Together, we can build a Detroit that works for all Detroiters

Become a member of the Outlier Collective as a donor or for free to level up your involvement with our news organization and Detroit as a whole — by investing in an informed, engaged and thriving city and coming together to make that vision a reality. 

Join the Outlier Collective!

Become a member (and get all the member perks) by donating to support local, independent, responsive journalism — or join for free by filling out your member profile. Already a donor? Congrats, you’re part of The Outlier Collective! 

The Outlier Collective difference

We are incredibly indebted to readers who support our work with donations — we wouldn’t survive without them. But Outlier is designed to serve the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community, and we believe everyone should be able to participate equally in our community regardless of their ability to pay. 

The Outlier Collective furthers that mission by opening membership to all rather than requiring payment or setting levels and corresponding benefits. This means members can decide whether to make a donation or register without paying. We believe non-paying members can offer their talent, time and experiences to enrich our community. Members who are able to “pay it forward” can take pride in supporting Outlier’s mission while making it possible for fellow residents who can’t afford to pay to join as equal partners in The Outlier Collective.

What you’ll get — and give — as part of The Outlier Collective 

As a member, you’ll get…

🙋🏻‍♀️ Group service opportunities with local nonprofits and Outlier projects

💞 The joy of funding independent journalism that centers Detroiters’ needs and helps people move from crisis to connectedness

🎟️ Invites to members-only social gatherings and events

📝 A member newsletter

🗣️ Opportunities to share your needs and play a role in determining Outlier’s future

You might be “member material” if…

👩‍🏫 You want to contribute your expertise

🤝 You’re motivated to make a difference through service

🗳️ You care about strengthening democracy and government accountability

🔗 You want to fill information gaps in Detroit

📚 You want to learn new skills

🏛️ You want to get more involved in civic life

🏙️ You’re eager to connect with a community that cares about Detroit

🗞️ You believe in local journalism

We know there are many ways to add value to our community, and we’re here for it! 

Join The Outlier Collective:
Fill out your member profile

“Now more than ever we need strong and independent local journalism. Thank you for filling this void.”

-Julia Johnston

Outlier places Detroiters at the center of the conversation, equipping them with information they need to create change and challenge misinformation and unchecked abuses of power in our city. Our organization serves as a critical source of information for Detroiters, meeting residents where they are to provide resources and news about policies, issues and events that acutely impact their everyday lives.

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (EIN:87-4775293), and donations are tax-deductible in accordance with IRS limitations. Our core values of accountability and transparency are lived out in every aspect of our organization, including in our approach to giving. Our organization makes public all donors who give a total of $2,500 or more per year. We avoid accepting anonymous donations in order to demonstrate transparency about our funding. We will not accept donations from sources that present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence. Our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor, sponsor or partner support. 

Please make checks payable to Outlier Media. Our mailing address is 440 Burroughs St., Suite 365, Detroit, MI 48202. 

If you have questions or need help changing a recurring donation, contact Development Director Chelsea Brown at

“Thank you for your informative article that reduces info asymmetries among tenants, landlords, and the city – with tenants’ considerations prioritized”


Impact and the work you fund

Our work starts with TXT OUTLIER, a free SMS service Detroiters can use to get critical information and resources. We reach more than 8,000 Detroiters each week through text messaging, providing valuable information about housing, utilities and other pressing areas of community concern.

Our individualized engagement has allowed thousands of residents to navigate or avoid eviction, foreclosure and utility shut-offs. These conversations drive our accountability and investigative work, leading to local policy changes and increased scrutiny of flawed systems. Read some of our accountability and service-oriented reporting:

FAQs about the Outlier Collective

How do I become a member of Outlier Media? 
You can become a member by either making a one-time or recurring donation now or signing up for a non-paying membership. If you have made a donation this calendar year you are automatically a member.

Do I have to sign up to be a member every year? 
No. Once you have completed a member profile, you’ll be part of our community. If you have decided to give a monthly donation as part of your membership, please make sure your form of payment is current.

I’m a non-paying member. Are you checking how I contribute to the community? 
No, we believe members will contribute to the community as they see fit. We do hope everyone participates, whether that means attending events, becoming a Documenter, volunteering or sharing our work. 

Why should I pay to become a member when I can register for free? 
We hope those who can afford to make a monthly donation to support the mission of our organization will do so. Outlier is a nonprofit organization that relies on the generosity of community members and funders to make our news service accessible to everyone. 

Can my business or nonprofit organization become a member? 
We don’t currently have a membership program for businesses and nonprofits. However, businesses and nonprofits are encouraged to partner with Outlier through advertising or sponsorship. For more information, email

What if I joined Detour Detroit as a member before the merger with Outlier? 
If you are still a Detour member through Memberful, you are automatically part of The Outlier Collective — and we thank you for your support! But we’re asking for your help as we streamline our systems by switching your recurring payment from Memberful to our new donation platform by Dec. 31. Here’s how:

We’ve received feedback from our members and we’ve decided that we will not be automatically be cancelling memberships in December. We’ll be reaching out to you by email and by phone to remind you when your membership is going to renew so that you can switch donation platforms hassle free.

What if I support Outlier through a recurring donation on Donorbox? 
If you donate through Donorbox, you are automatically a member of The Outlier Collective. We appreciate your ongoing support! Here’s how to change where your monthly donation is processed to help us as we streamline our systems:

  • Go to the donor login page and log in to your donor account. If you never set up your account or misplaced your password, please click the Forgot Password link
  • Once you’re logged in, click the white box on the donation plan that you wish to cancel. 
  • Then click the red Cancel Plan button below your donation plan summary. You’ve now canceled your plan. 
  • Next, set up a monthly donation on our site and enter the requested information. You’re all set!

“Thanks for the amazing work you do to keep our community engaged and informed.”

-Rachel Rosenbaum

Connect with us

If you have questions about membership, email Fundraising and Marketing Associate Ashley Fassett at

For questions about a donation, email Development Director Chelsea Brown at

You can also learn more about our team and contact staff directly, text “Detroit” to 67485 to get help or questions answered, sign up for our newsletters to get Outlier reporting in your inbox and find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.