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Tyee Builders Tally: Amazing!

Your pledge totals smashed through the ceiling of our expectations. We're floored!

By Shannon Smart and David Beers 18 May 2012 | TheTyee.ca

Shannon Smart is The Tyee's community manager. David Beers is editor of The Tyee.

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You nailed it! We'll swim farther, deeper, stronger, thanks to you!

When describing The Tyee, a few words tend to come up time and again. "Independent" is a big one. "Feisty," too, fits nicely with the journalism we produce. Over the years, we've also heard our work described as "hard-hitting," "fearless," and "essential."

There are a couple more that we need to add to the list, now that our Tyee Builder fundraiser is wrapped up. The Tyee's staff and writers are humbled by the response to our Builder drive. We're honoured to have such a generous community of readers, and exhilarated about the potential of your contributions.

Most of all, we're grateful. More than we can express with any number of adjectives.

Reporting on what matters to you

These latest additions to The Tyee's self-referential lexicon are a product of two things: the contributions that readers made to help "build" The Tyee, to make our independent journalism more sustainable and to increase our capacity to report on the news and issues that matter to you, and the thoughtful notes and emails we received along with many of those donations. First of all, the totals.

Dollars and cents

Almost five hundred Builders are now contributing to The Tyee's reporting resources. Each month, we'll be adding $5,750 to our editorial budget. That’s $69,000 a year.

We also had a number of readers that -- because of tight financial situations or simply preferring to give by cheque -- wanted to donate just once. Adding those contributions to the monthly Builders gives us the final annual figure:

$73,420

As we said before. Humbled. Honoured. Grateful.

Who's Building The Tyee?

At the launch of the Builder program, Tyee staff had a goal in mind. We were hoping to call on our readers -- the members of The Tyee's community -- to make a small contribution. We hoped that, together, the contributions would build our capacity, make us more sustainable, and allow us to produce more of the journalism our community enjoys. We never expected to add close to $75,000 to our annual editorial budget, nor did we expect that many readers would -- in addition to donating money -- take the time and effort to write to us. Well, they did. And their words were wonderful. The messages -- which range from downright funny to utterly heart-breaking -- reminded Tyee staff just how influential an independent voice (whether that's yours or ours) can be. Here are some of our favourites.

"You are doing a fine thing there at The Tyee and I will look forward to what you come up with next." - from J. Lawson, Builder #322

"While making up the money order for my Builder donation, the bank teller asked me who/what was 'The Tyee' and I said, 'An online newspaper that carries news the MSM avoids.' He said: 'Real news!' And then we laughed." - from F. Stehr, Builder #199

"I have no money to give you. However, I support your efforts and will recommend your site to others." - J. McDonagh

"I strongly believe in what you folks are doing. As we labour this summer on the terraces of our hillside farm, we'll know you are digging into the journalistic trenches in our defence." - from C. Hays, Builder #370, Stone Ground Farm in Kamloops

"The Tyee is an important honest voice in Canada -- one of the very few left and very worthy of every Canadian's support." - from "Ocean Smuggler" on The Tyee Comment Board

"If I had more time, I'd read you virtual cover to virtual cover each and every day. What you provide is, I believe, essential to our great Canadian democracy." - D. Antrobus

"I was very happy to join the many, many readers who are supporting the Tyee. We have all learned the world has changed. Corporate-run Mainstream Media is really pathetic. No news there. So it is to the independents we will turn to find incisive, brilliant prose. We will all need to contribute to this enterprise if we wish to read original thought." - J. Jones, Builder #242

"I want to congratulate you for the excellent investigation, research, and reporting done. As a person on a CPP disability pension I can only donate a small amount to show my appreciation and support. Thank you for your work." - J. Came, Builder #304

"Love The Tyee's articles. And I'm very happy that my donation goes directly to writers and editors!" - P. Banting, Builder #317

"Glad you exist." - from W. Mosmans, Builder #486

You can still join us

To the dozens of famous Canadians who lent their words of support (and signed books!) to the inaugural Tyee Builders drive -- and to all our Tyee Builders: thank you (again) for your commitment. By making a monthly contribution to The Tyee's reporting budget, you're boosting our capacity as well as showing your support for independent voices in Canadian media -- an issue that needs as many backers as it can get. Not signed up to be a Builder yet? Even though our fundraising drive is over, you can still join the team! Besides knowing you're supporting a more democratic media in Canada, Builders also get treats and perks from The Tyee throughout the year. Click to find out more and to sign up now.  [Tyee]

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