Photo courtesy of iStockphoto

Oak Ridge Now is run as a social enterprise. That means that we exist not to maximize profits, but rather making service to our community our first priority. We believe that the Oak Ridge Now website can become an asset for the area, providing valuable and timely information to our neighbors that they might be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

To date Oak Ridge Now has been funded completely internally, meaning that we pay all the costs associated with it ourselves. We would, however, like to do more for our neighbors: provide more stories, more timely information, better photographs, and perhaps some community-oriented tools. To do this will take more volunteer time, but also more money.

While we have resisted external revenue and funding sources in the past, we’d like to now provide local organizations and business the opportunity to become Oak Ridge Now sponsors. In return for sponsorship, we’ll run banner ads, highlight them on our Facebook and Twitter pages, link to them from the website, and occasionally profile their work. We will encourage everyone in our growing Oak Ridge Now community to patronize our generous sponsors, and to support the businesses that support our efforts.

We don’t think of Oak Ridge Now as a traditional community website, and we don’t have a traditional business model. We won’t be competing with Woodlands Online or the Villager or the Courier for advertising dollars. You won’t see Google ads on our site, or annoying pop-ups or banners that get in the way of content.

We also pledge to give the majority (at least 51%) of all gross revenue generated to worthy charitable organizations. That’s less than what a good non-profit would give, but certainly more than the vast majority of for-profit businesses. We currently have four designated charities that we will be supporting:

  • Living Water International –  a faith-based, non-profit organization that helps communities in developing countries acquire safe drinking water. LWI is based in Houston, established in 1990. To date, they have completed over 10,000 water projects in 26 countries.
  • PACN – the Pregnancy Assistance Center North is a Christian (but non-denominational), non-profit, non-political organization that is committed to providing information, support, and confidentiality to anyone facing the challenge of an unintended pregnancy. They have offices on I-45 south of Robinson Road, and in Conroe.
  • Montgomery County Food Bank – created in 1985, the Food Bank collects and distributes more than 6 million pounds of food each year to low-income children, adults and seniors living in Montgomery County. Currently the Food Bank serves an average of 37,000+ individuals each month.

We believe these are all worthy organization to be supported by not only Oak Ridge Now, but by our community as a whole. Perhaps one day, if revenue becomes stable and reaches a comfortable level, we could also provide college scholarship funding for deserving Oak Ridge High School students.

Rates for sponsorship of Oak Ridge Now are as follows:

  • 3 months ($600) – includes banner ad (in rotation with other sponsors) a footer presence, and social media presence
  • 6 months ($1,100) – includes banner ad (in rotation with other sponsors), a footer presence, a business profile, and social media presence
  • 12 months ($2,000) – includes banner ad (in rotation with other sponsors), a footer presence, a business profile, and social media presence

For additional questions about sponsorship of Oak Ridge Now, contact Doug Sarant at doug@oakridgenow.com.

Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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