The accolades keep coming. Everywhere I go, people continue to tell me how much they appreciate The Community Voice, what a good job we’re doing and how important the publication is to our community. We appreciate the accolades and we’re proud of the job we’re doing, but we want to do more. That’s why we we announced a Go Fund Me Campaign in our June 9 issue.

So far, with just my first article, and no additional marketing, the donations have already started to flow. We’re not flush yet, but these initial donations help reinforce that there are people out there who appreciate what we do.

Beyond a few paid subscribers, in 23 years, we’ve never asked for or received a dollar from our readers. We distribute our paper free of charge across the state to an estimated 25,000 readers and if only a quarter of those readers appreciate us enough to contribute towards what they feel is a worthwhile publication, we should be able to reach our $75,000 Go Fund Me goal.

No, we’re not about to shut our doors and go away. This isn’t a call to keep our doors open. We’re committed to being here.

No, we’re not about to start charging for the paper. Paid distribution doesn’t work with our corporate mission, “to help others help themselves by providing much needed information and by shining a light on positive role models and positive cultural images.” To help others, particularly those who need it the most, our publication must remain free of charge and available to all.

This is a call to help us maintain and to expand the quality of our product. Our small staff of mostly part-time employees work extremely hard to bring you a quality publication. We want to do more, but we currently work at a pace that’s difficult to maintain, and with our current staffing, it’s impossible to do more.

That’s why a major use of the funds from our Go Fund Me campaign will be to hire additional staff. We need reporters. Quality in-depth investigative reporting takes time and requires trained professionals, who demand a reasonable salary. We want to hire a reporter to cover stories in our regional markets – Topeka, Salina, Junction City, Manhattan and Lawrence.

In addition, we’ll use the generated funds for several capital purchases. We need additional news racks for many of our distribution locations, our main production computers are antiquated and slow, our computer software needs updating, and our decades old phone system is inefficient.

The capital purchases are one-time outlays that will significantly improve our efficiency. However, the staff costs are recurring expenses that we must find a way to support on an ongoing basis. For that reason, we’re also looking to hire experienced advertising sales persons to help increase our revenue. We’re particularly looking for someone to sale advertising in northern Kansas. If you know someone, please send them our way.

With 25,000 regular readers, it would only take a $3 donation from each of them to reach our goal. However, we know it’s unrealistic to expect full or even majority participation especially since some of our readers are not in a financial position to donate. So if you’re in a position to give, consider giving for yourself and others who can’t.

Donations can be made online at www.gofundme.com. Our campaign name is “Increase Community Voice Capacity.” Donations can also be mailed or brought to our office. Make checks payable to The Community Voice. Our address is 2918 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67214.

No donation is too small, or too large. THANK YOU INITIAL CONTRIBUTORS and we thank those of you who anticipate supporting us in advance.

Bonita Gooch, Editor-in-Chief

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