By Nancy West,
I knew we would make it. Yes, InDepthNH.org, your nonprofit news outlet, debuted on Sept. 1, 2015.
I just didn’t know how much fun it would be to launch a nonprofit website dedicated to news that matters in New Hampshire. I learn every day how important news is to our democracy. Done right, news encourages civil discourse and hopefully, civic engagement and action.
I didn’t know how rewarding it would be when we got our first grant from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund through the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. That $50,000 has helped us – Chris Jensen, Garry Rayno and me – cover Coos County and surrounding towns that meant so much to the Tillotsons. And it has allowed us to report on – among other stories – the most important one in the state right now: the proposed Northern Pass Transmission project.
What can I say about our only advertiser so far Northeast Delta Dental. Not enough thank yous for Kathy Walker, Connie Roy-Czyzowski and Tom Raffio. We have been able to take on statewide issues because of Northeast Delta Dental.
InDepthNH.org holds government accountable while giving voice to marginalized people, places and ideas.
Grants and donations from folks like the Wyman Family Foundation and our many readers like you help us tell important stories. One we are very proud of is what happened to Eric Largy of Nashua who was locked up in the state prison Secure Psychiatric Unit. Eric invited InDepthNH.org to be the first news outlet in New Hampshire to ever report from inside confidential probate court hearings on a competency case. Eric is free now and speaks out about what happened to him, reminding everyone that it could happen to them, too.
A number of you have signed up to make a monthly donation and many more are making one-time gifts.
Our reporters and editors work for nothing or next to nothing compared to the time they put in and their incredible expertise. That must change this year. Please help. To do this right and cover all the stories that need covering, we need 10 times more funding than we have now. It sounds daunting, but we’ll get there with your help.
I didn’t know how awesome it would be to ask simple questions before deciding to work on a particular story: How does the public benefit by having this information? How does this story inform citizens about their peers, their leaders and institutions? How does it hold government to account?
I had no idea that Bob Charest would be not only a great columnist with his Why You Should Care NH, but also a partner in guiding InDepthNH.org from its first days. He also edits the most complex stories. He does this all for free.
I also had no idea how valuable Roger Wood and his golden voice podcast would be and continue to be. Or how much his kindness, experience and contacts would help spread the word about the new news guys in town, those news hounds at InDepthNH.org who give their stories to other media for free to help buoy us all. New Hampshire needs all of our news voices.
Thank you Chris Jensen for your professionalism, your experience and your generosity. Your knowledge of the North Country and its people forms the foundation of our success. We need you.
Who knew we would have the opportunity to work with New Hampshire’s fine homegrown editorial cartoonist Mike Marland. What joy. We couldn’t raise enough money to pay Mike for the last two and a half months and he has been forced to move on, but plans to send us cartoons when he can. He is still cartooning so please help support him.
Susan Dromey Heeter. What can one say about a joyful woman from Dover who shares her Joyful Musings column every Saturday. She does this for free believing that if we do what we love and know that it matters, the money will come.
Thank you Monica Drahonovsky for great book reviews. Monica Reads is about to expand to include first chapters from the works of New Hampshire authors.
John Harrigan? The state’s most famous columnist jumped on board InDepthNH.org early on to write View from Above The Notches and still generously donates his time, experience and fine writing from time to time.
Montana West? My son. Who knew that buying all those computers over the years starting with the VIC 20 when he was in the second grade would pay off so handsomely for InDepthNH.org. Montana makes our website look great when he is not working his full-time job with NH Public Television.
And there are many, many people who offer their support in any number of ways who prefer staying behind the scenes. The list is way too long to mention everyone, but here is a list of some of you wonderful people who come to mind in no particular order. Thank you: Carol Robidoux, Roger Carroll, Jen Hollidge, Jeff Feingold, Meghan Pierce, Ruth Zax, Tori Tucker, Emma Simpson, Chris Garofolo, David Saad, Lew Feldstein, Vin Sylvia, Darin Estep, Pat Grossmith, Sherry Wood, Melissa West, D. Maurice Kreis, MJ Loughlin, Bob and Joan Oppenheimer, the Taunton Currans, Gina Gilmore, Mary Lou Krambeer, Mary Helen Gillespie, Marco Mulcahy, Robin Mulcahy, Howard Altschiller, Bob Lapree, Barbara Tetreault, Chris Schadler, Mark Okrant, Rod and Carolyn Hutton, the Hong family, Donna and Charlie Jordan, Rene Philpott, Richard Hesse, Sasha Tracy, Gloria Norris, Jean Clark, Phoebe Backler, Rick Gagliuso, Steve Barba and the rest of the Tillotson board. Email me now if I have inadvertently left you out. I am sure I will be updating from memory as well.
As I often say, this isn’t Nancy West’s website. InDepthNH.org belongs to the citizens of New Hampshire, the people who have built InDepthNH.org and those who will sustain it. Please let that be you.
Big Matching Funding News
InDepthNH.org is eligible this year for matching funds from the Knight Foundation and Democracy Fund through the Institute for Nonprofit News where we are an active member. The total number of donations to be matched will be announced later this month, but from October through December, donations from individuals up to a total of $1,000 (including donations made through family or donor advised funds at community foundations) will be matched. Please email me if you want to help. email@example.com
We are also looking at other possible matching funds from major donors and corporations so please call Nancy West at 603-738-5635 and just say, “Happy Second Anniversary. Where do I send the check?”
We can save local news together. Thanks for reading InDepthNH.org and helping us grow. Nancy West
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