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MinnPost’s 2011 year-end report: Visits by Minnesotans up 32%

Revenues and expenses both increase 19%, and we report a surplus of about $21,000.

Note: To see the full report including journalism highlights and donor list, click here [PDF].

Minnesota readers turned to MinnPost a lot more often in 2011. 

Visits to the site by Minnesotans rose 32%, from 2.8 million to 3.7 million. Compared with our first full year, 2008, visits by Minnesotans are up 145%. 

Those Minnesota visitors looked at 7.6 million pages, up 24% from 2010 and up 124% from 2008.

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Including non-Minnesotans, we had more than 11 million page views in 2011, up 21% from 2010 and 103% from 2008.

And there are many other measures of the rapidly growing enthusiasm for MinnPost: More than 14,000 people follow our main Twitter feed, up 75% in one year, and 5,600 people have liked our main Facebook page, up 60%.

Why is MinnPost’s readership growing so rapidly? As one reader put it recently, “Other media tell you what happened. MinnPost tells you why.” Telling you the why, about Minnesota politics and policy — and also about arts, business, education, the environment, health, sports and other subjects — is central to our mission, and in 2011 we produced a lot of exciting journalism and added some terrific new players to our team.

Original reporting and analysis are expensive, and we’re happy to report that readers are also stepping up more with their dollars.

Revenue from individual and corporate donors and from MinnRoast rose a whopping 69%, to $815,252. Some of this increase came from 6% growth in annual membership revenue. Thanks to 690 first-time donors in 2011, our total donor base grew to 3,324. And 651 people, almost 20% of our total donor list, became sustaining members by the end of 2011.

The rest of the increase in individual donations was related to the first year of our four-year growth capital campaign to Take MinnPost to the Next Level. The campaign goal is $1 million, and we’ve received nearly $600,000 in commitments so far. Half the $600,000 pledged was paid in 2011.

We appreciate the continued generous support of Minnesota foundations. In 2011, $317,000 (20.8% of revenues) came from new grants from the Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen, Bush, Carolyn, Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, McKnight, Pohlad Family and Saint Paul Foundations. Grants received in 2011 were for general operations and special projects. The 2011 grant total is lower — in dollars and percentage of revenues — than the $466,350 received in 2010. This fits with our long-range plan to reduce reliance on foundation dollars.

Revenue from advertising and sponsorship grew strongly for the third consecutive year. In 2011, ad/sponsorship revenue was $385,865, an increase of 25% from 2010.

With growing revenues, we invested $241,138 more in spending in 2011—  on more reporting, developing a new website (which will debut in February) and a membership director. We ended 2011 with a surplus of $21,669. That’s two years in a row that MinnPost has been modestly in the black.

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Heartfelt thanks to our hard-working editors, technology and business staff, contract and contributing journalists, advertisers and sponsors, Board of Directors, Advisory Council, Greater Minnesota Advisory Group, MinnRoast sponsors, volunteer comment moderators, MinnRoast and birthday party planners.

And an extra thanks to all our donors, from Copy Boys and Girls to Media Moguls. Donor names are listed in categories in the full report [PDF].

To readers who haven’t yet become donors, please consider this a personal invitation to join the MinnPost family. We cannot do this without you.