‘The next normal’

Elizabeth & Thom Mariner (photo courtesy Stepping Stones)

Dear M&M Readers:

Challenging times
On Sunday, as we were deciding how many copies to print for April – in light of announced closures of museums, performance spaces, arts centers, libraries, etc. – we heard the news about all bars and restaurants shuttering as well. We suddenly realized that, no matter how many copies we might print, we simply would not have anywhere to deliver them. 

Distribution points would diminish from more than 200 to a few dozen, with only a handful of our major outlets available. Relatively few people will be out and about to pick up copies. And the costs to set up and run a web printing press are prohibitive for short runs.

A digital solution
As a result, having consulted with our distributor and our printer, we have made the unprecedented decision to NOT print a physical edition of our April issue, scheduled to be distributed March 25. We don’t want to put delivery persons at risk, or offer up a product that could potentially serve to transmit the virus. Nor do we want to create a large amount of waste.

For this April issue, we will publish our Digital Edition of the magazine March 25, but have eliminated most upcoming event coverage and event listings in the magazine due to uncertainty regarding postponing and rescheduling. What remains are feature articles, news, gifts and grants, and photos from past events. However, we will continue to update this website, including our Arts Calendar and Fundraisers Datebook, amidst all these changes. (The word CANCELED is now in our muscle memory forever.)

If you know someone who is a print-only reader, please share this news with them.

Movers & Makers Awards
We will share the results of our 2019 M&M Awards on April 1 as a separate “special edition” to offer an expanded presence for each of our winners.

The next normal 
We plan to continue to publish digitally until further notice. We will continue to circulate the news of the nonprofit community through email newsletters, digital publishing and social media, but our focus in the next couple of months will necessarily move away from events, toward news, personal profiles and storytelling. Please share your ideas.

Supporting each other
If you work for a nonprofit agency, think about ways we can serve your communications needs. We are small, but willing to help where we can.

We will do what we can to reach as many readers as possible through social media, building our presence on various platforms. But in a viral medium (no pun intended) we need your help to expand our audience. Facebook posts do not naturally spread as easily as coronavirus.

  • Follow M&M on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • Share our posts and Digital Edition on these platforms, tag people you know who may be interested so they can share as well.
  • Encourage your friends, colleagues and constituents to sign up for our weekly emails and Digital Edition.
  • If you are in a position to do so, please consider purchasing digital advertising from us in the coming month or two: on our weekly blast, via dedicated emails, or this website. It’s surprisingly affordable, and all we have to offer right now.

To continue to share the important work of the nonprofit sector we must have enough revenue to hire writers and editors and pay our bills. If you value M&M, please invest in us.

We are, along with many small businesses, at a crossroads, having to reinvent the way we function. Ideally, we want to return to print at some point. This is our 25th year, after all, and we are looking forward to celebrating that with you later in 2020.

We will inform you of our future plans as soon as they are made. Please contact us with any questions, concerns, suggestions. Don’t hesitate to call or email.

One last request
Everyone in our region will feel the impact of this pandemic. But our communal recovery will depend significantly on the ability of nonprofit agencies to operate effectively, and we will be made whole by the organizations who provide balm for our soul. As you are able, please support them.

A heartfelt Thank You for your attention and understanding. Please take care of yourselves and those around you.

Thom & Elizabeth Mariner, Publishers

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