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The new nonprofit Claremont COURIER

by Peter Weinberger | pweinberger@claremont-courier.com

As a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit newspaper, we are launching our first-ever three-year campaign drive to raise necessary operating funds to ensure the COURIER continues to provide you with the latest news and essential coverage of all the issues impacting our community.

It’s not about the here and now. It’s about creating a bright future. We believe it’s our collective responsibility to ensure that your community newspaper remains solvent into the future.

We seek to preserve this trusted news outlet and would greatly appreciate your support. Read more about our change to a nonprofit in the main issue of today’s newspaper. Below is a Q&A for additional information.

COURIER Q&A

How can I donate?

You can donate on the homepage of our website (upper left corner) or call Betsy at the COURIER at (909) 621-4761. Donations are tax deductible.

How much are you trying to raise in this first campaign drive?

We are trying to raise $500,000 over three years. Any tax-deductible amount, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated. Early donations have already

gotten us to around $50,000.

Why should I support the COURIER?

Becoming a nonprofit news outlet is one proven and successful strategy for preserving news in the face of changing economics that have resulted in more than 2,100 U.S. newspapers shutting down between 2004 and 2020. We don’t want a “news desert” to come to Claremont. We believe strong, local news sources create strong communities. A trusted, impartial press makes for a strong democracy.

What is a Claremont COURIER Publisher’s Circle donor?

The COURIER Publisher’s Circle includes donors who have agreed to pledge  each year for three consecutive years. Gifts can be made monthly or annually. As a Publisher’s Circle donor, you will be invited to special events, such as salon-like conversations, and other experiences created to engage Circle donors.

Why did the COURIER go to a nonprofit status? Were you running out of money?

Like many small, community newspapers and websites, our advertising revenue is on the decline, with many communities throughout the country turning into “news deserts.” Since 2016, COURIER revenue dropped an average of three to six percent per year. Then the pandemic hit, and revenue dropped 17 percent. Even with the economy slowly getting better, these numbers have not improved much. Therefore, our business model needs to change to survive, and like many news outlets, we are adopting the nonprofit model.

Does that mean the Weinberger family no longer owns the COURIER?

That’s correct. The COURIER is now owned by the community. We consider this change in part as a gift to the City of Claremont from the Weinberger family to ensure the COURIER’s long-term public support role. Martin Weinberger, who purchased the newspaper in 1955, would be pleased with this new civic enterprise. It gives the Weinberger family an exit strategy that preserves the legacy of the COURIER and their dedication to their readers and communities.

Why didn’t the Weinbergers just sell the COURIER?

We have seen over the years that new owners are often looking for quick profits as opposed to maintaining the quality of the news outlets they purchase.

Are community donations the only way to raise needed funds?

No, we will also be applying for grants and underwriting from foundations, corporations and government funding.

How will the COURIER change now that it’s a nonprofit?

This change recognizes that local news is a civic rather than a commercial enterprise. As an institution our community relies on, we are turning to you for financial support. That’s because local news is key to healthy, vibrant, engaged communities and thus merits philanthropic support.

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