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Those of you who read Ark Valley Voice (AVV) regularly, know that in November we were selected by the Colorado Media Project as one of only 26 newsrooms across the state of Colorado to receive a prestigious NewsMatch grant from the Gates Family Foundation and the Colorado Media Project.

This is where our readers come in. Ark Valley Voice will receive this $5,000 grant if our readers and the local community support our independent, local news coverage by donating at least $5,000 to AVV by Dec. 31, 2021.

According to the Colorado Media Project, this Newsmatch designation means Ark Valley Voice is #NewsCOneeds, provided as a free public service to our community.

“Free and independent local news is a public good that is vital to democracy, and all Coloradans have a vested interest in supporting the evolution of local public-service journalism,” Gates Family Foundation Director Melissa Davis had to say about their support of the NewsMatch and our work. “Gates Family Foundation is proud to partner again with NewsMatch … to help inspire more individuals to support homegrown, Colorado news.”

When you donate any amount up to $1,000, your donation will be matched – effectively doubling your gift.

Monthly donations will be multiplied by a 12x ratio; so a $6 monthly donation becomes an annual donation of $72, which becomes a $144 total donation with the newsmatch. A $50 donation becomes $100, a $500 donation will become $1,000. You get the idea.

There is a time limit for the grant: we have to reach $5,000 in donations by Dec. 31 to get the $5,000 match. We’re not very far along towards our goal and have a long way to go.

Here’s what this funding means for our small, feisty, and dedicated newsroom. It means two months of operating expenses to help maintain our level of operation. All of it will go to the salaries of our staff, who work full time, part-time and as stringers covering their specific areas of expertise.

As many of you know, Ark Valley Voice operates on a shoestring. We work out of donated office space. We don’t make our (former) corporate salaries and are nowhere near the median county income. Our reporters cover their own expenses; we work on our own computers. None of us even ask for travel funds, as we jaunt back and forth across the county covering news and events from Granite and Twin Lakes, up into Lake County, through Buena Vista, and on down to Salida, past Howard and beyond; while also bringing you the local impact of state and national news.

We do what we do because we believe in our mission, that “Truth Should Have a Voice”.

The role of journalism and the media is more important at this moment than at any time since the founding of our country. As the country grapples with voting rights, a continuing pandemic and social issues, the county faces housing challenges and unprecedented growth, and environmental concerns, and the 2022 elections loom closer than they appear. Every single person associated with Ark Valley Voice is committed to this truth: that the role of a free press is imperative to American democracy.

Independently-produced news, disseminated to the broadest possible audience is a bulwark of truth. This year, more than ever, it is important that Ark Valley Voice can continue to provide local news, free to the community, reaching even those struggling to make ends meet.

If you value local news, if you have been touched or informed by even a few of our news stories, we hope you will consider helping us meet this fundraising goal to qualify for this grant.

Thank you for your support of Ark Valley Voice as #NewsCoNeeds .

Donate here.