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Monday July 26th 2021

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the alley needs your help! a letter

By CATHY STROBEL-AYRES


P.O. Box 7006
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Phone: 612-990-4022
Email: copydesk@alleynews.org

Dear Friend of The Alley:

For many of us, the world seems to be in a time of great change, some might even say chaos as we emerge from the greatest pandemic of the last 100 years. And, yet, every day, people in the Phillips Community greet the day, put a life and family together, work hard to make ends meet and do so using their many diverse, cultural ways of knowing to try to make it happen. For over 45 years, The Alley, a community governed media source,has also been doing its best to reflect many of those stories and keep on putting one foot in front of the other to keep publishing month after month. Published on a shoestring budget and largely volunteer run, The Alley informs, engages, and facilitates communication and promotes the exchange of information, opinion, culture and creativity among thousands. The resilience of the Phillips Community is resounding, and it inspires The Alley Newspaper to try to do its very best to reflect this resiliency within the pages each month.

The Alley remains committed to maintaining its original free print format because we know many of our readers do not have the same level of access to computers or the Internet as readers in other communities. The paper is not really “free” to produce, however. It is more expensive to print and distribute than it is to only publish an online paper.  Nearly all our monthly expenses are for layout, printing and delivering the print edition.

The Covid-19 pandemic created a new challenge for us last year with a loss of ad revenue and our simultaneous commitment to dedicate no-cost space each month to publish on-the-ground Covid-19 guidance from the perspective of a contact tracer and from the MN Health Department. We emerged intact albeit still operating on a month-to-month shoestring budget. That said, we face a new challenge with the retirement of long time volunteers who handle the day-to-day operational tasks of banking, mail, phone and email inquiries, invoicing, accounts receivable, etc.

I am writing today to ask for your help to fund a new part-time business manager to take over this work and to assist us in expanding and deepening our community engagement efforts. This will allow us to grow The Alley’s content to include regular participation from youth and young adults, the arts, non-English speakers, and to promote our small businesses with an emphasis on those that are immigrant, Black and Indigenous owned. We expect a business manager to devote 10-15 hours each month as we establish and develop this position. In addition to asking for your help through financial contributions, the Board decided to increase our ad and sponsorship rates, something we have not done in well over 25 years. This increase begins in 2022 and will also assist us in supporting this position. However, we need your help to support this position for the remainder of this year.

We are asking you for a tax-deductible donation to help us fund this new position at a cost of $4,000. Last year, you our readers and supporters, contributed over $3,000! This was critical in keeping The Alley In business while other community newspapers were forced to close down. We hope you can support us again this year and help us reach this larger goal. You can donate online at: https://www.givemn.org/organization/Alleynewspaper or mail a check to The Alley, PO Box 7006, Mpls, MN 55407.

With your support,The Alleywill continue to land on doorsteps and newsstands throughout our community. 


Cathy Strobel-Ayres, President

Board of Directors
Alley Communications

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