This members briefing was organized in partnership with New Media Ventures and co-sponsored with Philanthropy New York. All members and supporters of Media Impact Funders have the opportunity to initiate and produce issue-related programming for their peers. Learn more about member briefings.

This week, experts from industry leaders New Media Ventures and Accelerate Change joined a discussion about how the media landscape is shifting, why philanthropic investment is necessary, and opportunities for collaboration. Philanthropy has long been critical in sustaining public interest media through the various stages of landscape shifts. Now as the country faces unprecedented polarization, rampant disinformation, and the overall erosion of trust in media, philanthropy must again shift—this time, to target investment in sustainable, scalable media companies and organizations.

Across the board, media in the public interest is losing critical ground on emerging social platforms. Meanwhile, an insidious media infrastructure rooted in disinformation is gaining traction on emerging platforms such as TikTok, Twitch, and Discord. These efforts are building massive audiences while also misleading them with completely evidence-free narratives.

The pathway is clear and the time is now—in order to protect democracy, we need a decentralized, innovative media ecosystem able to meet targeted audiences where they are and with messengers they trust at the local, state, and national level. This path requires investment and acquisition of digital media properties, accounts, and networks with strong cultural/identity audience relationships, solid revenue streams, and potential for growth, profitability, and impact. These properties exist, and philanthropic capital can play a major role in sourcing, seeding, and growing them to impact.

Watch the recording:

During this briefing, attendees:

  • Learned about innovative media opportunities ripe for investment and acquisition
  • Gained insight into how New Media Ventures and Accelerate Change evaluate for-profit media investments vs nonprofit media with examples of impact
  • Heard how Accelerate Change is expanding its nonprofit media lab to pursue acquisitions of culturally-resonant digital properties
  • Got a first look at New Media Venture’s state-based media fund, an initiative designed to empower a more representative democracy


  • Carlissia Graham, President, New Media Ventures
  • Peter Murray, President, Accelerate Change
  • Phillip Sanders – Partner, New Media Ventures
  • Darrell Scott, VP of Media Investments & Acquisition, Accelerate Change
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Media Impact Funders

Media Impact Funders

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Media Impact Funders traces its roots back to the Council on Foundations, a longtime philanthropy-serving organization. Formerly Grantmakers in Film, Video & Television, MIF began on a volunteer basis in 1984 as an affinity group for funders interested in the power of film to highlight social issues. Reflecting changes in technology and media behavior over the past decade, it was renamed Grantmakers in Film & Electronic Media (GFEM) and formally incorporated in 2008 to advance the field of media arts and public interest media funding. It had 45 members and was headed by former MacArthur Foundation Program Officer Alyce Myatt. GFEM was renamed Media Impact Funders in 2012 and has since expanded its strategy to include a broad range media funding interests such as journalism, immersive technologies, media policy and more. Since that time, MIF has grown to more than 80 organizational members representing some of the largest foundations, and holds more than 40 in-person and online events yearly.