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Each dollar you donate is matched, dollar for dollar, by the Foundation.
Two other major foundations have made grants to Crosscut for the coming two years: The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has pledged a $185,000 challenge grant for the next two years, an amount that will be matched by The Seattle Foundation. Their support is for exciting new features coming to the site, including enhanced coverage of the arts, special-focus projects to explore critical topics in depth and in partnership with other media, and broader outreach to new and unheard voices in the community.
As you know, the critical needs of new media are to find a sustainable financial model, and to build a kind of journalism that serves the public interest, not just commercial goals. Non-profit, in-depth, nonpartisan journalism such as Crosscut practices is controlled by a public-service mission and a local board of directors. Our goal is "open eyes, open minds." We publish some of the most thoughtful, knowledgeable, and lively writers and thinkers in the region, with 50 such authors in the Crosscut family. We have been growing impressively, now in our fourth year. And we have a solid set of financial legs, including sponsorships/underwriting, advertising, foundations, and annual memberships. Please join to meet Crosscut's goal of matching the Gates grant, and to build a member-directed journalism in Seattle and the Northwest.
Thanks very much for considering a gift, and thank you for your support in the past year, whether as reader, commenter, or donor. We all have to work together to assure a future of quality journalism in our region. Your membership is critical as it shows essential support to our community and its foundations.