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  Tuesday September 16th, 2014    

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  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
A note to fund-raisers (05/18/2005)
By Frances Edstrom


     
It's a busy time of year. Graduations, proms, weddings, anniversaries. There is hardly enough newsprint in our plant to print all the news in the paper.

Volunteers are mounting many fund-raisers, and searching for a way to thank their donors. Because of the volume of material " press releases, letters to the editor, club news, obituaries, school news, church news, advance publicity for your fund-raiser " all printed for free " that is submitted for publication, and our desire to print it all in a timely manner, we've had to develop some ground rules. I think it is once again time to explain them.

We get at least a full page, and when there is a hot issue, almost two pages, of letters to the editor for each edition of the Post. We ask that people keep them as short as they possibly can, so that we don't have to edit too severely, if at all, so that it is the letter-writer's voice you hear, not ours. We also ask that the letter not be "from" more than two, at the most three people. In the event that there are more signatures, we can print them at the bottom of the letter, within reason. This allows the reader to just jump into the meat of the letter, and find out at the end who the other signatories are.

An area of letters to the editor that has mushroomed in recent years are the thank-you letters. We like those, because it highlights the generosity that is so prevalent in our community. But sometimes these fund-raisers are so successful that the list of donations looks like a couple of pages out of the phone book!

In that case, we cannot print all of the names, and usually will edit the letter to read that a certain organization thanks all of the donors to its cause. If there are particular volunteers who knock themselves out for a fund-raiser, we will print their names, unless it's everybody in town!

I know it's tempting for fund-raisers to think they must offer something in return for donations, and often that thing is "your name in the paper." But donations should be given freely, for the cause, not in exchange for publicity. A nice personal thank-you is really all that is necessary.

For those organizations that would still like to do something special for their donors, we offer non-profits a great deal on advertising. Our rates are structured to make it more affordable for people who advertise on a regular basis, so as to make it easier for small businesses to compete with the big guys, and to reward loyal advertisers.

For instance, if a quarter page ad comes in on a one-time-only basis, it can cost the advertiser about $450. For a regular customer, however, that price goes down to $315.41.

For non-profits, though, who after all want most of the money to go to the cause, that same quarter page ad costs only $157.70 " less for a smaller ad (for nearly 24,500 circulation!) If you have to thank 500 donors, it would cost you $185 to mail them thank-you notes, and you would have to buy the stationery and do the writing yourself.

So as you can see, the Winona Post once again is a real deal. Twenty-four thousand five hundred papers at your service! 

 

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