The urgent message that local news needs everyone’s support is resonating from coast to coast.
Last December, we told you about an effort the Colorado Media Project launched in partnership with NewsMatch to help local news organizations boost their end-of-year giving campaigns, as part of the national #GivingNewsDay campaign.
The local effort exceeded expectations, and we learned from NewsMatch today that Colorado was no outlier: the national campaign shattered records as well.
The Colorado Media Project’s #GivingNewsDay Challenge matched donations up to $1,500 each for seven Colorado news organizations, through a grant from the Gates Family Foundation. So it would have been considered a success if the seven newsrooms had met the match, bringing in a total of $21,000 between Nov. 27 and the end of the calendar year. As we reported at the time, newsrooms participating in the CMP effort more than doubled that, netting almost $50,000.
As it turns out, Colorado was no outlier. NewsMatch announced today that nationally, 154 nonprofit newsrooms’ 2018 year-end fundraising push netted a total of $7.6 million from individual donors and a coalition of major funders.
That’s a 58 percent increase in dollars donated over 2017.
Here in Colorado, Aspen Journalism, Chalkbeat Colorado, The Colorado Independent, High Country News, and Rocky Mountain Public Media participated in the NewsMatch campaign. The Colorado Sun and Denverite joined with those five outlets for the Colorado Media Project’s #GivingNewsDay Challenge.
Since NewsMatch was launched in 2016 with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the campaign has helped participating newsrooms raise more than $14 million from communities and foundations.
“A decade ago, nonprofit news was an emerging niche in the media ecosystem, clouded with uncertainty around sustainability” said Bob Ross, Chairman and CEO of Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. “The outstanding support from individuals and foundations through NewsMatch exemplifies the evolution from uncertainty to enthusiasm for nonprofit news and investigative reporting in communities across the country.”
“In an environment where nonprofit news increasingly faces a variety of threats, these results are a bright spot speaking volumes to how individuals from coast to coast are committed to supporting local, quality news,” said Sue Cross, Executive Director and CEO of the Institute for Nonprofit News. “These results affirm the important role of local news and investigative journalism in communities, and ensure these organizations have the resources they need to inform communities moving forward.”
NewsMatch is an innovative platform for giving which combines small-dollar donations with foundation and corporate support and long-term capacity building for nonprofit news organizations. It is driven by the Institute for Nonprofit News and the News Revenue Hub, two organizations helping build more sustainable models for journalism in the U.S.
The campaign is supported by foundations and corporations including Democracy Fund, the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Facebook Journalism Project, the Colorado Media Project/Gates Family Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Rita Allen Foundation, and the Wyncote Foundation. The Miami Foundation serves as fiscal sponsor for the fund.
“The success of this year’s NewsMatch campaign speaks to the growing sophistication of nonprofit news organizations across the country,” said Christina Shih, VP of Business Development at the News Revenue Hub, which offered hundreds of hours of training and additional hands-on support to NewsMatch participants both before and during the campaign. “Equipped with an increased capacity to diversify their revenue streams, these organizations are positioning themselves as valuable and trusted community resources that will be around for years to come.”