In 2022, nearly 800 BDN readers stepped up to support independent journalism that matters (view our thank you to donors at bangordailynews.com/support/thank-you-bdn-supporters). Together, we raised more than $100,000 to sustain our local reporting!

Linda, who has one foot in southern Maine and the other Down East, told us, “I depend on you to report on what is important in our northern and eastern regions.” David in Brewer contributed because the BDN “has been critical in my life for longer than I can remember.” Many donors like Lisa in Orono shared an appreciation for the BDN’s hard-working staff: “Thanks to all who have worked so hard to make the Bangor Daily News the excellent, indispensable paper it is today.” Local reporters get up every day to make a difference for readers in the communities in which we live, and hearing feedback from folks like Anne in Brownfield keeps us going. She told us, “you are the eyes and ears of the community and without you, we readers would be in the dark.”

We are so grateful to BDN readers like Linda, David, Lisa and Anne for understanding that sustaining and growing a news operation like the BDN in today’s environment takes more than just advertising and subscriptions. Here’s how we intend to use contributions from 2022.

About $18,000 of the funds raised in 2022 are dedicated to supporting our environmental reporting beat, covered by Mehr Sher, who came to the BDN in August as a Report for America corps member.

A peek into how that reporting is going from editor Erin Rhoda: Mehr’s initial reporting on solar farms generated a lot of interest, and readers have asked her to dig in more. “Are the solar farms, while moving us in the right environmental direction, part of the cause of the electricity rates jumping so fast? People on low fixed incomes and low-wage jobs are really struggling with the new rates,” one reader asked. We are looking into the reader’s question to see if we can turn the answer into a story.

The other $85,000 will go into a general fund, which will allow us to direct the reader contributions as needed to cover newsroom expenses, helping us pay reporter salaries, mileage for travel to report stories, document request fees and server and platform fees for our website.

Reader contributions and philanthropy are becoming vital for covering Maine communities and providing our journalists with the resources they need to report the news that Mainers use to make informed decisions. We can’t do it without you, and we are too invested in Maine to even consider failure. Thank you for believing in us.

Maine is the only state in the U.S. with no out-of-state ownership of daily newspapers, and with your support, we’ll keep it that way.

If you have contributed in the past and intend to maintain your support, we invite you to consider joining our giving circle program with a three-year commitment. Read more and join us at   bangordailynews.com/support or reach out to me at jeaston@bangordailynews.com.