February 16, 2018; Poynter
The future of American journalism continues to be found in online niche nonprofit news sites, and big philanthropy has recognized that in a big way over the past 10 years.
Poynter, itself such a site (it’s produced by the nonprofit Poynter Institute, which focuses on journalism), writes about an initiative of the Knight Foundation to help sites build their own bases of donors.
In 2016, the Foundation created a matching grant challenge to more than 100 sites that are members of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), an association of nonprofit investigative and public service news sites across the U.S. Two other large foundations, MacArthur and the Democracy Fund, joined Knight last year and pledged up to $1 million each for the “NewsMatch” program. It released its results this past week:
- Participating donors and foundations raised $4.8 million.
- More than 200,000 individual donors contributed—42,000 of them giving to one of the news sites for the first time.
- Donors gave $33 million total, including gifts not covered under the match.
- Twenty-five more local and national foundations joined the program during the year.
The funders plan to continue the program this year, although a dollar goal and the number of participating foundations have not yet been set. The Democracy Fund, which coordinated the effort, told Poynter that the purpose