News from the Field

Funders, there’s still plenty of time to join NewsMatch

Early reports suggest that NewsMatch, a funder collaboration to promote individual giving to journalism and capacity-building at nonprofit news organizations, is on track to break last year’s record of nearly $5 million raised. As of this Tuesday, organizers say the number of individual small-dollar donations on NewsMatch.org has tripled compared to last year’s campaign.

Through Dec. 31, the campaign will match individual donations of $1,000 or less, up to $25,000 per newsroom, to 155 participating nonprofit news organizations. Go to NewsMatch.org to search for participating newsrooms by geographic community or topic of interest.

There’s still time for funders to join the effort, especially if you have dollars left in your 2018 budget. In fact, in 2017 two key funders, the Rita Allen Foundation and the News Integrity Initiative, joined last year’s effort in mid-December. Josh Stearns, director of the Public Square Program at the Democracy Fund, said funders can contribute to the national NewsMatch fund or easily set up a targeted matching fund that relates to your foundation’s strategy and focus. The Miami Foundation handles all the due diligence and grant agreements making it administratively easy for partners, who can disburse grants in 2018 that will be paid out as match dollars after the campaign ends.

As NewsMatch grows in dollars and participants, it’s also growing capacity across the field by offering expert support to newsrooms to help them take advantage of this moment to improve their fundraising efforts. With more than 500 hours of capacity building support, the NewsMatch team provides campaign toolkits for year-end appeals and paid advertising, helps participating outlets craft more effective messaging and fundraising opportunities, and creates and amplifies social media content. This capacity boost toward sustainability is part of what makes NewsMatch a unique opportunity for funders looking to support local journalism.

During a season full of fundraising appeals, the campaign is also elevating journalism as a charitable activity and a worthy cause by emphasizing the impact that reporting can have on the many issues funders and members of the public care about.

NewsMatch draws attention to the story of nonprofit news itself and the people who produce it, as in this profile in Bustle of Flint Beat founder Jiquanda Johnson.

Just as the NewsMatch team supports the news outlets that participate, Media Impact Funders joins the Knight Foundation, Democracy Fund and other NewsMatch funders in offering support to funders interested in knowing how they might contribute, and how to make the case for doing so.

Email us at journalism@mediafunders.org if you’d like to learn more.