1. We need it! Our website needs an overhaul- the first in nine years and the first ever done by a professional. Your donation makes a difference here in a way that it might not for a larger organization. We are committed to no advertising, and free access and so we depend on you. We’ve budgeted $3,000 based on several bids. So far, we have probably received less than $100 total each year, which doesn’t even cover the basic maintenance costs. Nevertheless, those folks who have donated are greatly appreciated!
2. This is the first year of the new tax law. You might not be itemizing deductions because of the higher standard deduction, and if you don’t itemize, then you might as well donate to us (not tax deductible). While I’m posting this now because many people are planning their donations, since it isn’t tax deductible, you can donate anytime in the next few months.
3. Our mission and our unique way of going about it is increasingly important, as media outlets are bought by large corporations, journalists are laid off, news sources funded by partisan interests spring up, and local and regional outlets struggle to hang on. What we think about the world is at least partially based on our news sources. Right now we have major media corporations seeking their own interests (whatever those are) and then outlets supported by those with one view or another. We have well-orchestrated media campaigns funded by a variety of groups with positive desires to change our minds, and those by foreign governments with goals to drive us apart. It’s harder and harder to find a straight story that tells both sides of an issue. Not to speak of the issues that aren’t covered at all.. that drop through the cracks and yet are of interest to us who care about the National Forests and forests in general.
4. Our uniqueness makes it difficult to find external funding
I’ve been looking for a similar website as a template for our new design, but was unable to find anything like us. This is a place where a community with diverse views where news is tested in the crucible of knowledge and experience that we jointly share, so that we all learn from each other. And we provide a model for civil discussion. It’s not exactly collaborative journalism, nor citizen journalism, nor exactly anything that others have defined. Our uniqueness also makes it difficult to seek funding, as we don’t fit easily into many of today’s funding boxes. and even to apply for most we would have to become a 501c3 which would require funding and more ongoing work.
5. Once we’ve renovated, we can go back to low-cost maintenance This is a once every ten years kind of thing- once the website is renovated you won’t receive more requests or emails (like many not-for-profits). We can celebrate and then go about our normal business for the foreseeable future.