By Ben Olivo | @rbolivo | Heron editor
It’s again that time, on the eve of our birthday, for an update on the San Antonio Heron. We remain a tiny nonprofit newsroom, and we continue to work toward becoming self-financed. That said, we recently achieved a few milestones we’re excited to share.
More national support
A few months ago, the Heron received a grant worth $20,392 from the Fund for Nonprofit News at The Miami Foundation. The award stems from the Institute for Nonprofit News’ (INN) national NewsMatch program, which helped 275 nonprofit newsrooms nationwide in 2021.
From the 2021 campaign, NewsMatch newsrooms leveraged $8 million in national and local matches into nearly $42 million contributions from individuals.
The Heron, a NewsMatch participant since 2020, received $13,000 in donations from Heron readers during the campaign, which took place in November and December.
NewsMatch has become a critical part of the Heron’s growth strategy, and we are grateful to INN for continuing to foster small news nonprofits with its NewsMatch program, and to the Miami Foundation for supporting such efforts with cash.
Cash, it turns out, is important for the survival of a journalism organization.
Our birthday campaign is now underway!
In mid-June, we officially turn 4. But we’re asking for your support today.
Now through July 8, we are holding our annual Birthday Campaign. We are currently lining up matching dollar opportunities in the coming weeks. But any amount you give today will count toward future matching dollars.
We also wanted to give you a snapshot of our financials. This year, we have spent more than 80 percent of donations directly on our journalism.
SA Heron Expenses, Jan. 1-May 20, 2022
Recent examples of our work include our explanation of municipal bonds by Heron contributor Richard Webner ahead of the $1.2 billion bond vote. We’ve also had the most thorough examination of such high-profile developments as 300 Main, Weston Urban’s apartment tower. Finally, we explained the process of protesting your property appraisals, as property taxes continue to rise. (To be fair, everyone had one of these articles—but we also held a town hall on protesting property appraisals at Jaime’s Place on the West Side a few weeks ago.)
Explanatory and analytical journalism are our roots, and we plan to steer our content more in that direction, rather than produce daily news.
As for our revenue, so far this year, the largest chunk has come from the NewsMatch/Miami Foundation grant. We’re hoping contributions from readers like you can drive individual donations above grants.
SA Heron Revenue, Jan. 1-May 20, 2022
Last year, our revenue totaled $90,547.94, while our expenses came in at $88,178.42. It was the fourth year in a row we ended the year solvent as an organization. We plan to continue our streak again this year.
Birthday Campaign Kickoff
Thursday, May 26
Team Heron expanding
For the first time, we have an expanded board, eight members who are actively engaged in lending their expertise to see the Heron get to the next level. They join former board members who continue to support the Heron with guidance or a monthly contribution. Read more about our new board here.
We’ve also brought on a new membership coordinator, Karenna Reyna, who is taking the helm of our first donor management system, called Little Green Light, to help us strengthen our membership program.
As we continue to plug away, we appreciate any help you get give with a donation you’re able to give.
Heron Editor Ben Olivo has been writing about downtown San Antonio since 2008, first for mySA.com, then for the San Antonio Express-News. He co-founded the Heron in 2018, and can be reached at 210-421-3932 | email@example.com | @rbolivo on Twitter
The Heron turns 4!
Help us sustain our momentum by giving during our 2022 Birthday Campaign.
Prefer to mail a check?
Please make payable to: San Antonio Heron
110 E. Houston St. 7FL
San Antonio, Texas, 78205