Uupdated, May 7 at 1:15 p.m. central time: I am happy and proud to announce that you, generous readers, matched and surpassed the $5,000 matching challenge grant for today! NCR board of directors Jim Purcell, Tom Bertelsen, Annette Lomont and Steve Miller pledged to match the first $5,000 in today's Spring Fund Drive campaign. You, generous readers met the challenge! Thank you so much!
Mike Green and Bob Hoyt made one promise when they founded National Catholic Reporter in 1964. They promised to give thinking Catholics the best news reporting, analysis and commentary about the church that they could provide. Their dream was to use the tools of journalism to inform the church that had just learned to call itself the People of God about the critical events and issues of their day.
Nearly 54 years later, we're still striving to live up to that promise.
Green and Hoyt dreamed of an independent, lay-led news organization that would report fairly and accurately on the news of the day. They knew very well that staying lay-led and independent meant not relying on the deep pockets of institutions and orders. That carried a financial risk, but they moved forward boldly with the faith of missionaries.
These are exciting times to be an NCR Catholic. We find much hope with Pope Francis in the Vatican. The messages he preaches of inclusivity and mercy spurs us on to act with the poor and to seek out the marginalized. Contrast that with the message we receive from the political world where money is spent on bombs and guns and not food; where people fleeing unimaginable violence because of war and economic devastation are turned away and not embraced; where the very life of our planet is threatened by greed and ignorance.
The voices that NCR brings to these issues have never been more critical in all of our 53 years.
Yet the reality is that we are being asked to do more with less. Demographic and societal changes mean that the financial model — print subscriptions and advertising — that sustained NCR since its founding is increasingly difficult to maintain.
That is why we come to you every year at this time for our Spring Fund Drive. We turn specifically to our online readers to ask for the financial support we need to continue the mission Green and Hoyt launched so many years ago.
You have two ways to support our mission: You can become a sustaining member, giving a monthly gift of $5 or more. Or you can make a one-time gift. If you are a regular reader of NCRonline.org, I'd encourage you to become a member. Members receive some benefits, like newsletters and invitations to events, but the number one benefit is knowing that you are enabling the journalistic mission of NCR to continue.
Our goal this week is $100,000. Please help us reach that goal.
If you are already a member, encourage your friends, family and co-workers to join too.
[Dennis Coday has been with NCR since 2003. He has been editor since 2012.]