Today is the first day of our spring membership drive — part of our energetic, nonstop effort to raise the funds necessary to pay our reporters, buy the latest technology and otherwise cover the costs of operating a dynamic, ambitious, public-spirited digital news organization. Our budget for 2012 is $4.5 million, give or take a few pennies, and we're well on our way there: With a little more than 25 percent of the year elapsed, we're already at nearly 60 percent of our dollars committed. Big thanks to the individuals, foundations and corporate and institutional entities who've gotten us this far.
But we're not done! In total, member contributions (gifts of $5,000 or less) amount to 1/9 of our budget. Every little bit helps: From student sign-ups ($10 annually) through our elite circles ($1,000, $2,500 or $5,000 a year for three years), we expect to raise $500,000 and hopefully more. We've grown our membership rolls exponentially, year over year, in 2010 and 2011, but we want to do even better — the best ever — in 2012.
By giving to the Trib, you're ensuring that more Texans have access to good, reliable, nonpartisan information about the big issues we and our friends and neighbors grapple with: public ed, higher ed, immigration, energy, transportation, health care, criminal justice and on and on. More information means more thoughtful and more productive choices at election times and all times. Greater civic participation makes for a healthier state. Say it with me: Smarter Texans equals a better Texas.
Your membership, in its small or not-so-small way, makes all that possible. You've heard me say that before, and you'll hear it again — as long as there's a Texas Tribune. Your willingness to invest in the idea that this stuff matters is what keeps us going. It's the secret sauce.
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