“save the norwegian news paper”

Photo: Derek Willis / Emily C. Skaftun Nils Anders on location at Seattle’s Kerry Park.

Photo: Derek Willis / Emily C. Skaftun
Nils Anders on location at Seattle’s Kerry Park.

Emily C. Skaftun
Norwegian American Weekly

As you probably know, we at NAW had a really bad scare earlier this year.

I was a scant year on the job, starting to feel like I had my newspaper legs under me at last. I’d just returned from a week’s vacation in Iceland and life was pretty swell. And, then, in what we thought was going to be a routine staff meeting, we were told that NAW was over.

That was two months ago, and we’re still here.

That’s due in no small part to an outcry from you, dear readers. In the weeks that followed our near-death experience, many of you asked what you could do to help us. You showered us with sympathy and ideas for cost-cutting measures.

A few people even sent in donations. The most generous of these was from David and Barbara Johnson, who sent in $2,500 with a note reading, simply, “Don’t die!”

The most adorable of the donations was from a young reader, who wrote: “My name is Jennifer. My dad likes the norwegian news paper. My dad teaches me some words. I have one dolar to help. Mange takk.”

Mange takk to you, Jennifer! Mange takk to David and Barbara! And to the others whose donations fell somewhere in between.

Even though things look better now, we’re not out of the woods. The bottom line is this: we lost $30,000 in 2014, and even though we’ve made a lot of changes to spend less and reach more readers and advertisers, we’re not yet breaking even. And that’s before we address the fact that our terrific writers deserve to be paid for their efforts (a radical concept, I know).

So if you’d still like to help (and we hope you do!), we’ve created an Indiegogo campaign to formalize the process.

Indiegogo is one of many crowdfunding sites on the internet. It’s a place where small businesses, musicians, writers, and so on can solicit pre-orders for products, securing the funding needed to create said products when traditional sources can’t or won’t help.

It’s also a place where people can pass the digital hat when they need to raise money to get a family through a cancer diagnosis or fend off foreclosure. The idea is that if enough people donate even very small amounts, huge amounts of money can be raised.

Our campaign is somewhere in between a product launch and charity. We have a product and we are ecstatic to sell it! Rewards levels include subscription packages, both print and digital, and advertising. Other fun rewards are available, including postcards, mini-nisser, Nils Anders Wik magnets, and even a visit from Nils Anders himself. We also have a very few copies of the “final” issue of NAW, volume 126, issue 5, that we made and sent to the printer before learning of our stay of execution. This is your only chance to get your hands on that priceless bit of alternate history!

Hovden Formal Farmwear has also generously offered us their “busserull” shirts to sell at cost. If you’ve been on the fence about buying one, now is the time to get a cool shirt and support NAW at the same time.

Donate here: www.indiegogo.com/projects/save-the-norwegian-american-weekly.

The number one thing you can do to make this fundraising effort a success is to donate (duh). The number two thing—which is arguably even more important than number one—is to spread the word. Share links to the campaign through email and social media. Tell your friends. Tell your enemies. Ask not what your newspaper can do for you, and so on. (But actually feel free to ask what we can do for you, or better yet to tell us what you’d like us to do for you). Here is a short link you can use: igg.me/at/naw.

If you don’t want anything from us and would just like to donate to the cause, you can of course send checks directly to us at 7301 5th Ave NE, Suite A, Seattle, WA 98115. We are unfortunately not a non-profit, so you won’t get a tax break from your donation. Just the warm fuzzy feeling of true generosity and our undying love.

And, hopefully, our undying newspaper.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.