Support The Martha's Vineyard Times By Donating to the Local Community News Fund of New England

$56,371

579 supporters

$500,000 goal

Campaign Ended

Team Member

The Martha's Vineyard Times

$940

by 21 supporters

$50,000 goal

A letter to the Martha’s Vineyard Times family of readers:

Community newspapers like The Martha’s Vineyard Times have an unusual bond with readers. We take our charge — to provide essential information about events, people, meetings; and a home for advertising where readers gather — to be the essence of the highest standard of local journalism.

All of us at The Times have spent the past few months flat out, determined to give our readers all the information they need in the face of an amorphous and deadly antagonist. Our entire staff is on it, reporters, designers, IT, ad sales, and circulation staff, taking phone calls and emails, running down leads, and generally working with one another and our community partners, all with good grace. And each of us has learned to do things along the workflow chain that many of us never thought possible, including making an entire newspaper from home.

The results, measured in getting content out to readers, are impressive: Since Feb. 12, we’ve run more than 500 separate stories dedicated to the virus outbreak. We’ve updated them countless times, we’ve kept our email Minute newsletter humming along, and have even added special weekend Minute Extra editions.

As you might imagine, the entire Times staff is energized by the demands of the COVID-19 story. One of them observed their appreciation of the historic nature of this story, and the importance of getting it out to the community. One grizzled veteran said that getting it done and getting it right has challenged him unlike any other story in a long career. We’ve all commented on the teamwork necessary to keep turning out the latest news.

We think what we’re doing is working for you, too. In the past two months, our web traffic has nearly doubled, and, interestingly, much of the traffic is coming from “faithful” readers, those with a strong Vineyard connection. They’re checking in more often (one category averaging more than 30 times per day), and staying a bit longer. Our print and web subscriptions and retail sales, a successful strategy at the outset, have jumped substantially.

What’s not working is the absence of funding. Already reeling from the assault of social media, our community news model depends on advertising: local retailers, nonprofit institutions, event venues, restaurants, movies, designers and contractors, help-wanted listings, and more. When Island life shuts down, so do these businesses. And advertising comes to a near standstill. So if all the investigating, all the reporting, and all the posting and print production is to continue, there needs to be revenue to support it. There may be some newspapers advantaged enough to hunker down, carry on, and wait for a new start. But our Times is not one of them.

What can you do?

Make a tax deductible donation through this site. The donation is used to fund the continued and expanded coverage of local news.

Subscribe to The MV Times; give a gift subscription or extend your subscription at [email protected]

Buy advertisements. Even if you know you won’t be open for a while, run branding and informational ads. 

Buy ads in support of first responders and healthcare workers.

Explore running your message as an online or Minute ad, instead of or in addition to print. 

Let us help you develop innovative newsletters — we can do most of the work — that will get your plans and reopening dates in front of readers.

Advertising and custom-publishing contact: [email protected]

Buy Times Dollars: You’ll earn discounts on future ads, and we’ll get your help with cash flow.

Times Dollars or other donor questions contact: [email protected]

We are grateful to our remarkable staff and our loyal readers. We’re making our way through this daily nightmare with you, and are much the stronger for it.

Barbara and Peter Oberfest, publishers

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Story

Your local newspaper needs your help!

In times of uncertainty, the importance of reliable news and information is vital.

Local newspapers play a critical role in the communities they serve, making us all stronger. They are dedicated to keeping you informed, whether it is a local issue or a worldwide epidemic that is a danger to our communities, they are there to deliver consistent, quality local news coverage. Especially now, local news is a crucial public service that is keeping people informed and safe.

Traditional advertising revenue, which everyone has counted on to fund the free press, has been decimated by the current crisis, and the loss of advertising dollars has threatened the existence of many newspapers.

The New England Press Association Scholarship Fund, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, created the Local Community News Fund of New England and this fund-raising portal to allow tax deductible donations to support your local newspaper.

Local newspapers remain strong in their commitment to serve their community and, with some assistance from loyal readers, they can keep reporters on the job working to provide resources and information that every community needs.

You can ensure that your community continues to get the local news and information it needs by donating to this fund. All donations will go to the newspaper of your choice, and will help pay reporters’ salaries and other costs of covering the local community.

All donations to this fund are tax deductible. Thank you for supporting local newspapers. Together, we can make it through this.

Local Community News Fund of New England is a service of, and administered by, New England Press Association Scholarship Fund, Inc., affiliated with New England Newspaper and Press Association

New England Press Association Scholarship Fund, Inc., tax ID #23‐7297724, is a Section 501(c)(3) organization and is eligible to accept charitable contributions.


Campaign Ended

$56,371

579 supporters

$500,000 goal

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