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Keeping Gettysburg Connection Sustainable

One of the most difficult parts of the news business is making it sustainable. In other words, will we still be publishing next year?

In the past newspapers were supported primarily by advertising but that money has been snatched away from our communities by Facebook, Google, and the other bigs.

Although news sites like ours provide our content for free, creating that trustworthy content is not free. The costs include infrastructure, reporting, editing, hosting, mailing, marketing, and more.

According to a recent Pew Research poll, only about 14 percent of people say they pay for local news.

Gettysburg Connection regularly reminds people of the importance of community and local news. We talk often with our readers to learn what content they want. And we frequently ask for support.

Each newsroom has its own approach to fundraising, but we are united in our distaste for asking for money. We’ve tried a lot of different things to bring readers into the mix in the few years Gettysburg Connection has been around. They’ve all worked (some more than others) and we’ve refined them all. 

Every year the number of readers who support us has increased (at least so far), and that is very rewarding.

At this point the Connection offers 3 avenues of support:

  1. Individual memberships. These range from $49/year to $499/year, each with monthly payment options.
  • Business/organizational sponsors. Organizations sponsor the Connection because they care about our community but also to promote their brand on our pages. We offer top-of-page and rotating on-page displays. Sponsorships range from $500 to $800 per year. Most are annual contracts but we also take short-term sponsorships, for instance as political ads or events. And we swap sponsorships with some non-profits.
  • Partnerships. These are for readers who have a special connection to us.  Partners support us because they care about local news. Support is made in $250 annual increments, with most being at the $500 level. We provide special perks for these members each year.

Although we think about fund-raising every day, we primarily reach out to readers during four months of the year.

  • March Membership Drive
  • June Partner drive
  • September Fairs and festivals
  • November: Year-end Membership Drive

If you cannot contribute financially you may support our mission in other ways:

•     Join our newsletter mailing list

•     Subscribe to our podcasts

•     Support our sponsors

•     Follow us and share the word on Facebook and Instagram

•     Share your skills you have (writing; editing; social media; photography; etc.)

•     Send us an opinion piece

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Charles Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Publisher and Editor in Chief.

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