The Year-End Giving Challenge: Grant Opportunity

Is your Colorado newsroom planning to do a year-end giving campaign?

In partnership with NewsMatch, the Colorado Media Project is offering matching gifts of up to $1,500 per newsroom to help inspire new memberships or individual donations, while building capacity and increasing knowledge-sharing across the state’s digital news ecosystem.

Nationwide, the NewsMatch campaign and its 150+ nonprofit media outlets are planning to issue a call-to-action to support local journalism on #GivingNewsDay, November 27, 2018 (a.k.a. Giving Tuesday) as “Giving News Day”.

Through the Colorado Media Project’s matching challenge, up to eight local outlets will come together to brainstorm ways to leverage this opportunity (or another) in Colorado this giving season, in order to increase individual donations at each outlet while amplifying the vital role that community support plays in sustaining high-quality local news in Colorado. (NewsMatch is just for members of the Institute for Nonprofit News, but this opportunity is open to both nonprofit and for-profit news outlets in Colorado.)

Goals: Collaborative amplification of year-end giving campaigns, increased individual donations, and ecosystem capacity-building and knowledge-sharing.

Eligibility: Colorado journalism outlets that are planning to execute a year-end philanthropic giving campaign. Outlets must be actively publishing high-quality, fact-based, public service journalism. Up to eight outlets may be selected to participate. Eligible donations will meet the NewsMatch eligibility criteria, i.e., donations from individuals of $1,000 or less, for which the donor doesn’t receive any additional benefit other than the joy of supporting the news.

Challenge: The Colorado Media Project will match up to $1,500 per organization for new memberships or individual donations made on #GivingNewsDay (Nov. 27, 2018), #ColoradoGivesDay (Dec. 4, 2018), or another date or period prior to Dec. 31, 2018 that is selected by the cohort.

Requirements: Two cohort meetings — one ideation/coordination meeting in early November, and a debrief in January. Meetings will be held in Denver — remote newsrooms may attend via video conference. Participating outlets commit to executing the plan they develop at the ideation session in November, and to providing outreach examples and lessons learned to cohort members at the January debrief. Basic documentation of donations received toward the match and summary of fundraising results to be submitted in early 2019.

Support: The Colorado Media Project will facilitate meetings and provide strategic implementation support as needed. NewsMatch plans to promote #GivingNewsDay nationwide with a multi-pronged awareness campaign, and will share best practices for local news fundraising, including a webinar on November 6 with Jason Alcorn of NewsMatch and Christina Shih of News Revenue Hub, for participants in this opportunity.

To apply: Submit a brief statement of interest (one page max) that includes organization name and contact info, current plan and goals for year-end fundraising (if any), and what you would hope to gain from participating in this cohort project. Submissions are due November 1 by 5 p.m. via email to Melissa Davis, Gates Family Foundation ( Selected newsrooms will be notified the week of November 5.