Earlier this month, we at the Heron completed our first fundraising campaign, which began in late May, completely planned and executed on our own.
We’re thrilled to announce that we raised $10,945.37 from our readers during our birthday campaign. Combined with the $10,000 in matching dollars we received from the H.E. Butt Foundation for our campaign, we brought in $20,945.37.
This total puts us past the $50,000 revenue mark for the year, which already counts as our best year in terms of revenue (100% of which comes in the form of donations)—better than the $25,000 we earned last year, and the $30,000 in 2019. To those who donated, THANK YOU.
Without this support, it would be extremely difficult to report and write about San Antonio’s changing inner city the way we do: with your understanding of the issues and how things work in the forefront of our minds, always. To quote Don Graham, the late Washington Post publisher, “Much of what we write fails that first test because we don’t understand what we’re writing about ourselves.” We’re constantly striving to understand the issues better than most, so we can relay what we’ve learned to you.
We’re excited about what we’ve accomplished so far, and how far we’ve come. We’ve just begun our fourth year of publishing. While I would never say we’ve perfected our journalism, it’s always been solid. What we’re catching up on is the business aspect of a news organization. Getting our systems in place for everything we do. The business side of things. Building a brand. Monetizing our content, so we can produce more of it.
The stuff they don’t teach you in journalism school.
We’re still far away from complete solvency.
We’re still figuring it out. But we’re making progress.
And, yes, it very much is we.
Gabriel Gonzalez stepped into the roll of membership coordinator two weeks before our birthday campaign started, and he’s done an excellent job maintaining our current system and finding ways to improve it.
Freelancer Richard Webner continues to crank out well-reported articles on all things development and housing, including an update on Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s new appointments to the Housing Commission and why they’ve angered so many housing advocates. Or, this analysis of the most incentivized urban developments in San Antonio, a list which the Lone Star District’s $24 million package tops.
Our summer intern Maggie Ryan, who is from San Antonio and attends Hendrix College in Arkansas, will soon be writing on a concept called narrative change, which will hopefully shine new light on the working class. She recently wrote about sustainable housing methods that are also affordable, and San Antonio-New Braunfels’ rising median income.
Freelancer Emily Drisch recently completed a piece on San Antonio’s home repair programs, which Nirenberg described as the best investment for future housing bond dollars, but which also have their critics. In stories like these, photographer Chris Stokes has brought these stories to life with his exception eye.
We are also getting ready to announce an expansion of our board, and other major announcements having to do with the growth of our organization.
This includes two major campaigns left in 2021.
We’ll be participating in The Big Give on Sept. 23, which is the citywide campaign drive for San Antonio nonprofits.
For the second year, we’ve been accepted into NewsMatch, the national campaign for nonprofit newsrooms across the country, which runs Nov. 1 through Dec. 31.
Much, much more to come.