SPRING FUNDRAISING DRIVE: How much is Bridge worth to you?

Dear loyal Bridge readers,

Bridge needs your help. I’m writing in hopes that you will make a tax-deductible donation to support Bridge.

Delivering Bridge to your inbox every week takes time, veteran journalists, and money. Financial support from readers like you will assure Bridge can continue to provide nonpartisan, public service journalism for the people of Michigan.

Last week, reader Jim Danielski from Plymouth wrote to thank Bridge for “reinventing journalism.” Last November, on the eve of the statewide election, John Nash of Spring Lake wrote us to say, “Every article is a must read. Thanks for providing such an excellent news source for Michiganders.” A month later, Mr. Nash made a contribution to help fund our work, and said, “I only wish others would use their contribution dollars to support such a nonbiased and informative news source.”

Today we ask you to answer John Nash’s challenge. We are running our first-ever spring fundraising drive now through June. It takes one click and one minute to invest in Bridge journalism.

We know you have many demands on your pocketbook. We respect the many other choices you have for charitable giving. If you are among the many who now depend on Bridge, here are six reasons we hope we can depend on you:

If you care about Michigan education, Bridge is your news source. Have you read “13 Miles to Marshall?” Or “The Smartest Kids in the Nation?” Or “Building a Better Teacher?” Or “Academic State Champs?”

Fact-based, data-driven reporting you can’t get anywhere else. It takes time and expertise to dive into databases and explain Michigan’s changing climate for jobs and wages as Bridge writers Mike Wilkinson and Chastity Pratt-Dawsey did earlier this month. Every month, Bridge tackles complex public issues and makes them easier for citizens to understand.

Bridge keeps delivering more to you. Detroit’s most experienced street reporter, Bill McGraw, leads Bridge’s coordination of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative. Great writers like Nancy Derringer tell poignant human stories like “Poverty in Paradise.” Bridge’s new collaboration with Crain’s Detroit Business covers the intersection of business, policy and politics. And it takes Pulitzer Prize-winning editor David Zeman to pull it all together.

You’re already investing your time. More than a half-million people have read Bridge so far this year.

Maybe we really are reinventing journalism. Michigan has 40 percent fewer professional journalists today than 20 years ago. While traditional newsrooms shrink, Bridge keeps building its distinctive in-depth coverage mission. “I work at Bridge because it is the last place in Michigan where I can practice my craft,” says Bridge senior writer Ron French. Bridge has earned more than three dozen professional journalism awards, including a dozen last month. In 2014, the Small Business Association of Michigan called Bridge its “Communicator of the Year.” Wayne State University named Bridge “Journalist of the Year,” and said, ““Much of the best journalism in Michigan is being done at Bridge. It may be the most exciting thing to happen to this profession in Michigan in decades.”

A vibrant free press isn’t free. Bridge is a nonprofit publication. Your contributions are tax-deductible. We answer to you – the readers. So far, Bridge has grown through the generous financial support of numerous foundations and corporations, all of whom are listed on the Bridge homepage. Increasingly, readers just like you are contributing $25, $50, $100 or more to pay for the information you receive from Bridge.

Truth is, we can’t do it without you.

To keep reinventing journalism, to keep delivering for readers, we also have to reinvent how nonprofit public service journalism is funded.

We’re in this for the long haul. Please help if you can. Thank you.

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

If you learned something from the story you're reading please consider supporting our work. Your donation allows us to keep our Michigan-focused reporting and analysis free and accessible to all. All donations are voluntary, but for as little as $1 you can become a member of Bridge Club and support freedom of the press in Michigan during a crucial election year.

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