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News Match Grows as New Funders Step Up to Support Nonprofit News

By Josh Stearns / 2017 November 20th

News Match is already the largest grassroots fundraising campaign for nonprofit journalism ever. More than 100 newsrooms across the United States are working together to raise $6 million dollars—or more —by the end of 2017. NewsMatch.org, the home of the campaign, is an innovative new hub where people can search for trustworthy journalism outlets by geography or topic and then give to multiple newsrooms with one donation. The effort is designed to mobilize thousands of new people to donate to local news and investigative reporting.

But News Match is more than a fundraising campaign. It’s a call to action for all who are concerned about the news and information needs of our communities and the role of a strong fourth estate in our democracy—and it’s growing.

For those in philanthropy, News Match offers an opportunity to not just provide financial support to outstanding newsrooms, but to invest in the long-term sustainability of these organizations by equipping them with the in-depth training, technology, and capacity building they need to reach new readers and foster a community of donors.

News Match began with a small team at the Knight Foundation who had a big idea to ramp up donations to nonprofit newsrooms at the end of 2016. That year Knight matched $1.2 million in donations to 57 newsrooms. This year News Match has doubled the number of eligible newsrooms and nearly tripled the total dollars in the News Match fund.

News Match has become a unique platform for local and national funders to collaborate in the interest of fostering more sustainable and vibrant public interest media.

Today we are announcing four new foundation partners have joined News Match:

  • The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation is contributing $100,000 to the national News Match fund, while also matching donations to five local newsrooms as part of its ongoing grant making.
  • The Wyncote Foundation is providing an additional match of up to $10,000 each for Next City, Philadelphia Public School Notebook, and NJ Spotlight in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
  • The News Integrity Initiative is contributing $50,000 to match donations to a group of newsrooms that cultivate diversity and inclusion within their organizations and serve underrepresented communities.
  • The Gates Family Foundation is matching donations to Chalkbeat in support of their education reporting in Colorado devoting up to $10,000 during the Colorado Gives campaign that kicks off December 5.

Each of these new commitments is above and beyond the original $3 million donated by the Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, who together launched News Match at the beginning of October.

In ten other states, individual donors and local foundations have stepped up with challenge grants to encourage people to give to nonprofit news, adding at least another $500,000 to support quality journalism this year. In total, more than 20 foundations, corporations, and individual donors are offering matching challenges, most of which were developed independently by local leadership at nonprofit news organizations.

  • In Texas the John & Florence Newman Foundation is offering a $100,000 matching grant for San Antonio’s Rivard Report and The Kirk Mitchell Public Interest Investigative Journalism Fund is matching gifts to the Austin Bulldog.
  • In Michigan, Bridge Magazine has built strong relationships with local funders and three of them, the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, and Glassen Memorial, have matches to support the newsroom.
  • In Vermont, corporate donors and local funders such as Vermont Coffee Company, Sustainable Future Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, and the Fountain Fund are providing matching funds for VTDigger.
  • In Louisiana, The Reva and David Logan Foundation is matching donations to The Lens in New Orleans as part of their ongoing grant making.
  • In California, The Community Foundation for San Benito County is matching donations to BenitoLink and The Jonathan Logan Family Foundation is matching donations to FairWarning as a part of their ongoing grant making.
  • The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation is matching donations to the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting, Pine Tree Watch, Connecticut Health I-Team, New Mexico In-Depth, and Rocky Mountain PBS.
  • Individual donors have also risen to the occasion, creating challenge funds at Wisconsin Watch, The War Horse, EcoRI, and InvestigateWest.

In the face of profound challenges facing journalists today there is enormous momentum gathering to support nonprofit news. However, because all of these are matching programs, newsrooms won’t be able to unlock those dollars unless people donate.

Quality journalism makes a difference every day. Without you, stories don’t just go unread — they go untold. As we head into the giving season, it is critical that we support the news we rely on.

Find a newsroom and donate today at www.newsmatch.org.

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