Messenger Inquirer using Groupon approach for NIE funding


You’ve seen the Groupon approach. Buy a special deal for $50 to a restaurant but pay only a portion of that amount. The Owensboro Messenger Inquirer’s Newspapers in Education approach to fund-raising is similar.

When I saw this promoted last week, I asked OMI NIE coordinator Stacey Joslin to give me insight into the program. OMI might not be making the amount yet that Eddie Blakeley and the Ashland Daily Independent is, with its cutest dog contest and perhaps $7,000 in income, but $1,750 is nothing to sneeze at.

Here’s a 2017 sample ad Stacey used in promoting the deal last year and then an explanation of how it operates. If you’re interested in finding out more about Stacey’s special deal with restaurants — note that she sells these deals for $35 and the NIE program gets all of that from each one sold — send her an email at You’ll note she says it takes some educating to explain the concept so give her the opportunity.


“We ask local restaurants to donate a $50 gift card or meal cards worth $50 (a sub shop is giving me 5 $10 free meal cards, for example). We advertise them in the paper for a week and then on Saturday morning people call in with a credit card and purchase each offer for $35. Our readers get a deal and we keep the $35 for our NIE program. Our goal is to have 50 offers so we should net $1750. Not a ton of money but easier than writing a grant!!

“We have a broad range of restaurants from fast food to chains to locally owned nicer places.

“I am attaching a copy of last year’s ad that we ran plus a basic description of a block sale. It does take some educating to explain the concept!”

And here’s the basic description of a block sale — BLOCK SALE FUND-RAISER


Got an idea for how you’re funding your NIE program that you want to share with colleagues around the state? Send me an email, explain your program, give us some idea of its success and I’ll include that in a future On Second Thought. We’re all in this industry together, remember.

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