The Rapidian

Join us in supporting The Rapidian

The hyperlocal news source powered by the people of Grand Rapids needs your help.
Underwriting support from:

Thank you thank you thank you!

The fund drive hasn't even started, and we have already been overwhelmed by the generosity of our community. A big thank you goes out to those who believe in what we were about to do and support us in myriad ways:

Donation premium donors:
Mark and Carol Shirey


Community Celebration sponsors:

The individuals that make up the GRCMC Board of Directors:
-Patrick Revere
-Kim Beyer


Committed social media Sharing Partners:

Rick DeVos
Samantha Searl
Chris Koens
Rapidian staff (left to right): Andy Dragt, Holly Bechiri, Laurie Cirivello, George Wietor, Linda Gellasch, Chelsea LaForge

Rapidian staff (left to right): Andy Dragt, Holly Bechiri, Laurie Cirivello, George Wietor, Linda Gellasch, Chelsea LaForge /Terry Johnston

Over three years ago, our publisher Laurie Cirivello hatched a brilliant plan. What if we had a news platform in Grand Rapids that all of its citizens had access to? What if all citizens could be trained, provided the necessary tools and be mentored along the way as they learned to tell the community about the news happening in their own neighborhoods? What if we built a community centered around telling our city’s stories?

At that time, before all the citizen uprisings in the Middle East, this concept of “citizen journalism” she was talking about wasn’t as broadly known as it is now. I’m told that she and Roberta King, a key collaborator from the beginning with the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, got quite a few puzzled looks and more than one “But how will it work?” Sometimes people had a hard time understanding why people would volunteer to write news stories.

Who can blame them. It does sound like a crazy proposition, doesn’t it? But, as is often the case, our fearless leaders were onto something and our community rose to the occasion. We have seen the benefit of empowering citizen journalists unfold over the past three years. Over the past two years, our readership has grown by 135%. The crazy idea is working. And it’s beautiful.

Now we just need to make sure it can continue.


Ensuring our future

As we worked on a sustainability plan, we realize that a resource built on the community would need the involvement of the community if it were to continue. The individuals that make The Rapidian what it is: its reporters, its photographers and all of its readers...they should be given the chance to join us in supporting The Rapidian.

So here we are. Next week we start our first ever fund drive, spreading the news on social media, inviting the community to spread the word with us. Our goal, as we build this new community layer of financial support, is to have 250 donors by the end of next week.


How it works

We have a few ways you can get involved:

  1. Make a donation: You can commit to supporting the community’s efforts by making a donation. Starting on Monday, the 23rd, we will have some great little ways to thank you with fun new Rapidian swag. We’ll also have some great big ways to thank supporters at certain levels, thanks to the amazing generosity of local businesses and organizations.
  2. Spread the word: Add a Rapidian twibbon to your profile picture(s), share articles and media coverage with your networks, or even write about how The Rapidian has benefitted you or your community. Get the word out. Raise awareness about our need for support. 
  3. Attend the Community Celebration: On the last day of the fund drive, we want to celebrate our community. So we’re throwing a party, and you’re invited. Whether you’re a long-time sponsor or just learning about us for the first time, we’d love for you to celebrate with us on Sunday afternoon in the beer garden at Brewery Vivant. The first 40 people who join us will get a free beer token so we can toast to our success! We’ll also have chances for last-minute support (and last-minute thank-yous!), a photo wall provided by Stellafly and some great Brewery Vivant appetizers to help us get festive-so be sure to save the date for our Community Celebration on April 29.


Join us

We know that The Rapidian, thanks to all our amazing volunteers and fans, has become a true asset in our community: for the individual voices and the readers alike. We can’t wait to see how the community will blow our socks off during our first ever fund drive.

Help us sound the call, far and wide:

Join us in supporting The Rapidian: The hyperlocal news source powered by the people of Grand Rapids!


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.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.