Free Press owner and co-founder Reade Brower (center with beard) in 1985, with the original Free Press staff (including Martha McSweeney Brower, second from left). They're holding the first issue of the newspaper.
Free Press owner and co-founder Reade Brower (center with beard) in 1985, with the original Free Press staff (including Martha McSweeney Brower, second from left). They're holding the first issue of the newspaper.
In more certain times, people would occasionally ask us how a free newspaper makes any money. More recently, we’ve been hearing, “How can I support The Free Press?”

For our first 35 years, the answer to both questions was the same: We work with businesses to get their messages out to the public through advertisements, and those ads cover the cost of printing the paper and paying our small staff. If you want to support us, support the businesses who advertise with us. With loyal readers and advertisers, we made this equation work, even as print newspapers around the country folded or were shelved in buyouts. Along the way, we considered other ways of paying the bills, but none seemed like the right fit. At the same time, it wasn’t unusual for a reader to leave a $20 bill on the counter as a gesture of gratitude, or to send us a check in the mail with a note expressing hope that we would keep doing what we’re doing.

The coronavirus has changed everything for all of us. Business as usual has been up-ended. Many of our advertisers are not open. This affects our revenue and makes it hard for our readers to find the paper. We think we’ve come up with a solution:

Starting this week, we’re making the $20-on-the-counter a regular option for readers who want to support The Free Press directly. And lest you think we are just putting our hat out for donations, there will be perks, including having a copy of the newspaper mailed to you every week.

Rest assured, The Free Press will continue to be free to anyone who can snap one up fast enough.

For those who want to help in nonfinancial ways, there are other ways you can support us. The first is to do business with our advertisers, especially now when many have had to make major changes to their normal business. Find out how they are adapting and meet them halfway. The second is to request that we set aside a paper for you at our office. If that one sounds weird, read on for an explanation.

Sponsor The Free Press, or Subscribe

To sign up as a regular supporter of The Free Press, read the options below and pay one of two ways — by credit card; (207) 596-0055, or by check; The Free Press, P.O. Box 1076, Camden, ME 04843-1076

Monthly

As a regular sponsor, sign up to contribute any amount per month to support The Free Press. This would be a recurring fee on your credit card. If you give $5 or more per month, we will mail you a copy of the paper every week. Give $10 or more a month and we will send you a subscription to one of our affiliated publications: The Courier-Gazette, Camden Herald, The Republican Journal or Maine Seniors Magazine.

Yearly

Pay $52 in one shot and we’ll send you a copy of The Free Press every week in the mail for a year.

You’ll be helping us, and you’ll never have to worry about getting a copy of the paper. With any general questions, call (207) 596-0055 or email freepress@freepressonline.com.