Twice a year, Crosscut.com conducts a Membership drive. As I'm sure you understand, your Membership is critical to our ability to keep providing you with incisive and authoritative reporting and commentary about our region. I hope you'll join today, and contribute as generously as you can. It's easy to join, or to renew, by going to our Donor Page. Your donations are tax-deductible, and you can spread them over monthly payments, if you wish.
During this drive we will be having a drawing for a grand prize, an iPad2, which we'll announce at the end of the drive; all who join or renew are eligible. We will have incentives and drawings each day as well. Today's drawing (for all who join or renew today) will be a $25 gift certificate at Elliott Bay Book Co. All who join or renew on any day at the $100 level will receive a stylish, black Crosscut t-shirt with long sleeves.
Another reason to be a Member is to attend Crosscut parties, which are free to Members. Our next Members-come-free party will be April 28, 5-7:30 pm, open to all current Members. It will be held in our new building in Pioneer Square, and we'll be celebrating both the Pioneer Square Renaissance, with speakers about what's happening, and Crosscut's 4th anniversary. For more about Membership benefits, see the Member Page.
Crosscut Members are the lifeblood of our community-driven model of journalism. As with public broadcast, this non-profit model, with annual paid memberships, enables us to be free from commercial interests, to expand our writers and stories, and to engage in new ventures that serve "journalism in the public interest." Major donors and foundations, also critical to our financial health, pay particular attention to the loyalty and numbers of our Members. We need you, and value you, very much.
One ambitious new venture at Crosscut, thanks to two major grants from The Seattle Foundation and the national Knight Foundation, is our Citizen Activation Project, which began recently. Deputy Editor Joe Copeland will be leading this effort. We'll be spreading a wider net for commentary pieces, particularly from the region, ethnic media, and less-frequently-heard perspectives. We are creating an "activation engine" that will take you seamlessly from one of our stories to a rich source of objective information about nonprofit groups that are helping to solve the problems discussed. The goal here is to enable you to get active by learning more, getting on a newsletter, volunteering, and making donations.
This new project will also enable us to go deep and comprehensive on occasional issues of public importance, providing much more data, neutral reporting, and archived information than any other media on these topics.
In some later essays, we'll be telling you more about the exciting developments at Crosscut and similar sites in other cities. I invite you to become an active Member in this compelling movement to help fill the gaps in local journalism and to create a new, high-quality, broad-spectrum form of online journalism. Please join today and invite your friends to become involved as well. Only with your help, and that of hundreds of other Members, can we make Crosscut thrive. Thanks.