Reporters don’t know how to raise money, nor should they.
That’s why we at Raleigh Public Record are pleased to announce the hiring of a fourth staff member: a managing director. Susan Bray will focus on fundraising, outreach and helping grow the organization so we may continue our work of public service journalism for Raleigh.
Susan’s job is to provide a firewall between those of us working on reporting the news and those asking for money to keep paying our hardworking reporters.
It’s actually in our bylaws that we will have two people sharing the executive director functions. One is the editor — that’s me — to focus on the mission and program work, mainly, reporting and editing stories. And the other is the managing director to deal with getting money to support the news operations.
We’ve never been able to fill this crucial position before, but thanks to a generous grant from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation we now have our first staff member whose sole job is to focus on fundraising.
The Record is a nonprofit organization and relies on grants, individual contributions and business sponsorships. In the four and a half years that we’ve been reporting on Raleigh we’ve grown from an all-volunteer force to having four part-time employees and a fantastic cadre of freelance reporters. Since we got our start in the fall of 2008, our traffic has grown to an average of more than 13,000 unique readers per month, based on readership statistics for the past six months.
Susan’s job will be to grow the budget and help us get our reporting out to more people across the city.
“An informed community is an active community, and an active community is a healthy community,” she said.
When asked on her second day on the job what I should put in this column, Susan said, “You might want to warn them that I’ll be asking them for money.”
You can expect to hear from Susan soon. And if you want to get in touch with her, you can reach her directly at sbray[at]raleighpublicrecord.org.