Today – We launch our 2012 Membership Drive and invite readers who have just started visiting Firedoglake or have been with us for years to join our membership program for as low at $5/month or $45/year.

You can join at different levels, and each has membership benefits and gifts.  More important, I can promise, after seeing it this year, you will learn something new, find a new friend who lives just down the street from you with the same interests, and feel a sense of accomplishment from your membership.

Help make year 2 of the FDL Membership Program even better – become a member today!

Last year at this time, I was just getting settled in. It was my first year with Jane Hamsher and Firedoglake. Without knowing my capabilities, everyone trusted me enough to head the project to start a membership program. I must admit, the task was daunting at first, and I was not sure if we would be able to get it off the ground.

We not only got the program off the ground, but reached over 1400 members nationwide within the founding year. I was amazed, joyful, and effervescent. I could not have been happier with the success of the membership program, and I have all of you to thank for that. I take tremendous pride in working for this organization and having a relationship with each and every one of you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for making this past year special.

Join the Firedoglake Membership Program and enter a new year of exciting activism.

This year we have had amazing educational webinars from Rob Richie and Krist Novoselic at Fair Vote, Joshua Koster, from Chong & Koster on online organizing tactics, and Stephen Lerner on occupying our homes and political action. These webinars not only help us learn, but bring us together forming lasting bonds.

I was fortunate to be able to receive most of the emails that came in over the past year about membership. What did people enjoy the most? Finding people who shared a common interest and who lived near them. In many cases we were able to link people together so that they could form small activist groups. This is something that not many membership programs can do, and I am so happy to be part of one who can offer that benefit.

In closing I wanted to talk about 2 very successful membership programs that began this year.

1. MET Program -  The Membership Engagement team (MET) is a group of 5 amazing members who were in charge of reaching out to new members to thank them and offer help on writing posts and becoming more active on Firedoglake.

2. Occupy Supply Liaison Program - Started in the beginning of October 2011, this is a program containing over 105 member liaisons in over 70 locations. The program raised $205,000 and we have sent out nearly 20,000 pieces of cold weather clothing or supplies.

As part of the Occupy Supply Program, Jane and the supply team hold webinars twice a week with participation from FDL liaison members, guest speakers, and Occupiers from around the country.  We exchange experiences, ideas, and insights; we also link up people with different expertise, and we find out what’s working (and what’s not) in various locations.  These twice-weekly webinars have become extremely valuable to the whole occupy supply effort.

Please contact me anytime if you have any questions about membership. You can reach me at members@firedoglake.com.

By joining the membership program you help Firedoglake to be a long-term sustainable independent news source.