“The trends are impressive, even if the numbers sound more like a successful taco stand than a big news operation.”
That’s what media reporter David Carr wrote in a profile of MinnPost in today’s New York Times.
Well, not every successful taco stand gets written up in the New York Times, so I’m happy with the story. It captures well our current situation and our goal to sustain our basic operations without foundation support by 2012. (In addition to the Knight Foundation, we have a number of local foundations supporting us that are not mentioned in Carr’s piece: The Minneapolis Foundation, the Blandin Foundation, the McKnight Foundation and the Otto Bremer Foundation.)
This does not mean, by the way, that we will not seek foundation support after that time, for special projects and new initiatives. It just means that we aspire to sustain our core enterprise — keep the lights on and the reporting and analysis flowing — without that support.
The tremendous success of MinnRoast 2010, and the growth so far this year in our advertising and sponsorship revenue, are, indeed, impressive. And we’re closing in on 2,000 members, which doesn’t count the hundreds of anonymous donations we have received.
But if we’re going to make our nonprofit model work, we need many more of our 40,000+ regular readers to become donors. You can join the party here.
Although we’re keeping our expenses essentially flat this year, we continue to work on improving MinnPost.com. We recently launched a higher education blog (Next Degree by Casey Selix), and we’ve started publishing the best work of participating local bloggers (Minnesota Blog Cabin, curated by Justin Piehowski). More new features will be coming soon.
My wife Laurie (who is primarily responsible for the success of MinnRoast and who leads our membership efforts) says Carr got it right when he wrote that I’m a worrier by nature. But there’s no reason a worrier can’t also be an optimist. With your help, I’m feeling good about MinnPost’s future.