This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Bridge. To help it secure another 25 years, the board of directors of the newspaper has created Friends of The Bridge, an organization to raise much-needed funds.
The Bridge itself has been organized as a Vermont nonprofit business for the past year and a half and is run by a board composed of ten community members. However, IRS regulations make it difficult for a newspaper to get 501(c)(3) approval directly.
Friends of The Bridge recently received federal 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, enabling it to collect tax-deductible contributions from the newspaper’s readers and supporters. Simultaneously, the newly constituted Friends board has launched a major fund-raising campaign, Bridge To The Future, with a goal of $50,000.
The campaign coincides with a significant turning point for the paper: the upcoming retirement of longtime editor and publisher Nat Frothingham and promotion of managing editor Mike Dunphy to the position of editor-in-chief.
While your tax-deductible donations (to Friends of The Bridge, PO Box 1641, Montpelier, VT 05601) greatly help The Bridge continue its mission of public service, it is not the only way to contribute. Here are just a few more!
Subscribe to The Bridge. For $50 per year, The Bridge will be delivered to anywhere in the United States. That’s two issues per month of Central Vermont news in your mailbox, wherever you are! Subscribe through the website (montpelierbridge.com) or send a check made out to The Bridge at P.O. Box 1143, Montpelier, VT 05601;
Share The Bridge. Pass your copy along to your friends and family, or better yet, share articles online via social media;
Place an advertisement. Advertising is the main source of The Bridge’s revenue and is ultimately what keeps the doors open and the presses running;
Send us a news tip. Let us know what’s happening in the community, whether it’s a new business opening, special event, art exhibition, or anything you think worth the paper’s attention. Call at (802) 223-5112 or shoot us an email;
Volunteer your time. With its tiny staff, The Bridge is always in need of people to help out in nearly every aspect of newspaper production, including writing, editing, proofreading, delivery, graphic design, and more. Our door at the Vermont College of Fine Arts is always open;
Write for The Bridge. The Bridge always welcomes voices from the community. Feel free to share yours in an article, op-ed, letter, or other. Send your pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Please help the Friends of The Bridge keep The Bridge local, independent, and free!
Support The Bridge
By Nat Winthrop
Hello. Many of you may know me from my work with independent films. But before I became a film producer, I ran an independent newspaper, so I am well aware of the challenges faced by newspapers such as The Bridge. That’s why I joined the board of directors of the new Friends of The Bridge organization.
The Bridge will be 25 years old this year. In those 25 years the newspaper publishing landscape has changed immensely. In today’s multimedia world there is tremendous competition for the eyes of readers and therefore for advertising dollars.
I am also aware of the benefits of small newspapers like The Bridge to their community. You won’t see the stories that appear in The Bridge in The New York Times or the Boston Globe or on CNN. Our articles are of local interest, and the editors are not overseen and influenced by a large publishing corporation such as Gannett. They are independent and answer only to the local community.
Best of all, The Bridge is free. Once a month it is mailed to everyone in Montpelier. And it is available to be picked up for free at many locations throughout Central Vermont.
But we all know The Bridge really isn’t free. It takes money to mail that issue, run the press, and pay the staff. And those hard-earned advertising dollars don’t always allow the ends to meet. That is why the Friends of The Bridge was created.
I’ve made a donation to the Friends of The Bridge, and I hope you will join me in making a generous donation. Because the Friends of The Bridge is a 501(c)(3) organization, your donation is tax deductible. Just make your check out to “Friends of the Bridge” and send it using the envelope in this issue to The Bridge offices. They’ll make sure it gets to the Friends of The Bridge for bookkeeping purposes.
Please help the Friends of The Bridge keep The Bridge local, independent, and free. Thanks.
Nat Winthrop, Board Vice-President, Friends of The Bridge