LebTown is seeking community support for strategic public benefit areas

3 min read558 views and 33 shares Posted March 22, 2019

LebTown is launching a search for strategic community partners to help us realize three key initiatives.

LebTown is not organized as a non-profit, and we are looking for fiscal sponsors who may be interested in partnering around initiatives that do not fit into our immediate business plan for the site, but would offer significant public benefit to the county. (Long-term, we think that being advertising-supported will best position us to help grow Lebanon County, and advertising-supported business models are not compatible with non-profit tax status.)

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LebTown is open to creative philanthropic arrangements and seeking champions to help us solidify the future of our nascent news effort.

Together we can give Lebanon County a news outlet that makes life better for everyone here. Please consider sharing this post with your friends and colleagues involved in the philanthropic community, and feel free to reach out to me directly at davis@leb.town.

School Boards Coverage

From a business perspective, we are prioritizing on-site coverage of municipal meetings as follows: County Commissioners, City Council, Boroughs, Townships.

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While we would like to include School Boards as soon as possible, we feel that the core government watchdog function of journalism must be one of our first priorities. LebTown believes deeply in independent, non-partisan, and facts-based journalism: The type of journalism that has been proven to reduce the costs of government.

Yet we ultimately consider this decision “splitting the baby.” We don’t want to choose between local municipality meetings and local school board meetings; categorically we want to do both, and then some.

Estimated cost: $500 month.

Results: On-site coverage of every regular school board business meeting in Lebanon County.

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Deliverables: Reports on the costs of covering school board meetings as well as quantitive results about what school boards coverage is being read, where it’s being read, and how those metrics engage to the rest of LebTown’s programming.

Spanish Language Edition

We are interested in publishing a Spanish language edition of our content. Due to the technological complexity and added cost of translation services, we are seeking strategic partners to help us bring this Spanish language content to the community.

While there are myriad options available today for automatic translation, we are committed to taking a community-centric approach that puts local Spanish language speakers front-and-center in our translation process.

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Estimated cost: Upfront $1,000; monthly $500-$1,000.

Results: All LebTown content is available in Spanish as translated by a local Lebanon County Spanish Speaker.

Deliverables: Reports on the costs of the translation program as well as quantitative data about what Spanish language is being read, where it’s being read, and how those results compare to our English edition.

Apprenticeship Program

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Work at LebTown: No college degree required. As a community news organization, we will measure ourself by the number of jobs we create, and we don’t think those roles will be limited to 4-year college grads.

A key opportunity for LebTown is helping younger Lebanon Countians pick up the trade skills that come with running a modern media outlet. In any given day, my work rotates between the disciplines of journalism, marketing, web development, sales, and community engagement. These are teachable skills, ones that can be explained in a classroom but are arguably better learned through hands-on experience.

The problem is, apprenticeships and/or internships take time away from core business functions, not to mention that even young employees deserve fair compensation for their work.

With community support, LebTown would be able to prioritize educational experiences that can lead to gainful employment, and provide ample exposure to numerous digital trade skills. We are willing to craft speciality programs that target any of the following jobs:

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  • Journalist
  • Social Media Marketer
  • Web Developer
  • Digital Sales Specialist
  • Community Engagement/”Biz Dev”

Estimated cost: $750/month for each 15 hr/wk apprenticeship at $10/hr.

Results: A young person in Lebanon County gets a chance to receive on-the-job training in a project-based apprenticeship designed to help them land their first full-time role in a given digital trade.

Deliverables: For each apprenticeship created, a specific proposal will be drafted describing the role, potential projects, career/employer possibilities, budget, etc. Opportunity to meet with the apprentice before/during/after engagement. Written report following conclusion of apprenticeship summarizing experience/projects as well as outcomes.

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