I'm overjoyed to report that last week's brief membership drive — our first ever — exceeded our wildest expectations.

We ambitiously hoped to raise $25,000 and generate 250 members through a combination of new sign-ups and renewals over four days of methodical, incessant pitching. In fact, we raised more than $33,000 this calendar year and, counting multi-year gifts, more than $44,000 over time from 409 members. (About half were first-timers.)

Those generous souls came from all over the state — just under half were from someplace other than Austin — and 12 other states as well. And many gave more than the bare minimum: The average annual gift was $81, quite a bit more than our basic membership level of $35.

We'll be back at this in September, we think; gird yourselves for our equally incessant fall membership drive. For now, thanks so much for supporting the Trib — and for proving, yet again, that the nonprofit business model for public interest journalism has legs.

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