Herald Now A Nonprofit 

Seeks members to support community journalism

A year ago, on December 8th, 2020, this newspaper launched a crowdfunding campaign to gauge the interest of readers in supporting community journalism – specifically a digital publication that covers Peekskill exclusively. We were overwhelmed with the response to our 30-day campaign – which netted us 50 percent more than our goal. 

With this edition of the Peekskill Herald, we launch our first fundraising campaign as an official nonprofit newspaper, supported by you, the community we serve. We have been reporting and writing stories every week of this year, bringing you accurate information about life in Peekskill. Our stories have an impact in this community and some stories spread far and wide. Our news story on the death of Paul Laubin was linked in his New York Times obituary and CBS’ Sunday Morning’s special “Forever Young: Searching for the Fountain of Youth”  featured Peekskill resident Lyn Slater, who we profiled in August.  

As the newspaper industry experiences a tectonic shift in how it operates, we’ve been studying various ways to be a sustainable business. Newspapers are becoming public service institutions  much like libraries and arts organizations, supported by the communities they serve.  There are numerous steps involved in creating a nonprofit organization and we’ve benefited greatly from the expertise of the nonprofit group, Lawyers for Reporters. They’ve assisted us in establishing the framework to incorporate by writing bylaws and creating a board of directors. 

We received our status as a nonprofit organization entitled to receive charitable donations in New York State in July.  We are now in the ‘in between’ space awaiting our IRS designation of tax-exempt status. This status allows people who make contributions to Peekskill Herald to claim a deduction on their income taxes. Donations will be tax deductible upon IRS determination of our tax-exempt status as a 501 (c) (3) organization, in accordance with applicable law. We filed our application with the IRS in July 2021, and will notify donors when we receive the determination, which will be retroactive. 

The newly created Peekskill Herald’s Board of Directors met on December 1st.  Members include Kathy Daley, founding partner of the original Peekskill Herald (1986-2000);  Eric Johansen, former Peekskill Police Chief; Sol Miranda, parent of two Peekskill educated school children who has been involved in Peekskill’s artist community as a co-founder of Embark, an arts organization of seven years that is currently in hiatus; John Smith, a Peekskill native known to the community for his volunteer role with other nonprofits; Annie Strong, who has taught hundreds of children and adults in Peekskill, Cortlandt and New York City how to play the piano and mother of a 1992 Peekskill High School graduate ; Joseph Squillante, former member of the Historic & Landmarks Preservation Board and Hudson River photographer.  Regina Clarkin is the Herald’s publisher. 

We are committed to keeping the Peekskill Herald a free publication and are relying on the community to support us. We feel that at this point in our evolution, the benefits of universal access outweighs any advantage of a full or partial paywall. There will be special members benefits along the way, but in the spirit of inclusiveness, we believe that those who can afford to donate will do so, and those who cannot should still have access to our content. We look forward to welcoming the public as members at various levels who support our independent, unbiased reporting.  There are four levels of membership: Friend of the Herald begins at $25 and goes to $199.  A Neighbor Level begins at $200 and goes to $599. An Angel Level starts at $600 and goes to $1,199 while Legacy Level begins at $1,200. 

Our online donation form is here. 

We look forward to continuing to serve the Peekskill community as a source of local, unbiased news and information,and plan to expand our reporting staff as our funding allows. 

Lead photo by Joe Squillante. Video created by Ann Kilbourne with images from Joe Squillante