Meridian Needs You!
Please Help Us Move the Message Forward!

Pushing the Values You Care About on the Internet
By Scot Facer Proctor

We need your financial help for a cause we know you care about. It is a time for Meridian to become an even bigger presence on the Internet. Why? Because our faithful gospel message, delivered by exceptional writers, needs to travel farther in this darkening world.

Especially right now, with all eyes on the Church.

As the largest and foremost independent voice reflecting the gospel, we cannot afford to be anything but cutting-edge technically and savvy and potent in delivering the message.

Right now, we don’t have the money to do that. That is why we are inviting you to become a part of our executive circle so Meridian can step up with more power to deliver its important messages.

Why is it that websites that deliver ideas which undermine values and religion can do so with such power? It's simple, they have money behind them. They can deliver in multiple mediums, flood Facebook and YouTube, use every slick trick to assault you and the public with half-truths and mental junk food. Darkness is propagated by those with the power to buy the means to get their message out.

Meridian could go so much farther and faster to deliver its latter-day messages, but we are stuck having to shoestring everything.

This wouldn’t matter so much if the world weren’t darkening at such a frantic speed.

It wouldn’t matter so much if the Church weren’t suddenly in such a spotlight and people who search the Internet can find anti-Mormon sites sooner than they can find Meridian.

Please help us turn this around by joining our executive circle. You want to do something that propels the truths you care about forward. Joining Meridian’s executive circle is an easy way to be a part of that.

And it takes so little. Just a little bit a month from a lot of people makes all the difference.

Please don’t think everybody else will donate $10, $20 or $30 a month so you don’t need to. “Everybody else” doesn’t exist. It’s you or nobody.

As you know, Meridian is a team effort. It takes more than a hundred people to keep it so vibrant and so cutting edge each month. Except for the small technical team and the tiny editorial team, everyone gives of his or her time freely and without charge. All the writers you read and love give their messages to you as a gift.

Meridian has become platform to more than 850 writers over the past nearly 14 years. Writers, more than anything want audience—a place where people will listen to a message. Meridian has become that place. Meridian is a miracle—because people like you have supported it.

But we need you to step up now so Meridian can step up.

About two years ago we formed the Meridian Executive Circle.  Maurine and I cannot do this alone. We work with a tiny staff. It is through generous people like you that we have been able to continue publishing Meridian, daily, through these very difficult economic times. It's amazing how $10 a month (or, in many cases, $20, $30, $40, $50 and even $100 a month) from a number of people not only makes a big difference for Meridian, it makes ALL the difference!

Every amount helps.

Through the generosity of the Meridian Executive Circle, in the past two years we have been able to do a complete new redesign of Meridian (Meridian 3.0). This was very expensive. Without your help we could not have done this! We have been able to begin working on audience growth, maintain our monthly obligations with our offshore technical team (much less expensive than a U.S.-based team), pay for our hosting fees and do some development of some editorial issues. We have published more than 4,000 new, original pieces, not counting the 25,000 First Line News links. Our Executive Circle Team is very small, but again, every dollar has helped so very much. We need to expand our Executive Circle.

We ask for your ongoing, monthly support. This is NOT our voluntary subscription campaign (which is a one-time, once-a-year contribution)-this is our Meridian Executive Circle campaign-our development campaign—and we need your help now. The Internet is ever fluid; ever changing and we need to keep up with those changes.

We are asking for more loyal readers to join the Executive Circle because our needs are greater now than ever before.  In the next two years, with your help, we will work on the following six items:

1) Meridian Search Ability
2) Meridian Español
3) Bring Meridian into the 21st Century.
4) Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the Age of Video
5) Getting the Message Out
6) LDS Marketplace Development

Let’s talk about each of these so you understand what our immediate and ongoing needs are:

The web is changing every day.

1) Meridian Search Ability.

Do you realize there are 4.7 billion searches—EVERY DAY—on Google alone? That’s 34,000 searches each second! And did you know that between 10,000 and 20,000 of our Meridian readers each month are members of other faiths. We have to do everything we can to have Meridian rise to the top of the searches in various Mormon topics so that people don’t run head on into an anti-Mormon site. If a reader searches for Mormons in the News or Mormon News or LDS News, Meridian should be in the first four entries of those searches. The same thing goes for many other searches, like, “What do Mormons believe?” or “What is a Mormon?” or “Who is Joseph Smith?” Meridian should be in the first four entries for these Mormon questions and many, many more. We did a test for three days one time with a search-engine optimization team to see if they could get Meridian into the top slots of certain searches. Within the first three days, using their methods, Meridian came up in the first, second and third positions of every search we tested. This is all a science, not a chance thing, and this takes monthly funds to make this happen.

Mimi Abrea from Buenos Aires.

2) Meridian Español.

We have been working for many years trying to find the way to reach the approximately 4 million Spanish-speaking members of the Church. There are about 800 Spanish-speaking congregations in the United States alone. Consequently, we are well underway in the development of Meridian Español. We have an editor in Buenos Aires who is very savvy and very excited to connect the Spanish-Speaking Saints throughout the world. This sister’s name is Mimi Abrea. She just published a cover story on Meridian this month on the Buenos Aires Temple re-dedication. and her story immediately flew to the top of the most-read stories on Meridian that week. She is a faithful Latter-day Saint with numerous connections throughout Latin America and throughout the Spanish-speaking Church. Translation and design are very far under way.

Maurine working with Mimi in our home.

We have met with Mimi here in the United States. Mimi is delightful to work with and is thrilled to move forward on this project. Many of our authors are onboard to help this work move forward editorially. This is a labor of love—the perfect project for the Executive Circle to take on. We just need more Pesos for this.

Mimi with her husband Oscar Abrea.

Will you join today in helping us to bring Meridian to the Spanish-speaking Church throughout the world? We need you! ¿Se unirán con nosotros hoy a fin de llevar Meridian a la Iglesia hispanohablante en todo el mundo? ¡Te necesitamos!

Will you become an Executive Circle Member today to help with this?

Competent technical help is hard to find.

3) Bring Meridian into the 21st Century.

We are sure you understand that the Internet is a fluid, changing thing. What was cutting edge and up-to-date two months ago may be completely out-of-date today. You can’t just put a website together and then just have it stay static—it needs updates, upgrades, changes; fixes that simply need to be done or you are left behind. Meridian cannot afford to be old-fashioned (except in the area of family values and a moral compass). We are a faithful, independent voice that defends and reports the happenings of The Church and we cannot afford to be anything less than excellent in covering everything about The Church. We must be top in our field in every area of editorial, technical and database management. We must increase the size of our tiny editorial team. We must update our list management system (what we use to send Meridian to you every day). We must have increased and very competent technical support. We must be on the cutting edge of technology. All of this takes funds, funds that we just don’t have. Meridian has become the people’s magazine and we need your support to be able to bring Meridian into the second decade of the 21st Century.

Soon there will be a billion active users on Facebook alone.

4) Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the Age of Video.

In the past very few years we have been barraged with names that didn’t exist two decades ago. Social networking is now the very best way to expand our audience very quickly and reach as many people as we possibly can. By the end of this year there will be a billion active users on Facebook alone. We have just partnered with a very talented team to work on our social networking.  Meridian is trying to establish a major presence on Facebook with at least ten official Meridian Facebook pages.  One of our Facebook affiliate pages has over 65,500 followers. Let me tell you how this works: With the friends of our 65,000 plus followers on that one Meridian site alone, we have access to more than 13 million Facebook users (friends of friends just from that site). Twitter and Pinterest will also help us explode in growth. We want to create things that can go viral. This will include podcasting and video production.  Our talented partners are prepared to help us do all of this right now.   Maurine and I have been in the film and video industry for the last 30 years and are ready to be streaming regularly on Meridian. All of this takes resources and that's why we need the Executive Circle. Effective social networking will help Meridian grow with unprecedented growth. Do you want to see this rapid growth come to Meridian? Will you join in helping us on a monthly basis?

Maurine Proctor, Editor-in-chief

5) Getting the Message Out.

Meridian has always been known for its amazing reports and photographic coverage of important events in The Church such as Temple Dedications. When some media outlets may cover a dedication with their article and two or four photographs (or even twenty), Meridian will have anywhere from 100 to 300 photographs and better and more in-depth coverage than any other news source. Our coverage of the Nauvoo Temple Dedication (June 2002), for example, was the most thorough and in-depth of any source and was read by more than 1,000,000 readers. With so much media attention focused on the Church and its people, this is especially important now with the next six weeks (and perhaps for four or even eight more years).

We know that Meridian is read by staff and editors of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and in many other major media outlets in the country. We have been quoted in all of those.  Meridian must be top notch in reporting and writing about Mormonism. We want to be able to tell the amazing and wonderful stories of and put a face on the international members of The Church. Maurine and I simply cannot do this alone.

Developing the marketplace for LDS artists is one of our goals.

6) LDS Marketplace.

We are working on developing the LDS marketplace with the end goal to help artists (fine artists, musicians, photographers, writers, composers, lyricists, filmmakers—all kinds of artists) get their wares out to a broader and more robust market in easier and easier ways.  Even with a modest audience on Meridian, for example, we have helped a number of books become best sellers.  We were able to boost sales of one DVD by 300,000 units one year.  As we develop Meridian's marketplace to have over 2,000,000 unique readers and visitors a month, this will change EVERYTHING for the LDS artist.  This alone is worth every effort with the help of the Executive Circle. This is like being a Patron to hundreds of artists at once! Will you step in even if it’s just to help the artists of the Church move forward with their great talents? This is a very worthy cause.

We have basically laid out our marketing and growth strategy for you. We need your help to be able to move forward. With your help and the help of hundreds of other loyal Meridian readers, we can accomplish all we have set out to do in the next two years. We need your help right now.

Of course, through all of this we haven't but lightly touched upon editorial—our great need to be able to report on the various happenings around the Church. This just takes resources and we have tried to do as much as we possibly can. With your help we can do so much more.

May we count on your ongoing support?

If you feel more comfortable scheduling a check to come through your bank or credit union by "bill pay" or "auto pay" where your financial institution just writes the check and sends it to us, you may do so through this address (and Payee):

Meridian Magazine
PO Box 203
American Fork, UT 84003-0203

We welcome this monthly contribution--you can even do it by hand!

Please accept our deepest gratitude and thanks for all your support. We consider you one of Meridian's greatest assets.

Blessings to you,
Scot Facer Proctor, Publisher.

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