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About the Friends of the Bridge

The Friends of The Bridge Transparency Policy

The Friends of The Bridge, a 501c3 nonprofit, accepts gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals, organizations and foundations. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their positions.

Except for the money needed for mailings, special events, and incidental costs, all money raised goes to supporting local journalism, generally The Bridge newspaper, a local nonprofit community newspaper. We do not share the names of our donors with The Bridge.

Friends of the Bridge Description

The Friends of the Bridge, Inc. (FOB) is a is a public-benefit nonprofit corporation organized in November 2017 under Title 11B of the Vermont Statutes Annotated. It has been given IRS approval to operate for charitable and educational purposes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Specifically, the mission of FOB is to support and advance high integrity local journalism in order to cultivate an engaged and educated community in central Vermont.

FOB believes that local journalism helps weave together the fabric of a strong community. However, advertising support of community print newspapers has been on the decline as advertisers have moved online, often advertising on huge national or global websites. According to the Pew Research Center, local community newspapers need to be supported by an increasingly diverse revenue stream in order to remain viable.

FOB aspires to aid local journalism that educates the public on subjects useful to the individual and beneficial to the greater Montpelier, VT community. This includes educating the public on matters related to town and school issues, creating a forum for public discourse on matters of importance to local citizens, holding elected officials accountable, covering businesses and the arts, and running features about interesting individuals and organizations. We also seek to establish a journalism legacy by expanding opportunities for student interns.

The chief vehicle to further our education and charitable purposes has been Bridge Community Media, Inc. a Vermont public benefit non-profit corporation which publishes The Bridge, a twice-a-month newspaper distributed free of charge to people in the Central Vermont region. Bridge Community Media also operates a free news website, montpelierbridge.org.

FOB has granted funds to The Bridge to support its charitable and educational purposes. Grants from FOB to Bridge Community Media help to fund stipends for writers, editors and production staff, to purchase new and replacement equipment, and to help pay for any other expenses needed to ensure The Bridge is able to serve the people of Montpelier and surrounding communities with high integrity local journalism.

FOB, run entirely by volunteers, raises funds in several ways, including: 1) through an annual end-of-the-year fundraising appeal to residents of central Vermont by mail, email and advertisements 2) by seeking grant funds from local, statewide and national foundations that support community journalism 3) through planned special events, including community-wide gatherings, to celebrate and support the important role newspapers play in our community 4) through auctions of donated items and 5) special mailings and online fundraising.

FOB is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors of five or more people, and operates pursuant to duly adopted bylaws. It has no staff.

Financial documents

The latest IRS Form I-990 for Friends of the Bridge can be accessed here.