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Invest in your community: The Rapidian to launch fund drive, celebrate civic investors

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Without financial investment from the community, The Rapidian would no longer be able to provide access to this platform of citizen journalism for our community.
(L to R) Chris Kotcher films cub reporter Edgar and Mayor Heartwell for an upcoming video

(L to R) Chris Kotcher films cub reporter Edgar and Mayor Heartwell for an upcoming video /Holly Bechiri

Special ways to say thank you during the fund drive

Investors who donate $10 or more will receive a "civic investor" sticker.

Investors who donate $25 or more can also get a thank you gift certificate from one of our many contributing local restaurants and businesses.

All of the options for how we and our community would like to thank you for your investment will be available here April 14-25.


Generous contributors of gift certificates to say thank you to our investors include:

If you are a local business, restaurant or bar that would like to help us inspire our investors and show your support for the community, contact us. There's still time to be included in our efforts.

Civic Investor stickers for our Rapidian investors!

Civic Investor stickers for our Rapidian investors! /Holly Bechiri

Starting next Monday, April 14, and running through Friday, April 25, The Rapidian will be holding its third annual spring fund drive. 

Five years ago, huge investments of time and finances started the opportunities we now have on The Rapidian. Five years ago, staff at the CMC were getting ready to launch The Rapidian. They were gathering many people in the community to find out just exactly how they should create a platform for civic engagement in our own community. They were building resources and training modules and a website- the one you're on now.

All of that start-up work was made possible thanks to generous funding from the Knight Foundation, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, and the Slemons Foundation.

Two years ago, that funding went away. Our community is the most important part of ensuring The Rapidian can continue to encourage civic engagement through the free flow of information within our community.

While we raise funds to help us continue supporting civic investment on The Rapidian with the fund drive this year, we will also be introducing the community to a variety of civic investors through three videos and 12 articles, highlighting people like Derek Coppess, Diana Sieger and Tami VandenBerg. 

Just as important as helping you invest in our mission, we want to use this fund drive as a chance to highlight individuals around our city that are investing in their communities in many different ways. Whether you're a lawyer, a developer or an artist, it's not what you do but how you do it and why that makes the difference. That difference has the power to benefit the community around you.

Along with three videos, you will be introduced to a civic investor in our community each day of the fund drive. They will talk about what motivates them to invest in their community, what keeps them going and what value they see in investing in the ways they do. We can't wait to introduce you to every one of them. They're incredible examples of what it means to be a civic investor. We hope their stories will inspire you while reading them as much as they did when our team had the chance to sit down and have a conversation with them.

This is, after all, why The Rapidian is here: to build community engagement through media. We're glad to have the opportunity to celebrate this in the ways we raise funds to make it possible for us to continue providing a platform for all voices in our community.

The Community Celebration, happening at Richard App Gallery on April 18, is an additional opportunity for the community to learn more about us and for Rapidian investors to be celebrated.

Rapidian investors will also be celebrated when they make a donation. Donations over $10 will be thanked for their investment with "Civic Investor" stickers. Donations at $25 and above will be able to choose gift certificates from over 25 local businesses and restaurants, like Grand Rapids Brewing Company, Propaganda Doughnuts, Have Company, Cheeky Strut and the Fulton Street Farmers Market.

Of course, we will gladly accept your assistance any day of the year, but between April 14 and April 25, we will have special ways to thank you for supporting our mission. There are so many ways to invest in your community and The Rapidian has created a strong platform where your investment can go further. However, for us to be able to continue to invest in you, we need to make sure our efforts are financially sustainable. We need your investment in us.

Invest now.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

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