Thank you for saving the Norwegian American Weekly

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Emily C. Skaftun
Norwegian American Weekly

Wow, what a month!

What a year, actually. It’s hard to believe that it’s Syttende Mai already, but at the same time it’s been a long year. You know what I mean?

Wait, let me start over, by saying:


We did it. We reached out to you, to the wider Norwegian community, and to the internet at large, asking for $30,000 to “save” America’s only Norwegian newspaper. And… we got it! $17,353 came in through the online campaign. Another $5,000 was added by our fabulous matching donor. And an impressive $15,099 came in through the mail. For a grand total of, drumroll please, $37,452!

I cannot tell you how touched we are by this outpouring of support. We may not have a huge number of subscribers, but the ones we have are the best!

So, are we saved? Yes and no. This money allows us a cushion to operate at our current rate of loss for at least a year, maybe closer to two depending on how effective our cost-cutting measures really have been.

Which is great, don’t get me wrong.

But what this means is that these years are critical; we must increase our subscriber numbers in order to become truly sustainable, truly “saved.” We need to add at least a few hundred subscribers before we’ll truly breathe easily. The good news is that we’ve added around 75 new subscribers in the month of April! It’s tricky to say how much that translates into an overall increase in subscribers, because A) our subscriber management software is maddeningly unhelpful and B) tracking losses in subscribers is always harder—if someone hasn’t renewed their lapsed subscription this month, does that mean that they’re never going to? Or are they just behind on opening their mail?

The number one thing you can do to help us, if you’re still so inclined, is to encourage someone to subscribe. You can even start a gift subscription for someone, and it doesn’t have to be a full year. We get it. $70 is a hefty gift. You can be the boss and tell us exactly how much you’d like to spend—even $10 would provide a month and a half of NAW, a decent trial period that we hope is enough to get people hooked.

You can also still make donations, both through the Indiegogo campaign, which is still open with reduced perks (no more nisser!), or by mail. The more money we raise, the more of it we’ll be able to put toward advertising (to get those new subscribers) and paying contributors.

I believe that we can do this. There are over five million people with Norwegian heritage in this country, and we only need a few thousand of you! (The best ones, of course).

Enjoy your Syttende Mai. Eat pølse med lompe and ice cream and drink akevitt and wave your flags. Celebrate with friends and family. I know we will be. We have much to be happy about this year.

This article originally appeared in the May 8, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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The Norwegian American

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