NEXTpittsburgh staff: Managing Editor Melissa Rayworth, Founder & Publisher Tracy Certo, Arts & Events Manager Jennifer Baron, News Reporter Bill O'Toole and Contributing Writer Kristy Locklin

File this under Wish It Happened Every Day.

Out of the blue, a young woman named Alexandra Larch e-mailed to tell us she really liked what we are doing on NEXTpittsburgh but couldn’t find anywhere on the site to support us.

Talk about a missed opportunity.

A year ago, my savvy board member AJ Drexler of Campos Research and I sat down with Chris Herring of BarkleyREI and discussed a membership program, mostly B-to-B. In the process, we also considered an ambassador program and I have thought about that ever since.

Guess what? Alexandra just kicked it off.

Alexandra Larch, the first NEXTpittsburgh ambassador.

Since there wasn’t a Donate button or anything else on our site, Alexandra followed up with a generous snail-mail check and told us to keep up the good work.

That speaks well for how much value some people place on local journalism and for that alone, I want to thank her.

And for other reasons, as well. The hardworking and wonderful staff at NEXTpittsburgh loved this story, a great validation of our work. And we’ve been motivated to add that Support Us button for those who would like to do just that.

We work hard to bring you dozens of original news stories weekly, for free. And while it isn’t always easy, it is one of the most rewarding jobs on the planet, made even sweeter by comments like Alexandra’s.

For nearly five years, we have reported on the people and places and ideas driving this city forward. This past month, we hit a milestone of more than 977,000 page views (and we don’t write about sports) and we went over the 25,000 mark on our e-mail list which is now close to 26,000 active subscribers.

Year to year, NEXTpittsburgh has experienced steady and significant growth and, you might have noticed, we recently ramped up our news coverage, added a new media column and now publish several e-newsletters per week. So there’s even more reason to support us.

We have quite a few ambassadors out there already, people who regularly share our stories on social, attend our events, forward our e-blasts and email us with story tips and notes of appreciation.

We appreciate each and every one and urge you to keep the feedback coming.

If you, too, want to support a locally-owned and woman-owned media site and become an ambassador, we now have a Support Us button in which to do so.

You’ll find it here.

Thanks to you for your readership and a big thanks to Alexandra, our first ambassador, for her support. Please consider joining her!

Tracy Certo

Tracy is the founder and Editor at Large of NEXTpittsburgh which she started in March 2014 and sold in December 2020. She is passionate about making Pittsburgh a better place for all and connecting people...