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Here’s our year-end impact review—and our questions for 2021

This year was slated to be our year of impact. We started off with a bang in January at the Sundance Film Festival, where we released Decoding Media Impact: Insights, Advice and Recommendations, our impact report summing up seven years of research in the media impact space. 

WATCH: Addressing the impact of Big Tech

It’s impossible to live in the digital world without engaging with Big Tech. These behemoth information technology companies—Apple, Google, Facebook, etc.—influence all facets of life, impacting us in ways we are only just starting to understand. While these platforms are making good on the promise of keeping us connected, the effects have been catastrophic. Turns […]

Member spotlight: Libra Foundation

The Libra Foundation’s Democracy Frontlines Fund is a national aligned giving strategy whose goal is to leverage millions of dollars to fund black-led organizers fighting for free and fair elections.

WATCH: The 2020 Journalism Funders Gathering

Last week, we convened our peers for our annual journalism funders gathering to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing journalism—and our nation—today. We hope that our two days of programming and breakout sessions introduced you to new people, new ideas, and a new way forward. We are so grateful to the Jonathan Logan […]

MIF is launching a working group focusing on impact

To further explore issues related to media impact and assessment, MIF is forming a working group of funders who want to strengthen the field of practice. Here’s a bit of background on how we arrived at that decision: MIF has been regularly tracking the field of media impact assessment for the last eight years. Every […]

How evaluation perpetuates inequity (and how to stop it)

As protests for racial justice continue in cities across the U.S., more and more institutions are publicly reckoning with their own roles in perpetuating systemic racism. In the journalism space, a debate about the concept of objectivity is raging: whose view is considered “objective”? Do “both sides” of an issue always demand equal weight? Some […]

Success beyond scale: Evaluating outcomes that funders really care about

“Scale”—too often this is the bane of a grantee’s or evaluator’s existence when it comes to assessing the social impact of media projects. Why are funders so stuck on this concept, and what other impact models might matter more? As we’ve been reviewing materials we’ve gathered on media impact over the past several years, these […]

MIF identifies new learning priorities after yearlong strategic planning process

As part of a new strategic direction informed by a yearlong review of our organization, we’ve been tasked with outlining learning priorities for the year and beyond. We have identified the following priorities: Making the case for media funding Assessing the impact of media funding Understanding the importance of evidence-based science communications activities Presenting/identifying funding […]

Nonprofit media and exposing injustice: How philanthropy can help

From time to time, events at the highest levels of legal and political decision-making in Washington shed light on the importance of nonprofit media and the critical role of philanthropy in the support of journalism. Last week, the United States Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Curtis Flowers for the brutal murder of four people […]

6 impact tools for every type of funder and media maker

Here at Media Impact Funders, we’ve been researching best practices in measuring media impact since 2013. In addition to curating impact-related tools, producing original analyses on impact trends, and publishing a monthly impact newsletter, we also convene funders to discuss impact, and conduct research on how funders are thinking about and assessing impact in the […]

10 tips for practicing lean impact in a time of rapid change

While the media and tech landscapes are changing rapidly—requiring nimble and adaptive business practices and new models—the larger social sector funding landscape can be stuck in model for a previous age, planning out discrete interventions and then collecting metrics to examine how many people were touched by them. And media funders—despite often being at the […]

Things we don’t talk about (but should): An open letter to media funders

Next week, several hundred people from national, community, and place-based foundations, as well as newsrooms and other nonprofits, will come together at the Knight Media Forum in Miami. The conference focuses on philanthropy’s role in strengthening local news and information, which is essential for healthy communities and a vibrant democracy. We believe there’s an important conversation missing […]